Towne Cinema

619 Atlantic Avenue,
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

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Opened prior to 1914 as the Liberty Theatre. By 1941 it was known as the Astor Theatre and was operated by Sam Shapiro. This theatre was located far uptown on Atlantic Avenue in the late-1960’s/early-1970’s operating as the Towne Cinema. It was destroyed by fire in the mid-1970’s.

Contributed by RickB

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Cinedelphia on July 3, 2006 at 6:20 pm

The “Town Cinema” was originally “The Astor”. It was renamed “The Town Cinema” after it was taken over by Frank Theaters in the 70’s. I recall the Franks ruined the marquee by covering it with what appeared to be cardboard with name “Town Cinema” on it. I lived in the neighborhood where the Astor was located until I was 12 but never attended the theater so I have no idea what the inside of the theater was like. My parents wouldn’t let me go there because it attracted “a rough crowd”. Ironically my grandparents used to go there. The Astor was considered a neighborhood theater and generally played 2nd run and double bills of B movies.It was located one block below the Capital Burlesque on the north side of Atlantic Ave, in what was known as the “uptown” area of AC.

Mikeoaklandpark on July 5, 2006 at 7:58 am

I was never in the theater but remember when it burned the fireman were talikng about looking up at the beautiful murials on the ceiling. The owner prior to the Franks was a gentleman named Sam Myers. He playe The Graduate there for two summers, 67 and 68. Like everything else,once the Frank’s got a hold of it they ruined it.

kencmcintyre on July 5, 2006 at 8:04 am

I went to school in Atlantic City beginning in 1973, but I don’t remember the Towne. Was it supposed to be near Maryland Avenue?

Mikeoaklandpark on July 27, 2006 at 7:48 am

I think it was up near maryland Ave. By 1973 the theater was closed.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 7, 2006 at 3:03 pm

It was on Atlantic Ave, Between New Jersey & Delaware Aveenues. I believe that Al & Barbera Frank acquied it in the late sixties. They changed the name from Astor to Towne Cinema. They were following the same trend that the Charles did. It was their entry into the Atlantic City Market. When in Oct. 1969, they opened the brand new Towne Twin located next to the Atlantic Drive-in, near Pleasantville, The Towne Cinema lost it’s luster in a hurry. In 1971 “The Franks” leased the Towne Cinema to Luis Hernandez. He ran as a discount 3rd run house showing old James Bond 007 films. I was helping him learn to run the equipment. The Union looked the other way. The Booth equipment was Simplex E-7’s, Peerless Magnars’s & Motor Generator. The E-7’s were moved to the Margate when it became a twin in 1973. The Towne Cinema was closed by then.

kencmcintyre on January 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I guess I didn’t go uptown much in those days. I don’t recall this place.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm

In 1914 the Liberty Theatre is listed at 617 Atlantic Ave. Possibly a previous name for this theatre.

Robert21 on March 25, 2015 at 7:28 pm

This theatre was located on the north side of Atlantic Avenue between Connecticut and NJ Avenues. It was torn down around 1977; a 7-11 was built on the site. That’s the 7-11 building next to AC Home Furnishing store in the above picture; I’m not sure when 7-11 closed.

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