Point Four Theatre
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The Point 4 was originally a bowling alley that I patronized as a kid. Around 1983 the Frank family purchased it and converted it to five auditoriums, although only four were used. The fifth was left as a garage. The Franks already had plenty of screens in the area and with the Gateway theatre no longer showing movies, there was no other theatre in Somers Point. However, the Franks had been trying to obtain the boardwalk theatres in Ocean City for years, and this gave them a chance to compete for films in the same area, in some cases, preventing Ocean City from running good pictures. The Point 4 did take business from Ocean City. As a manager of the Point 4 I remember customers calling from O.C. to get directions to the Somers Point theatre.
The theatre used older Century heads and platter systems — one platter system for each pair of screens. Remote controls were in the lobby and I had installed indicator lights in the boxoffice to let the cashier know when the movies started. The auditoriums were rather simple, with no movable masking and no proscenium curtains.
I was often disappointed however that the equipment was often in need of repair, there were no spare parts, the sound leaked from each auditorium, and the lenses were in poor shape.
But in the end the theatre accomplished its mission. The Ocean City boardwalk theatres, long owned by the Shriver family, were sold to the Frank company (just like the Wildwood theatres) in 1989.
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