Milford Theatre

106 S. Walnut Street,
Milford, DE 19963

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rivest266 on May 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm

June 1949 grand opening ad in the photo section.

muviebuf on January 27, 2017 at 11:35 pm

The last film screened at the Milford Theatre was
“Straw Dogs” with Dustin Hoffman in 1972.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 17, 2014 at 4:50 am

Two photos of Schine’s Milford Theatre illustrate this advertisement for Heywood-Wakefield seating in the September 17, 1949, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review.

DC on July 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Although now used as a church, this theate could possibly be used as live theater as well or for professional and community theater events. A lively and philanthropic venture perhaps one day could co-exist in this amazing space. “This is the day … !”

DennisH on June 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm

The rededication of Schine’s Milford Theatre occurred Saturday, June 6 as Jesus Love Temple. It was with great trepidation and a rapidly beating heart that I entered the theatre/temple to see what renovations had been made to what was my “second home” as a kid of the 50s. It took me about ten minutes to calm down as I rapidly scanned the auditorium looking for the architectural design features that characterized this remarkable theater during its heyday. Much to my surprise, Reverend Shockley and his architect were fairly true to the Ebersons' original scheme. The stage has been greatly modified with a new proscenium curtain replacing the unique and beautiful design of the original. All seats were removed and replaced with a very plush stackable type chair. Carpeting throughout the interior has been replaced. The 500 seat balcony has been sealed off. Everything has been painted a brighter color. Some of the plaster trim that adorned the walls in a running stripe has been removed and replaced with a painted version. Two backlighted bird sculptures on each sidewall have been restored, with brighter lighting. A wall has been erected to seal the seating area from the inner lobby. You must now enter the auditorium through the glass doors. The doors leading from the outer lobby to the inner lobby have been removed. The original tile and marble finish of the outer lobby are intact. So is the tile on the walls of the men’s room!

Kudos to those who had a hand in renovating this marvelous facility. Although it will never be used again strictly for its originally intended purpose as a movie theatre, at least it did not face the wrecker’s ball.

But Schine’s Milford Theatre was far more than a movie house, it was a focal point of the community, a place for social gathering. Many a lad strategically manipulated his arm around the shoulders of his first date or stole his first kiss in the darkness of the Schine’s Milford. For years every high school senior walked the length of the stage to receive his diploma, civic groups presented local talent shows as fund-raising events and the local dairy for many years sponsored the annual “Back-to-School” Saturday morning cartoon festival. I was privileged to have had a hand in staging some events on the stage myself.

It has always been disconcerting to me that the movie-going era of the single screen theatre ended. It was a magnificent time. Here’s a tip of the hat to Ray Sparkin who managed Schine’s Milford Theatre in the late 50s, early 60s. He was quite a guy who gave me many opportunities. An equally big salute to Jack Nock who served as projectionist until the theatre closed. What a perfectionist. He was the best. May both rest in peace.

JohnMessick on February 24, 2009 at 6:22 am

A paint job and window replacement…..I hate to see nice brick painted over…In a couple of years it will look like crap.

Avagara on February 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I went through Milford recently and took a photo of the exterior, which I posted on Panoramio. I’m afraid there has been some significant alteration in the facade.

kencmcintyre on October 23, 2007 at 8:52 pm

Oops. I now see the 3/2/05 post by LM providing the address. My mistake.

kencmcintyre on October 23, 2007 at 8:51 pm

The church website has some interior and exterior photos of the Milford. Click on the photo gallery. No address, however. Perhaps Pastor Shockley can give us the physical address so we can update the caption.

Jesus Love Temple
Jesus Love Temple on October 23, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Hello everyone! The exterior of the Schine is now being renovated. It should be complete by Thanksgiving ‘07. Interior renovations are scheduled to begin January '08. I’ll try to keep everyone posted on the progress. Thanks for the interest in this cinema treasure!

Pastor David A. Shockley

JohnMessick on October 23, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Lost Memory…Seth took some really nice shots. Whenever I visit realatives I always take a ride past the Milford to see if anything has been done to her. I wonder if he got the chance to take any pictures of the auditorium?

kencmcintyre on July 9, 2007 at 9:08 pm

No, none that I have now. I will post any that I find.

JohnMessick on July 9, 2007 at 8:48 pm

Whenever I visit relatives in lower Delaware I always take a ride past the Milford…ken mc, any pictures of the lobby area?

kencmcintyre on June 28, 2007 at 8:29 pm

I was reading about the Milford in the 1948 theater catalog today. Seating at the outset was 1675. Architects were John & Drew Eberson.

Jesus Love Temple
Jesus Love Temple on March 2, 2005 at 2:51 pm

Hello everyone!

I’m Pastor David A. Shockley the president of the Jesus Love Evangelist Association which currently owns the Milford Schine Theater. I appreciate everyone’s interest in this particular theater. The architect currently working on this project is W. Michael Campbell Architects out of Farmingdale, N.J. Once his final mechanical drawings are submitted to the Sussex County Fire Marshal, renovations on this building will continue. We are anticipating the grand opening of this Community Religious Cultural Center in the next months. Anyone seeking more information about our organization may contact us by e-mail: or by phone: (302)422-2110
Please check out the website we are building:

We are a non-profit organization and anyone wishing to give a charitable donation may do so by writing a check to Jesus Love Evangelist Association and mailing it to P.O. Box 1178, Milford, DE 19963

Thank you for your consideration and concern. May God Richly Bless You!

Milfordmanager on August 5, 2004 at 9:44 pm

The Schine Milford did not close until 1972—I know because I was the manager at the time. The “last picture show” was Straw Dogs, with Dustin Hoffman, and was very poorly attended. At the time, the theatre was being leased by Countrywide Theatres.

The theatre has a curious history. Built in 1948, at a time when scores of theatres were closing nationwide, it replaced the New Plaza Theatre which burned in 1946. With 3 balconies and 1,800 seats, the building always seemed too large for a town of about 5,000 (at the time). It was the largest movie house on the Eastern Shore.

I would very much like to research the history and Architect of this very unusual Late Movie Palace, and would appreciate any help or information.

PS- The Building has been a church for 30 years, and to my knowlege is NOT being renovated as a performing Arts center. While it is still largely intact, it has been slowly crumbling for some time now.