Berwick Theatre

108 E. Front Street,
Berwick, PA 18603

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Showing 9 comments

enki09
enki09 on November 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm

The Berwick Theater is now faced with the task of switching to digital format. They are running a crowdfunding campaign to try to raise the necessary funds to do so. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-berwick-theater-must-go-digital-or-go-dark/x/3071683

Rad59679
Rad59679 on September 11, 2013 at 8:09 am

Hi there! I’d like to offer some insight on this topic. My grandfather was Vincent DiAugustine. He recently passed away and it was his dying wish to keep the movie theater open. As the only family member up for the challenge, I’ve taken on his mission. I believe my grandfather purchased the movie theater from Aaron Daniels grandfather. It was then called the Berwick Theater. My grandfather leased the theater for a number of years, until 1997 when he did major renovations to the theater. He ran the theater from 1997 until the last days of his life which was July 8th 2013.

Growing up in this movie theater (I’m only 22), I’ve come to know some of the history (as told by grandfather). I was under the impression that the theater was the Palace Theater initially and then the Strand movie theater. One was performing arts and the other was film. There was a fire in the movie theater in the late 30’s. I think thats when it was solely the Strand movie theater. In the 70’s, I believe there was major renovations to it in which the BIG screen was added. I also think that was when the lot that used to be empty was expanded and that’s how we ended up with the lobby. I know that the lobby wasn’t always there. It was in the middle under the marquee. That’s why it looks so strange, to those who are used to seeing a typical vintage movie theater entrance.

I hope that helps!

I’m also on here to find out how I can track down old/vintage movies to play. It’s a popular request among our customers and I’m having a hard tine getting my hands on them!

Thanks
Renee

turbs4spd
turbs4spd on December 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

Good day ! My name is Aaron Daniels and I live in Northern Virginia. My grandfather was Joseph Lee. He owned the Strand in Berwick for a number of years. He also owned the drive-in located between Berwick and Bloomsberg, the theater on Bloomsberg itself and at least one additional theater in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. I believe he owned the Strand between approximately 1965 and 1971 when he became ill (he passed away in the summer of 1972). I also believe he “lost” the theater when 1.) he couldn’t get the first run movies from the distributors and 2.) he overextended himself financially with the big renovation hilighted in the box office article referenced above. His family ran theaters in Cinncinatti since the earliest days of film. I would love to know more about this or any other theater my grandfather was associated with, especially pictures.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 28, 2012 at 10:28 am

Renovations of Strand described in this 1969 trade article: Boxoffice

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 13, 2011 at 4:41 am

The Strand/Berwick is located at the same address that was listed for the P.O.S.of A. Opera House in a 1905 city directory. This was a theater built in 1890 by the Patriotic Order Sons of America. The P.O.S. of A. Opera House, according to various editions of Julius Cahn’s guide, was a ground floor theater seating about 650. Unless the original building was destroyed, the Strand/Berwick Theatre must be the same house. The facade of the Berwick in the photos linked above does look fairly old, though it also looks rather plain for a theater built in 1890, so it might have been remodeled at some point.

During the 1910s, Berwick had houses called the Palace Theatre, mentioned in a book published in 1915, and the Lyric Theatre, mentioned in a 1913 magazine article as having been recently remodeled. I haven’t found any references to the Opera House later than 1908, so either the Palace or the Lyric (or both) might have been the Opera House renamed, and thus an aka for the Berwick, but I’ve been unable to connect either name with an address.

mark edmunds
mark edmunds on May 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Thats a strange entrance way. I thought that was a store on the left side

rekindt
rekindt on May 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

I don’t know much about the history of the theatre, but we recently purchased a home in Berwick and found 3 photo quality flyers advertising Shirley Temple in “Stowaway” for a continuous showing beginning New Year’s day, running through January 5th, 1937. So it was open at least by 1937. The front of the poster is a picture of Santa Claus with Shirley Temple’s face superimposed over his and says “Best wishes for happy holidays- Shirley Temple”

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 10, 2009 at 11:55 am

March 2009 news story about financial problems at the Berwick:
http://tinyurl.com/lbuwzy

RJS
RJS on August 12, 2005 at 2:17 pm

I was able to take an exterior photo of the Berwick theater in August 2005. It seems to be showing second run at this time. You can view the photo here. The entrance is the set of doors to the left.