415 Market Street,
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The Campus Theatre opened January 17, 1941, with 717 seats and the movie “Love Thy Neighbor” starring Jack Benny and Fred Allen, with prices of 10/15 cents for children, 25/35 cents for adults, plus 3 cents for defense tax.
The Campus Theatre was designed by Philadelphia theatre architect David Supowitz, in the Art Deco style. Bucknell University colors orange and blue were used on the exterior and inside. The facade is an orange glazed terra cotta. The marquee has giant chrome and green neon letters. The blue bison relief on the exterior front wall and the stainless steel blue and silver images of athletes embedded into the interior lobby doors relate to the local Bucknell University spirit. The Campus Theatre opened with modern features: a chrome turnstile and seats that automatically raise when not occupied.
Inside, Art Deco style extends from its mirrored lobby and lounge furnishings to the wall and ceiling murals and light fixtures. The auditorium ceiling is painted with a wave pattern and abstracted floral designs influenced by machine geometry. Two twelve-foot high murals, male and female figures rendered in shades of blue, orange, crimson, and silver, adorn the auditorium side walls. In the rear, beige, blue, and yellow chevron and circular motifs are set on cork wall tiles. The overall effect is regional American modern.
The Campus Theatre was owned and operated by the Stiefel family until 2001. It was then sold to Bucknell University film professor Eric Faden. In 2011, a $2.5 million six month refurbishment occurred, restoring and updating the entire interior of the theatre. The theatre continues to show first-run independent, art, and foreign films today. The theatre has also hosted two film festivals – one sponsored by the Library of Congress, the other sponsored by the French Cultural Emissary.
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