Cinemagic 3 at Penn

3925 Walnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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In the 1970’s, GCC opened this triplex at 3925 Walnut Street in a small shopping mall at the University of Pennsylvania campus in the University City area of Philadelphia. It should not be confused with the nearby Eric triplex that opened on 40th Street at Walnut Street also in the 1970’s, which was later replaced by the six screen Bridge movie theatre (now the Rave).

In 1975, this GCC was known as the GCC Walnut Mall I, II, III and had seating for 400 in each auditorium. Later it was operated by local movie theatre operator Budco, then by AMC after they took over Budco. In 1994, AMC departed.

On February 1, 1995, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that as of the following month, the theatre would be refurbished, including new box office, new seats, new carpeting, and an upgrade to stereo sound, and it reopened as the Cinemagic 3. Cinemagic owner Andrew Sheppard, then 27 years old, also then operated a five screen cinema at the Tri-State Mall in Claymont, DE, and a movie theatre in Hamilton, NY near Colgate University where Sheppard had graduated from. In 2003, the largest auditorium number 3, had 219 seats.

This theatre survived the 2002 opening of the stadium seated six screen Bridge (later Rave) multiplex. The theatre closed during the week before March 18, 2005, because the University of Pennsylvania decided to demolish the entire block so a new building could be constructed.

Contributed by Tim, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on December 19, 2006 at 3:33 pm

Not part of Sameric chain. The Eric 3 was replaced by the Bridge theater. The Cinemagic 3 was not an Eric. I believe it was a Budco, and it might have earlier been a GCC. I think it was built in the 1970’s. It closed 2005. My notes from 2003 indicate auditorium 3 had 219 seats.

RickB
RickB on December 20, 2006 at 8:20 am

The Philadelphia Inquirer for May 28, 1975 shows the theater at this address as the “GCC Walnut Mall I, II, III.” The Eric 3 on the Campus is advertised as well, with its location simply shown as “40th & Walnut.”

curiouskiwi
curiouskiwi on November 14, 2008 at 9:16 pm

I worked at the Budco Walnut Mall in 1984. That summer, the big hits were “Purple Rain” and “Karate Kid”. :)

alps
alps on February 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm

This is not cinemagic3, but Eric 3 on the Campus up the street.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 19, 2010 at 11:04 am

So I’m getting confused with this theater and the one that is now a Rave. Which one is which?

fred1
fred1 on April 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

This theater close a few months after N/A Bridge (now Rave) opened . There are a block away from each other

TheALAN
TheALAN on September 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Sorry Howard, but PAB comments that the GCC Walnut Mall 1-2-3 had a seating capacity of 400 each.

Does anyone know who the architect of this theaer was and in what style it was designed? Also, was the opening year 1975? If anyone can answer, please share. Thanks!

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