Plaza Theatre

491 Allendale Road,
King of Prussia, PA 19406

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Plaza Theatre

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The stand-alone Plaza Theatre opened in 1965 with Charlton Heston in “Major Dundee”. It received its name by being located across the street from the Plaza at King of Prussia Mall. There was some glass exterior frontage, and a nicely designed lobby.

Seating was on the main floor and a balcony. The balcony was set relatively far back in the auditorium. The Eric Plaza was twinned c.1975, by building a wall down the middle of the auditorium. Even after twinning, each auditorium had between 500 and 550 seats and a not too small screen of about twenty five feet wide for ‘scope films. Curtains were used in front of the screens until 1994 when United Artists ceased using curtains.

In 1980, Sameric Corporation of Philadelphia took over the Eric Plaza Theatre. The theatre was later operated by United Artists after they bought Sameric Corp’s. theatres in 1989. The theatre closed in 1999 as United Artists opened in 2000 the King of Prussia megaplex on the other side of the mall.

The Wolfsonian in Florida have a design drawing and three photos of the theatre in their collection. Drew Eberson is attributed as the architect.

Contributed by Graeme McBain, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 1, 2007 at 6:54 am

Mainstream movies were shown. In September 1994, I saw Forrest Gump at the Plaza. The next month, I saw Quiz Show. In November 1998, I saw The Siege.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 1, 2007 at 7:00 am

The “zone” of movie theaters which didn’t show the same movie at the same time included the Plaza, the nearby King and Queen, a movie theater at the Valley Forge Convention Center (possibly in the hotel), and the Gateway at Devon, which was a three screener operated by AMC.

timquan
timquan on October 21, 2008 at 8:39 pm

I know this theatre was owned by RKO Stanley Warner. They also owned the Moorestown Plaza Theatre before both were bought by Sameric.

moviemandarin
moviemandarin on November 30, 2008 at 4:11 pm

The Plaza had to have been opened pre-1969. Both My Fair Lady (1964) and Olivier’s Othello (1965) were there on hard ticket. Also,Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) played there BEFORE it was twinned.It was a beautiful theatre; absolutely one of the best places to see a film in the suburbs, especially 70mm, 6-track.BTW it had a virtually twin in Cheltenham—The Cheltenham Theatre. Built a few years prior to the Plaza, also owned by Stanley-Warner, most likely the same architect. The interior was just about identical to the Plaza. Played both The Sand Pebbles and Becket on hard ticket, and a sub-run of Lawrence Of Arabia, which was stunning in 70mm/6-track.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on April 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm

The United Artists-Eric-RKO Stanley Warner’s Plaza King of Prussia Twin Theatre should be listed as “Demolished”

hondo59
hondo59 on September 24, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Was this place completely torn down or is it part of an existing building – maybe Crate and Barrel?

atmos
atmos on June 27, 2011 at 3:08 am

The Wolfsonian archives in Florida have a date for this theatre of 1965,so Drew Eberson would be the architect as John died in 1954.The Cheltenham Theatre was also Drew Eberson built somewhere between 1960 and 1963.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on December 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm

The Boxoffice Magazine has a mini artice in the 4/6/1964 magazine about having a US District aproving Stanley Warner’s petition to built the Plaza Theatre.

http://www.boxoffice.com/the_vault/issue_page?issue_id=1964-4-6&page_no=6#page_start

chinatownkid
chinatownkid on April 10, 2013 at 7:33 am

I seem to remember that whenever I went to see a movie at this theater I was always stuck hearing the movie playing on the next screen over too. Something was loopy with their sound-system.

I went to see the Doors here and I was pretty clearly hearing the Silence of the Lambs at the same time. Not a bad cinema otherwise.

bfpig3
bfpig3 on December 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm

I managed this theater in late ‘89 and '90. Great theater. There was a pack of pictures in the office with opening day photos of the theater. The first movie was Major Dundee. The original concession stand was between the theater doors, but closed up and used for storage by the time I was there. Really neat decor and red leather in the original snack bar. I wish I would have copied the pictures or even taken some of my own!

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