Forty Fort Theater

924 Wyoming Avenue,
Forty-Fort, PA 18704

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The Forty Fort Theater was located at the corner of Dilley Street and Wyoming Avenue in the town of Forty Fort, PA and opened for the first time on January 28, 1938 with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in “Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry”. It was built by Thomas P. Alexander & Louis Marinos, in conjunction with Comerford Theatres. By 1943, it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Frank Walker.

This neighborhood theater featured Art-Deco style lighting, terrazzo floored lobby, spacious auditorium, dark red drapes, and an ornately hand-detailed golden proscenium arch that surrounded the screen.

It had 892 seats in its one floor auditorium and was known for mostly showing foreign and art type films during the latter years of its life. It operated until 1988 when the building was converted to professional offices.

Any additional information on this theater is welcome.

Contributed by Bobs

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

RJS
RJS on August 8, 2005 at 5:21 am

Warren:

From my understanding, the town was called Forty-Fort because, during Revolutionary times, there was a fort constructed there that had forty residents. Not certain how accurate that is. The town is located just to the west of Wilkes-Barre, PA. I wasn’t certain of the seating capacity. Was only in this theater once and guessed at the number from memory. The building still stands today as a professional plaza.

RJS
RJS on August 15, 2005 at 5:14 am

Here is a small image of the Forty-Fort Theater, unsure the year this photo was taken.

RJS
RJS on September 4, 2005 at 2:06 am

Here is another photo I took showing what the former Forty-Fort Theater looks like in August 2005.

xalor22
xalor22 on August 6, 2006 at 1:38 pm

This theater was a small “second run” theater. It showed movies after they finished their run in the larger Wilkes-Barre theaters—-the Comerford and the Paramount…I spent many Saturdays at the Forty Fort Theater in the late 50’s and 60’s. Kids' matinees were 15 cents on Saturday, and most items at the concession stand were 5 cents. If you bought a box of candy, when you finished, the box was used as a noisemaker….if you bought one of those flat boxes of pretzels, the box became a projectile. Of course, this silliness was not tolerated in the evening! I saw so many movies there….Bambi, BenHur, and The Birds. The owners were brothers, ..very nice men….they were always there and knew just about everyone by name. As time went by, kiddie matinees were forsaken for first dates as we entered our teens. I am sorry that the building was changed. Those were the days.

xalor22
xalor22 on August 7, 2006 at 11:33 am

To Bobs…..The old photo of the Forty Forty Theater shows “Diamond Jubilee” on the marquee. That event was celebrated in 1962.

Tom Alexander
Tom Alexander on September 28, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Official Forty Fort Theatre site:

View link

str8bourbon
str8bourbon on October 12, 2008 at 5:05 am

In the 1980s this theater was showing first-run pictures, the artsy ones that wouldn’t play at the mall. I saw Brazil, Under the Volcano, and Out of Africa here. Sometimes they had second-run, like Return of the Jedi, after it had played at the mall a few months.

ncg
ncg on May 31, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Several posters mentioned photos but when I click on Photos there are none. Also the street view is for the wrong address completely, how can that be changed?

dave7pa
dave7pa on June 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I remember going to the Forty Fort theater back in the mid 80s, I think. I was with my new girlfriend Nancy Dolan, who was from Forty Fort. I believe that we saw Terms Of Endearment. Although I could be wrong. The only thing I do remember was Nancy. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Wonderful time. Still can’t get her out of my mind.

lemeeg
lemeeg on July 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Hola from Mexico. I lived in Forty Fort as a kid, in Colonial Gardens just a few blocks from the Forty Fort theatre. My friends and I spend most Saturday afternoons watching The Lone Ranger, The Durango Kid, The Cisco Kid – movies like that. Big nights out were spent at the Comerford and Paramount theatres on Public Square in nearby Wilkes-Barre, PA. Years later I was fortunate enough to be there the night the theatre shut its doors for the last time and to spend a few minutes with Mr. Alexander, one of the owners. If memory serves, the last show was Fatal Attraction.

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