King Theatre

419 E. King Street,
Lancaster, PA 17602

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King Theatre

The King Theatre was opened on April 27, 1950 with Marjorie Main & Percy Kilbride in “Ma and Pa Kettle Go To Town”. All seating was on a single floor. The facade and marquee of the King Theatre survive, although the interior has been converted to residences.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 45 comments)

dennisczimmerman on July 4, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Does anyone remember when the King Theatre was retrofitted to show the movie “Windjammer” in Cinemiracle?? It opened on Oct. 26, 1960 and played until Dec. 21, 1960, which – at the time – was probably one of the longest film engagements in Lancaster’s history. I have been trying to get more information on this showing. Anyone of the Cinema Treasure members remember this? Thanks

Ross Care
Ross Care on January 26, 2010 at 9:00 pm

I lived in Harrisburg and my parents took me to Lancaster to see WINDJAMMER at the King Theater. It probably had the largest screen in Lancaster until it was twined.
Actually there was a new theater, the Eric? – in the new Lancaster Square on the second block of N. Queen St. It probably had the largest new screen in the city until it too was split in half and it was like watching a movie in a long shoe box.
Before the split I saw DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER on the huge Eric Panavision screen about six times.
The King outlasted most of the old theaters in Lancaster, most of which were razed in the “redevelopment” of the ‘60s, after which the Eric rose out of the ashes.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 27, 2010 at 4:29 am

Boxoffice of April 22, 1950, named John and Drew Eberson as architects of the King Theatre, which was then being rushed to completion.

dennisczimmerman on February 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm

The Eric rose out of the ashes, but could never replace the Capital (formerly called the Hippodrome), the Hamilton, the Boyd (formerly called the Colonial), and the Grand located on the other side of the street. The Boyd had two balcony’s and the Capital had one balcony. The Hamilton and Grand were both one floor theatres. When the King Theatre opened it had one of those curtains only on a smaller scale that was like the Radio City Music Hall curtain. However, when the screen was made larger for Cinemascope presentations that curtain was replaced with the standed center opening traverse curtain. The King was still a palatial theatre for being built in the 1950’s. The slope of the floor to the screen was very steep. If they put snow in the aisles, it would have been a good sledding hill!

Ross Care
Ross Care on February 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm

No, DennisZ, I very much agree about the Eric.
I lived on the 2nd block of North Queen for a short period and saw all of these great theaters torn down around me. It was like living in a war zone!
I was the last one in my apartment building, “The Last of the Mobile Hot Shots”…. :)
I also remember the nights the wrecking ball hit the Brunswick. It was a sturdy old building and did not go down easily.

I had a second floor apartment right down from the Grand and remember seeing several Preminger films, “The Cardinal,” “In Harm’s Way,” there. Also some of the Corman/Poe films. I remember it had a good wide screen.

I was only able to attend all of those theaters for a short time after moving to Lancaster, then came the blitz! What an incredible waste.

Do you know when the Hamilton closed? I remember the entrance, a kind of shadowy exterior vestibule, and it always fascinated me. I never got to see the interior.

I’d like to add some of these theaters to CT but I don’t have a lot of details.

Ross Care
Ross Care on November 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

I add to this album of vintage movie theaters and memorabilia from time to time:
View link

Ross Care
Ross Care on November 21, 2010 at 7:59 am

Thank you. I set it up as a kind of still photo documentary moving from the Pa. theaters I grew up with through to the vintage theaters that managed to survive out here in LA and California.
I wish I had more Pa. photos. It’s especially difficult to find photos of neighborhood theaters it seems.
I do include some newspaper ads from some Harrisburg theaters which for me is a vivid reminder of their era.

LorinWeigard on September 10, 2016 at 2:33 pm

A bit belated comment, but yes I remember when “THE KING” was equipped to show “Windjammer” in Cinemiracle. Reserved seat show like all the big screen attractions, and was just glorious that this attraction had come come to Lancaster (certainly more available than the Boyd in Philadelphia or the Town in Baltimore) Remember it was Saturday night and so exciting to be there. Don’t know that they ever had any other 3 strip attractions there. Shortly thereafter Harrisburg opened the Trans-Lux with 70mm Cinerama and the big shows went there.

rivest266 on June 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm

This opened on April 27th, 1950. Grand opening ad posted.

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