Eric's Mark I Theatre

1800 Market Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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nld3 on December 2, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Does anyone know if this is the Theater where Star Wars 77 first played in Center City?

HowardBHaas on May 23, 2016 at 4:31 am

Robert Ford also added this post- Ruth Louge and Joe Bright were the managers. They treated me like a son. Wonderful people!

HowardBHaas on May 23, 2016 at 4:19 am

Robert Ford who later worked at the Sameric (Boyd) posted at Facebook page for Friends of the Boyd, in reply to whether he had worked at other movie theaters & his recollections the following:

Also, to answer your question, I worked at all of the Eric theaters at one time or another. As a North Catholic high school kid, I was hired in 1977 for the first Star Wars movie which opened at a Eric’s place at 1519 Chestnut St.

Sometime after, I want to say maybe eight months to a year? The manager at Eric’s Mark 1 Took a liking to me and requested a transfer for me. The reason I mention this is because after all of those months of Star Wars at Eric’s Place, the movie was moved to Eric’s Mark 1. How’s that for luck? Funny thing is, I loved it! This time, at the Mark one it was in the stereo sound. Some people may not remember this, but at Eric’s Place it wasn’t in stereophonic sound.

Marlon Martinez
Marlon Martinez on June 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Howard, I love how every car in the 70’s was dented with a hubcap missing:) Have anyone been able to access the basement of the hotel to see what it looks like now?

HowardBHaas on June 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

another photo

HowardBHaas on June 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I’ve today placed a rendering, in the photo gallery.

lonixcap on September 3, 2011 at 12:24 am

Saw Star Wars, Barry Lyndon, and The Deer Hunter there. For 70mm, it did seem small compared to the Boyd. I just remember the then-new Dolby Stereo during the space battles in Star Wars and, yeah, it rocked!

LeifJonker on July 4, 2010 at 9:34 am

No photo links for the Eric Mark 1?

HowardBHaas on June 21, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I saw more movies at the Eric Mark I than you did, and am going to disagree about the screen being “small” though it wasn’t as huge as the screen at the Boyd (Sameric).

For a long time, we had a photo of one of the dogs in the Sameric (Boyd) on our website ( It is not there now, but maybe later we will put it back up.

ediemer on June 21, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I should have said that “Star Wars” had been playing at Eric’s Place “for some time” before they moved it to the Mark I-six months, in fact! Remember how all Sameric theaters were required to have those two dog statues in the lobby by order of owner Shapiro? They were his dogs Duke and Duchess. Of course he named a theater after them, like he did for his son Eric. (Eric’s Place) He was nuts about those dogs-when they died, the theaters went “dark” in memory. The son ended up dying young from too much money, drugs and partying-the theaters didn’t go dark then! Anyway, the dog statues hung around for years, long after people forgot what they were for. Usually one was broken…

ediemer on June 21, 2009 at 6:18 pm

I went to this theater only once-to see “Dune” in 70mm. It really was not the greatest place to see a film-because of the entrances below it, the screen was not centered, but pushed to one side. People sitting on the one side were definitely out of luck. 70mm equipment was installed for “Star Wars”-the film had been playing there for some time when they made the change. The screen was rather small, so it didn’t make much difference. But 70mm at Sam’s Place or the Sameric (Boyd) was a different matter!

kencmcintyre on January 24, 2009 at 8:09 pm

I haven’t thought about this theater in a long time. I went to one movie there, title unrecalled, on a cold winter day, probably because I was tired of being outside. As Howard points out in the introduction, this wasn’t the happening part of town in the 80s.

nostalaged on January 24, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Loved seeing “Compromising Positions” here with Raul Julia & Susan Sarandon & also “Ruthless People” with Bette Midler, both back in the 80’s. I remember how green it was color schematically & had a very underground feel to it, even though it was very spacious.

srprinter on October 19, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Saw “Flashdance” there. Great memory.