Leo Mall Twin

11801 Bustleton Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19116

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Showing 23 comments

rivest266 on October 8, 2016 at 9:27 am

This opened on Christmas day of 1964 and reopened as a twin cinema on December 20th, 1974. Grand opening ads in photo section.

Tiny529 on April 21, 2016 at 7:02 pm

After the movie theater closed, the building was first turned into a home improvement store called Channel Jr. The whole Channel franchise went under just a few years later. My aunt used to take me to the Leo fairly often. I think I saw Yellowbeard there and my aunt and I were the only two people in the whole theater. The movie was pretty awful, and completely inappropriate for an 8 year old, but I remember enjoying myself nonetheless!

Jim7429 on April 7, 2016 at 2:29 pm

I was hired in high school first for concessions, then usher, then box office cashier and lastly was a part-time manager in college. Mid 1980s through early 1990s. Now a middle-aged man, it still is by far my favorite job. I worked there before during and after the art film experiment. Unfortunately she became a second run theatre near the end, but what an absolutely fantastic experience. Climbing the steps to the projection room, changing lenses after trailers, hanging over the marquee on the roof to change the letters…and I can still smell the popcorn. Best job in the world for a kid and some of my fondest memories. All my best – Jim Peiffer

TheALAN on February 17, 2016 at 3:23 pm

After the Four Seasons Bistro closed, it became the Clairmont Bistro. A message now says the telephone number is not in service. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.

Bustleton on September 17, 2015 at 8:47 am

My first job was an usher at the theater starting in 1976. We wore white shirt, red jacket, and black bow tie. Great memories of watching Goodbye Girl and Close Encounters at least 100 times each. When not working we spent a ton of time at Burger King and at the mall eating hamburgers at the JM Fields deli counter. Great memories of growing up in the area.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ronnie21 on August 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

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

ronnie21 on February 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm

The Prey played here in 1984 June to be exact…

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.

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…

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm

I like that twin with the mod seventies look,like ronnie said “wow,Cool”.

ronnie21 on May 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm

wow, cool.. 1988 wonder how much long it lasted after that?

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on November 23, 2006 at 3:33 pm

The AMC Premiere Twin was closed 5 years before AMC Neshaminy 24 even was built.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on September 16, 2006 at 7:29 am

The 2 best examples of former Budco Theatres that are now AMC Theatres are:

William Goldman’s Orleans Theatre (AMC Orleans 8 Theatre)
Budco 309 Cinema Theatre (AMC 309 Cinema 9 Theatre)

Other theatres that were Budco/AMc and are still operating are:

Bryn Mawr Film Institude (Goldman’s/Budco/AMC Bryn Mawr Theatre)
Prince Music Theatre (William Goldman/Budco/AMC Midtown Theatre)

WKraftsow on September 14, 2006 at 9:27 am

Your memory is correct, the Leo was a single theatre originally and was twinned in the manner you speak of. My memories of the Leo, Colonial and Premiere were that they were nice theatres, but not exceptional theatres. I do recall that for a while, before they became AMC theatres, many of the AMC theatres were owned by Budco. The Orleans theatre is such an example.

Cinedelphia on September 14, 2006 at 6:06 am

The Leo, Colonial, and Premiere were all single screen theaters originally and were all twinned by the time I moved to Philly in 1979. I am guessing they were all pretty nice theaters before being
twinned. The Leo wasn’t too bad as a twin, but I don’t recall movable
masking, etc. The Premiere was actually located inside the Neshaminy
Mall and closed to make way for the AMC Neshaminy 24. The Colonial
was also located inside a mall and I remember always having to sit
fairly close to the screens as they were relatively small. All these theaters, if my memory is correct, were twinned by dividing down the
center, creating relatively narrow auditoriums. Would love to hear
about how they were pre twinning.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on September 14, 2006 at 5:30 am

The Leo Mall Theatre, as well as the Bucks Mall Colonial Theatre, and the Premiere Theatre, were owned by Ramon Posel, who sold these three theatres to Stanley Durwood’s American Multi Cinema Inc. in early 1980.

At one point, after the AMC Leo Mall Twin closed, there was a mini Channel Home Repair store in the Leo Theatre building, which was across from the former Pantry Pride supermarket and JM Fields/The Dry Goods/Big K Mart department store.

WKraftsow on September 14, 2006 at 3:54 am

The Leo Mall, the Leo Theatres, and the Krewstown Shopping Center (also in N.E. Philly) were owned by Posel Management. The late Mr. Ramon Posel also created the Ritz Theatre chain.