Mary Lee Theatre

308 Main Street,
Boswell, PA 15531

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Mary Lee Theatre

Opened on December 25, 1937, the Mary Lee Theatre was closed in 1965. The former Mary-Lee Theatre resides in the Historic District of Boswell, on the 300 block of Main Street. Although most of the original facade still remains, the interior has been gutted and converted into office space.

Contributed by John Coursey

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 29, 2011 at 9:07 am

Owned by Co-Operative Theater Service.

Opened Christmas Day in 1937.

More info and photos always welcome.

SethG
SethG on February 18, 2018 at 9:41 am

Marker is in the wrong place. The street number is between 300 and 308 (eastern corner of Main and Morris). The Odd Fellows hall next door is 310. Opening in 1937 was inauspicious, because the local coal mine closed in 1939, and the nearby mine in Jerome closed in 1945. Surprised it hung on as long as it did.

Google has shockingly poor coverage of this entire area. Most towns got one quick pass on the main road past town in 2008 and nothing since, so still no streetview. I had sent the one photo to John years ago so he could add this, and I’ve finally gotten around to editing the batch. I’ll post a link to Flickr when I upload them.

Lastly, there was another theater in town. It may have been called the Nicollette, and was much older. Based on the one photo I found, if it hasn’t been demolished, it might be the building on Center St next to the Borough Hall/Fire Station (marked on Google map). Sadly, I didn’t realize anything was on Center, so no picture of that.

SethG
SethG on February 19, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Owner’s daughters? There’s a tiny scrap of terrazzo left in front, and it’s written as ‘Mary-Lee’ there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 19, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Mary Lee Sheftic (an Anglicized, semi-phonetic spelling of the original family surname, Szewczyk), 1937-2015. Obituary.

The family also owned a house in Boswell called the Sheftic Theatre. The October 2, 1954, issue of Boxoffice said that the Sheftic Theatre, remodeled and equipped for CinemaScope after having been closed for several years, had reopened on October 1, while the Mary Lee had been closed on September 30.

Back in the early 1920s, Boswell had a house called the Elden Theatre, operated by Frank Elden, who died in 1923. In the late 1930s a house called the Vernon Theatre operated in opposition to the Mary Lee. Charles Szewczyk bought the Vernon from its operator, V. F. Scott, in 1940, noted in the September 20 issue of The Film Daily. The Vernon probably became the Sheftic, and might have been the old Elden. Charles Szewczyk/Sheftic also owned a drive-in in the vicinity of Boswell in the 1950s.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on February 19, 2018 at 11:45 pm

What was the name of the drive-in he owned?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 20, 2018 at 12:45 pm

I haven’t discovered the name of their drive-in at Boswell, but the family’s County Amusement Co. had the Richland and Westmont Drive-Ins near Johnstown, as well as some indoor houses in that city.

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