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Center Theatre

300 Lackawanna Avenue,
Scranton, PA 18503

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Lackawanna Ave

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The Center Theatre on Lackawanna Avenue was a large theatre used for blockbuster movie showings, including those wide screen experiments in the early-1960’s. (Not Cinerama, there were other film processes that followed that). I believe this showed films into the 1980’s, perhaps others can add much more info on this theatre.

Contributed by f. musso

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

bluecat158 on April 18, 2006 at 2:08 pm

The address listed of 300 Lackawanna Ave. is currently the location of the Mall at Steamtown. At 301 Lackawanna Ave. (presumably across the street) is the Marquee Cinemas Scranton 8 ( Saw a few movies at the Steamtown 8 bakc when I was a NEPA resident, but was never crazy about it. After all the hubbub of a movie theater re-opening Downtown, to me it was a disappointment. The Mall at Steamtown opened in the 90s (I believe) and is linked by a footbridge to the Steamtown Historic Site, but I don’t remember much about the area from before then.

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2007 at 1:35 pm

ABC Theaters of PA was a Scranton-based chain in the early seventies. They ran the Center and Strand in Scranton as well as theaters in several other PA cities. President was Bernard Levy.

lohengrin on November 27, 2007 at 9:47 pm

The Center was down the street from the Hotel Casey, Scranton’s finest hotel for decades, and was pretty much in what was once the nightclub strip district of Scranton. But by the 1970s, it had deteriorated to being pretty seedy. In the 1960s and 70s, it was the least attractive of Scranton’s three downtown theaters, but it did get some pretty good films. And yes, it eventually went mostly X-rated.

desalp on August 3, 2011 at 11:11 am

I saw King of Kings with some college friends at the Center in 1961. Scranton had long been a movie town and a Catholic town so it seemed everyone was there. We found seats in the front row and had to look almost straight up, which made Jeffrey Hunter’s blue eyes really look big.

RJS on April 28, 2016 at 1:51 pm

I believe the address listed for this theater, 300 Lackawanna Avenue, is incorrect. The building was located in the 500 block of Lackawanna Ave, around address 519. The theater was originally opened as the Riviera Theatre and the name was changed to Center Theater during the 1930’s. I’ve uploaded photos of both the early Riviera and also Lackawanna Ave. showing the marquee of the Center from the 1960’s. I recall driving by this theater when it was closed in the 1980’s.

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