Leo Mall Twin

11801 Bustleton Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19116

Unfavorite 6 people favorited this theater

Leo Mall Twin

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located on Bustleton Avenue between Byberry Road and Hendrix Street, the Leo Mall Twin was quite the dandy little theater in the pre-multiplex days.

It opened in 1964 as the Leo Theatre, a single screen operation. In 1980 it became the Leo Mall Twin when AMC took over the property at the same time as the Bucks Colonial, the Woodhaven, and the Premiere (which turned out to be a hell of a pick-up, eh?)), but this one time I saw a double feature of “Cloak and Dagger” and “The Last Starfighter” there, which was awesome. Also, I do recall “E.T.” playing there for almost a full year.

Closed at the end of 1990, the building itself still remains, it became a Chinese buffet, and by 2013 a Four Seasons restaurant. As for the Leo Mall itself (it was nothing more than a glorified shopping center with a ceiling), it has survived over the years.

Any additional info would be appreciated, because I spent an uncountable number of hours in this bizarre little “parking lot” theater.

Contributed by Scott Weinberg

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

gbell
gbell on September 28, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I was an Usher and then a Projectionist Trainee at the Leo when I was just a kid(15); I rode my bike all the way from Davisville Rd. in Warminster to rip tickets and watch free movies; back then we helped people to their seats and paged patrons during shows, long before cell phones… I worked originally for Posel and then AMC all through high school and two years of college. Great memories…

calcynic
calcynic on October 17, 2010 at 9:58 am

I lived on Sewell Rd as a little kid (1953-1964) and we used to play and build underground forts and treeforts in the woods running from Stevens Rd. to Bustleton Ave. These woods were also our shortcut to Lumar Shopping center. We’d hit Lumar Drugs for Lime Rickeys from their fountain and then hit the A&P to smell the fresh ground 8 o'clock coffee. One horrible day, bulldozers were clearing the trees and grading the dirt that held our forts, destroying everything we built. I hated that theater’s very existence. Never set foot inside it. Went to the Orleans, Mayfair or Merben instead.

ronnie21
ronnie21 on February 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm

The Prey played here in 1984 June to be exact…

ronnie21
ronnie21 on August 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

research i conducted that this closed at the very end of 1990….

TheALAN
TheALAN on December 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm

In 1964, Ramon L. Posel (1928-2005), an art-cinema proponent and real estate developer, opened his first theatre, the Leo, on Bustleton Avenue in Somerton. The single-screen theatre was named for his father, who owned seven movie houses. In 1980, the Leo became the AMC Leo Mall Twin when AMC Theatres acquired the property. The Leo closed at the end of 1990. A Chinese buffet had occupied the space for a while. At the end of 2012 and after extensive renovations, it reopened as the Four Seasons Diner, Bistro and Bakery.

TheALAN
TheALAN on December 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I don’t remember what the Leo Mall looked like in 1964 when the Leo theatre opened but the mall still exists today with The Home Depot & Net Cost Market as its anchors.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on March 16, 2015 at 9:48 am

The Net Coat Market started out as Food Fair. The home Depot replaced the old J. M. Fields/The Dry Goods building, the mall itself, and the Warner Drugs/Rite Aid Pharmacy building.

ShabbyGentile
ShabbyGentile on May 21, 2015 at 7:40 pm

Wow. Anyone have any old pics of the AMC Leo or the Leo Mall? I lived behind the mall and basically spent every waking hour as a kid at that theater, going to the adjacent Burger King, then to the Leo Mall to buy Mad magazines from Rite Aid and Traci Lords, Motley Crue and Samantha Fox posters at Sound Odyssey. I remember Amadeus playing at the Leo forever. Also, it must of closed later than the end of 1990, because I’m certain I saw Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me there shortly before it closed for good.

ShabbyGentile
ShabbyGentile on May 21, 2015 at 7:50 pm

The Leo Mall Shopping Center used to have a Shop N' Bag supermarket that was connected to a restaurant called, I think, H.A. Winstons. That place closed and it later became Ribsters, my first job. The Dry Goods was connected to the Leo Mall, a one floor, ground level, mall with fountain and fake greenery in the middle. I remember there being some kind of soft pretzel/ice cream place next to the fountain that also sold lottery tickets, a music store called Sound Odyssey that later became a West Coast Video, a book store that closed in the early 1980s, a liquor store, a vacuum cleaner store and a big Rite Aid. The Burger King, across from the AMC Leo 2, was adjacent to a bank connected to the Shop N' Bag.

dawnd
dawnd on June 20, 2015 at 4:48 pm

It was owned by Posel when I worked there as a cashier back in the late 70’s. One of the projectionists was a friend of my dad’s. His name was John Rack, and he used to save me all the film frames that he cut out when making splices in the 35mm prints. He knew I was a movie buff. I used to put them in slide mounts and run a slide show at home on my mom’s projector and screen! Every couple of years they would bring back my favorite movie, “Gone with the Wind” and my dad would take me to see it there. The manager of the theatre later on hired me as a cashier in the box office. In winter I remember the snow used to pile up and blow inside the little window on the counter. It was so cold in there! The manager was funny. He had this old film short called “Army Daze” and he used to put it in the program whenever he needed to fill time. “Army Daze” must have run hundreds of times! Two of the last films I remember there are “You Light Up My Life” and “Spy Who Loved Me.”

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater