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This was Ocean City’s roadshow theater.
“Thank you” to everyone who provided pictures of the Village, both exterior and especially the interior shots. The decoration, though minimal, was great in the main auditorium.
I enjoyed seeing the photos showing the billboards on the back of the theater as well as those on the roof. I seem to remember when they actually had advertisements for movies on them (an on-set of old age maybe).
Am I correct in remembering that this was the nicest theater in Ocean City, NJ, in the mid-1950s? If so, it’s where I saw “To Catch a Thief” in the summer of 1955. – Ed Blank
Here is a 1940 photo:
Listed as part of Shriver Theatres Co. in the 1976 International Motion Picture Almanac.
Web site updated with more pictures…
Nice photo album:
I should have been more clear in the original text. “Paper company” does in fact mean that the three theater properties were sold to a company that concealed the actual owners. The former owner, Helen Shriver Schilling, did not wish to sell the properties to the local competetors, with whom she had an unfriendly history. But the sale went through anyway without her understanding who was behind the deal.
The building was very interesting, however, in that you could see places where the place had been changed many times over the years. A hidden deck behind the South Seas shop was at one time a pier overlooking the ocean.
This was Ocean City’s premiere theater for roadshow engagments.
The exterior around the entrance was designed to look like a little old-time village, thus the name. Since neither the design nor the location were good for a conventional marquee, the Village had a free-standing attraction board (topped by a huge neon arrow pointing at the theater) on the roof of a Boardwalk store. The sign is still there (although the neon is shot), advertising go-kart rides or some such attraction.
When they say the Village was bought by a “paper company,” I think they mean that it was bought by a corporation created to conceal the identity of the real owners, not that somebody was using the building to store pallets of notebook filler. The new owners had renovated the theater and were a day or two from opening for the season when the fire struck.