Cinema 5

116 Heister Street,
State College, PA 16803

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 23, 2018 at 4:18 pm

The October 10, 1967 opening means Associated Theatres missed thier target date. The August 7 issue of Boxoffice had reported that the twin was expected to open in early September.

I’m wondering if the giant box of popcorn displayed on the Calder Way side of the building is an artifact left over from the theater operation. The theater closed over ten years ago and the building was converted for retail use, and though it is currently occupied mostly by restaurants I doubt any of them serve boxes of popcorn.

rdimucci on October 15, 2016 at 11:02 pm

Associated Theaters operated the Cinema I and II for the years I attended PSU (1969-73). I saw many films there during that time. It looks like it was kept in good condition right to the end.

rivest266 on September 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Grand opening ad in photo section.

kagami101 on April 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Of all the theaters that have closed in State College, this one hurt the most. I saw so many movies there. I remembered standing in line with my dad for HOURS to see “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and going on dates there with my future wife before we got married and left town. I even worked there for a time. I was back in town when they were gutting it a few years ago and it was like the last few shreds I had of my childhood got shot right in the head. The town I grew up in was no more.

charlene on October 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Hello Jack, would love to be able to use some of your infomraiton for a histrocial plaque that we want to do on the building. Any problems withe doing that?

DTSguy on August 27, 2011 at 7:31 am

This is the theater that housed all the Star Wars reissues in 1997; considering the surrounding choices at the time, it was not a half-bad presentation and they put in DTS sound around 1996.

shanadavid on March 16, 2010 at 10:38 am

Does anyone know the status of this theater now? Is it for sale?


jdbeard184 on January 18, 2010 at 8:28 am

Sorry Jack. When Facebook changed their privacy options, I must have made all my albums visible to friends only. This should be corrected now.

jdbeard184 on May 2, 2009 at 6:51 pm

It’s been too long since I’ve been to this page. Great find, Chuck1231! I wonder where this company found all these photos. This was the first time I saw a picture of the theatre as a twin. Also, I found the Arena on the site.

I have upload a few pictures to the link below. More of the “technical” pictures appear towards the end of the album. I will try to upload more photos as time permits. ~Jarryd

View link

kencmcintyre on November 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Here is an October 10, 1967 article about the opening from the Daily Collegian:

helman700 on August 4, 2008 at 11:32 am

well it’s not the last movie theatre downtown, the fact that the State has lasted since the 30s is pretty impressive. It is the last remaining movie theatre downtown, though I’ll conceed that the 5 was the last to show movie’s like superbad and talladega nights, thankfully they’ve been relegated to the suburbs. And don’t worry we will soon have a brand new goverment subsidized state-of-the-art multiplex on Fraser. What the free-market couldn’t do, the borough will perfect. i’m still surprised the 6 is still around, and I keep getting ads for management positions at Carmike Cinemas, they must be making one last stab at it.

JohnMessick on January 29, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Jack..very nice write up on the Capitol. Just need some pictures…

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on January 29, 2008 at 2:44 pm

The Capitol Theatre, Milton, PA basic info has been submitted. Should be available soon.

Cinema Treasures is not currently accepting new photos. As soon as they get the new format up and running, I’ll be adding pictures and info on at least 6 theatres including the Cinema 5.State College.

Check out the Sheridan Square in Pittsburgh. I posted some info about the Variety Club which started there while showing WINGS.

JohnMessick on January 3, 2008 at 4:14 am

Jack pictures and news clippings of Cinema 5 would be great. Still looking forward to your posting on the Capitol in Milton

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on January 2, 2008 at 8:26 pm

State College, PA
First true multiplex in the USA
First automated projection on East Coast.
20 October 1967 – 20 December 2007
R. I. P.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on January 2, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Jarryd (and others)

I have several pictures and news clippomgs, including the original 1967 opening. I shall try to post them in a day or so. A 40 year reunion of former “Cinema Staff and Management” would be a great thing if it could be pulled off.


jdbeard184 on January 2, 2008 at 6:48 pm

After more than 40 years of operation, Cinema 5’s last day of business way Thursday, December 20, 2007. The final films to be shown were Awake, Dan in Real Life, Enchanted, The Golden Compass, and The Mist. Though all screens were equipped with digital projection for just over a year (installed November 2006), The Mist was booked in 35mm film for the last week of business. It was a fitting end to have film projected on screen for one final week. I was fortunate enough to thread the projector for the last show. for many of us, Cinema 5 will be missed. I will attempt to post recent picture of the theatre once the feature is enabled again. Jack, do you happen to have any photos from the theatre’s earlier years of operation?

JohnMessick on November 23, 2007 at 6:59 pm

Jack, I was by the former Capitol site today. Your right it is a park. The next door neighbor is a church(?)

JohnMessick on November 22, 2007 at 6:35 am

Jack..looking forward to seeing the photos of the Capitol and your write up.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on November 20, 2007 at 5:23 pm

I will be adding the Capitol, Milton, in a few days, including photos. It was located on Broadway. About a year after I sold it, it burned to the ground. I think a park is on the former Capitol sight.

JohnMessick on November 20, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Jack Ober..Where was your theater in Milton? I have been to the Campus in Lewisburg and to the Watson in Watsontown and the Ritz in Muncy.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on November 19, 2007 at 7:46 am

Ralph Pilo was the original manager at the Cinema One and Two.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on November 18, 2007 at 11:15 pm

State College, PA is one of the best places to live in the east. I spent many happy years in “Happy Valley” operating theatres in Central PA. Hearing of the closing of the Cinema 6 is like hearing of the passing of an old friend.

When the “Cinemas” opened in the late 60’s, State College became a six screen town plus an additional pair of drive-in screens, Starlight D/I and Temple D/I. The indoor venues included the venerable Cathaum, State, Nittnay/Garden, and Twelvetrees/Flick. The Cinema One and Two was the first twin theatre to be built as a true multiplex in PA. It was originally design to be a “roadshow” theatre and a conventional screen with an opera drape type front curtain. Cinema one seated 1100 and Cinema Two accommodated 500. John “Jack Hogan and Merle Baker were the two main projectionist from the opening until Mr. Hogan unexpectedly died a couple years ago. Both auditoriums used shag carpeting for wall coverings and sound dampening. Cinema one had a few “lovers’ seats” which were big enough for two people to share.

Cinema 1 and 2 was originally supposed to be a Stanley Warner house; but was actually opened by Associated (Stern) Theatres of Pittsburgh. I took over management of the Cinemas and Flick in 1969 while supervising three theatres in Altoona and the first theatre I owned in Milton, PA.
A dozen people were trained at the Cinemas to become managers of Associated Theatres in the Pittsburgh. Others started their career at the Cinemas and went on to become manager/operators and union stage workers.

The Cinemas were noted for “old school” showmanship and promotions. One of my favorites was the “Diamonds Are Forever” release. Patrons were greeted by 007 music under the marquee and special marquee art work. A beautiful young lady in seductive “Bond-girl” attire greeted all patrons while a seemingly armed guard stood watch over a display of what was advertised as the “Worlds Largest Gems.” Lucky popcorn boxes contained coupons for small prizes. One box contained a real 1 ½ carat diamond! Yep, those were the days…for me at least.

More about State College theatres at another time.

Jack Oberleitner