Cheltenham Theatre

2385 Cheltenham Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA 19150

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Cheltenham Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

When the Cheltenham Theatre first opened in 1961, it was owned by RKO-Stanley-Warner Theatres. It was closed by RKO and taken over by the now vanished Budco Theatre circuit which twinned the theatre.

Budco Theatres was sold to AMC in 1987 and the large multiplex circuit decided to close the theatre for good that same year.

A newer eight-screen multiplex bearing the Cheltenham name and operated by United Artists Theatres was located in the mall and outside of the mall, until it closed in 2008. The old Cheltenham Theatre is, however, long gone.

Contributed by Ronnie Colbert

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

RickG
RickG on December 2, 2010 at 4:36 pm

The opening date for this theater remains in question. I have found dates that range from 1954 to 1964. I watched ‘40 Pounds of Trouble’ at the theater on December 31, 1962. It was the opening day of this movie and was advertised as the Grand Opening of the theater. I entered the auditorium via the far left aisle and took an aisle seat about half way down. I remember the left arm rest being loose. The film was not a smash hit and possible helped to lead the film studios not to release films the week after Christmas. (Yes, December 31st. I was 16 and had no life.)

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Grand opening described in this 1961 trade article: Boxoffice

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm

New link to 1962 article cited above by Gerald A. DeLuca: Boxoffice

Cartooniverse
Cartooniverse on September 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I too was lucky enough to experience the 2001 screening during its initial run there. Too young to remember if it was a Cinerama screen installation or flat 70mm. Thank you for the clarification !!

ronnie21
ronnie21 on December 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm

This theater in the early 80’s got mostly horror movies…

Historfish
Historfish on June 12, 2013 at 1:27 am

I was an usher at the Cheltenham Movie theater between 1973-75 when it was owned by RKO. It was a single screen. The Manager was Mr.Warshawer and Edith…Fun times.

Historfish
Historfish on June 12, 2013 at 1:36 am

At that time Edith was a chain smoker in her mid 50’s, and the 75 year old doorman was deaf. I miss them both.

dennisczimmerman
dennisczimmerman on June 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm

“The Sand Pebbles” was another film presented at the Cheltenham on a road show basis. I have ticket stubs from Friday, March 10, 1967 for the 8pm performance. The admission was $2.75 and our seats were located in the center section of Row Y, seats 101-102-103-104. I remember being impressed with this theatre even though it was a newer one. It was quite large with one floor seating if I remember correctly. Sorry to think it, along with so many other theatres, ended up being a pile of rubble.

TheALAN
TheALAN on February 8, 2014 at 11:08 pm

The Cheltenham Theatre, seating 1,500, opened with a single-screen in 1961 with Walt Disney’s “The Parent Trap” starring Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith. The mammoth pearl-coated movie screen, at 60' x 25', was one of the largest in the world. The projection room was equipped for standard 35mm motion pictures, wide-screen or CinemaScope, and 70mm films. It was also equipped with six-channel stereophonic sound. The Cheltenham Theatre wouldn’t be twinned until its acquisition by Budco Theatres in 1984. AMC Cinemas (now AMC Theatres) acquired Budco and the Cheltenham Theatre on December 31, 1986 and closed it almost immediately. It has since been demolished.

Source: Box Office Magazine — February 12, 1962 — Pages 42-43.

Note: Since the article that this information was extracted from appeared on February 12, 1962, it would not have been possible for the “Grand Opening” of this theater to have occurred on December 31, 1962!

rivest266
rivest266 on May 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Grand opening ad at http://fultonhistory.com/Newspapers%2023/Philadelphia%20PA%20Inquirer/Philadelphia%20PA%20Inquirer%201961/Philadelphia%20PA%20Inquirer%201961%20a%20-%205886.pdf or in the photo section.

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