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@Rick Aubrey – the dance studio was in the building two doors away from Bethel Cinemas. It has also been a restaurant and rental hall. In between is a KFC.
Bethel Cinemas opened Dec. 17, 1971, with “Evel Knievel” on one screen and a blockbuster combination of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Patton” on the second screen.
The second week it has “T.R. Baskin” on one screen and “They Call Me Trinity” on the other.
Ed Jones, a great gentleman, brought back Mel Brooks' “The Twelve Chairs” in an exclusive engagement after Brooks had had great success with “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein.” “The Twelve Chairs” played for many weeks.
The theater also got several weeks out of a solo re-release of “A Boy and His Dog.”
The suburban Pittsburgh theater was on Paxton Drive just off Route 88/Library Road, about a block from the entrance of South Park.
These twin theaters were opened around the end of 1971 or beginning of 1972 by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jones, who were residents of Upper St. Clair. The first film i saw there was the reissue of “My Fair Lady” in February or March of 1972, although after that I saw almost everything that played there. I worked there for them as an usher, janitor and marquee changer during the fall of 1972 through May of 1973. Mr. Jones was quite a colorful character. At one point, he sued the entire 20th Century Fox board of directors because he was not getting access to first run films…this included Princess Grace of Monaco who was on the board at the time. He later gave up running them himself and hired Dolly Miller, who had worked for the Stern Brothers Associated Theatres as his manager. He later sold them to Mike Cardone, who had left Cinemette to operate his own chain of neighborhood houses, including he Bethel Cinemas, the South Hills in Dormont, the Whitehall, and the Plaza in Bloomfield.
Today the building contains a heating and air conditioning company on one side and a women’s beauty salon on the other.