Quaker Cinema

158 West High Avenue,
New Philadelphia, OH 44663

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 5, 2010 at 3:00 am

The Quaker was built for the Shea circuit. Shea then already operated a theater called the Union in New Philadelphia. The Union Theatre had been built as the Union Opera House in 1863, according to Boxoffice of July 1, 1939, which reported that the new Shea house was under construction.

However, Boxoffice of June 22, 1940, reported that ground had just been broken for Shea’s new house at New Philadelphia, so unless they built two theaters there in that short space of time (I can’t find any evidence that they did) the original project must have been delayed.

I haven’t found the opening month for the Quaker, but the November 9, 1940, issue of Boxoffice reported that, following the opening of the Quaker, admission prices at the Union Theatre had been reduced.

Shea operated both the Quaker and the Union into the 1950s. The last mention of the Union I’ve found is in Boxoffice of October 30, 1954. I don’t know what became of the building after that.

pjason
pjason on February 25, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Hoyts(now Regal)Cinema at the New Towne Mall basically forced this theater and another twin cinema next to the old Nichols store out in the early 90s.
Ironically,if I recall correctly,the Quaker had some trouble reopening in the later 90s as a second run due to some resistance from Hoyts.

At any rate it’s a nice theater,and downtown New Philadelphia just wouldn’t look right without it!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 22, 2007 at 6:34 pm

The Quaker was operated by Shea Enterprises in the early sixties. Gerald Shea was president and GM. This company ran theaters in New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania at the time.