Point Four Theatre

MacArthur Boulevard,
Somers Point, NJ

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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.

Contributed by J. Laymon

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on May 30, 2005 at 9:11 pm

Frank theaters ruined everyhitn they got their hadns on. They ruined all the Wildwood theaters and Ocean City theaters by chopping up good theaters. I am not sure what happened but they sold out to Hoytt theaters and then all of a sudden they were back as a chain. Hoytt closed all the Wildwood theaters except the Shore and they only kept that open one year. I know the Strand is in operation, the Shore is owned by Morey’s Pier and used for storage. I am not sure what happened to the Ocean. That was Hunt’s most beautiful theater used for roadshow engagements. The idiot Frank’s twined it in 1989 and ruined it.

RickB
RickB on May 31, 2005 at 2:50 am

20 is probably the address as the numbers seem to start at the circle and there are at least two buildings (the Point Diner and DiOrio’s Circle Cafe) on that side of the road between the circle and the theater property. I get listings for a T.G.I. Friday’s at 18 or 18-20, so that is most likely the current occupant of the site.

HowardB
HowardB on May 31, 2005 at 2:51 am

Small theatres, small screens, no masking, poor projected image quality …. this poor excuse for a movie theatre sent more people out to buy a Sony Betamax than Sony’s own advertising campain.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 11, 2005 at 2:16 am

I went to numerous birthday parties when this theater was a bowling alley in the 1970s.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 8, 2006 at 2:35 am

We installed two RCA Centry projectors from the Manahawkin Drive-in in autitorium’s 3&4, booth #2 with a 5 teir Christe platters in the middle. I can’t remember what projector heads we put in booth #1. I also worked there as manager/projection along with the legendary Jim Layman in 1984. Doug Rieck of Long Beach Island was the circiut tech. I got alot of complaints about the sight lines. If some one sat down three or four rows in front of you, their head would be in the way. Hey, the place was a gutted out old bowling ally. “THE FRANKS” put a Hillary’s Ice Cream Parlor in the lobby, but the city made them take it out.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 29, 2008 at 6:08 pm

The TGI Fridays is closed. There is a vacant lot adjacent which was probably the theater.

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