King Theatre

419 E. King Street,
Lancaster, PA 17602

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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.

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.

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 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.

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!

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.

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.

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

old442dude on April 12, 2009 at 8:10 am

I worked with the family who managed the King, Comet and Sky-Vue theaters many years ago, after the theaters were closed. I’m trying to surprise them, does anyone have pics of any of those 3?

kencmcintyre on December 11, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Here is a blurb from Boxoffice magazine, April 1950:

Larry Mackay, former manager of the Arcadia, has been named manager of Harry Chertcoff’s new King Theater in Lancaster.

HowardBHaas on July 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm

June 2008 exterior photos:
View link
View link

CharlesFosterKane on May 31, 2008 at 10:13 am

Forgot to mention that I went to the Historical Society and was suprised at how few photos there were there. Was able to find that journal and give it a quick read…very interesting.

CharlesFosterKane on May 31, 2008 at 9:52 am

Stumbled across this thread and was fascinated with the conversation. About a week ago I embarked on a project to gather photos of all the main theaters in Lancaster as a collage for my basement. This has proved a little tougher than I thought, but fun nonetheless. I was able to get a great shot of The Strand and another of the Capital, Hamilton and Boyd. As nice as the latter is I’d still like to get one of each individually. I’m sure you have those photos in your press clippings becuase I actually work at Lancaster Newspapers where I found them in the archives. I also found some really cool 5X7 negatives from The King. There were shots of opening night with Kendig cutting the ribbon, as well as two really cool photos of the projection room and private theater room. Not sure how many showed up over the years in the paper, but I’m certain not all were used. I actually went to The King yesterday and the lady that runs the building was very gracious in showing me around. There is a really good photo of the theater from back in the day with others behind the old glass poster frame….I’m sure you’ve seen it. She took the poster out and was going to let me take it and make a copy, but I was not comfortable with that. I tried, but it was glued on and I did not want to tear it trying, so I just took a photo of the photo and it turned out great. All this to say, if you have any pics you think I might be interested in and could get a copy of I’d be eternally grateful. At this point if I could get a good shot of the Capital I could be happy. Sorry for making this so long…if you get a chance you can respond to me here or shoot me an e-mail to

dennisczimmerman on September 29, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Krupa Family: I have a scrapbook of pictures I took, newspaper articles I saved about the closing and demolition of the theatres. Do you live in the Lancaster, PA area?? I even have the Journal of the Lanc. Co. Historical Society that has the article you mentioned. I have been promising to get together with another CT member so he could look at the stuff I have, however, there just does not seem to be any time. There were three theatres on the one side of the street. The Hippodrome which was later renamed the Capital, the Hamilton, and the Colonial which was later renamed the Boyd. I remember the long long lobby and foyer of the Capitol Theatre. Anyway, I would be more than happy to exchange info and stories.

holtmann on September 24, 2007 at 8:05 am


My grandfather (George Krupa) was the owner of the Hippodrome, Capitol and Hamilton Theatres in Lancaster, PA. I saw that you have pictures of the demolition era and would love to find out where you obtained them. There is an interesting article in the Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society entitled, “The House of Krupa, a History of the Motion Picture Industry in Lancaster” that describes a lot about the history of his theatres. Since he died when I was very young, this is my only source of information about him and his love of motion pictures. I recently became interested when I found out that the business office of Franklin and Marshall College was once owned by my grandfather and my daughter is now looking at F&M for college. Any info you could provide me would be greatly appreciated!

atmos on July 31, 2007 at 6:37 am

John Eberson was the architect.

dennisczimmerman on June 24, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Gencin: The Wonderland Theatre opened as a single screen in 1966 or 1967. In 1971 a second theatre was added. This was the theatre that was built parallel to Route 30. The original theatre was perpendicular to the highway. In 1977 the original theatre was twinned. Then in 1986 the 2nd theatre was twinned as well. Prior to the twinning, both theatres were large and very sizable screens. However, the twinning ended those benefits. They were operated for 33 years and were closed on 9/6/2001. Earl Realty, owners of Dutch Wonderland, did not renew the lease with AMC the then current operators of the four theatres. However, it was also rumored that AMC did not want to renew either as they were closing their smaller locations in favor of multiplexes with 12 or more screens. The Eden Theatre opened in 1969 and was operated by ABC theatres. Budco took over the theatre in 1976 or 1977. They also operated the Wonderland at the time. The Eden was twinned in 1978. Thus another larger theatre with a nice sized screen bit the dust. AMC purchased the Budco chain while it was still operated as a twin. However, they did not renew their lease with the Eden Resort, which actually owned the theatre. There were several operators after AMC pulled out. The last operator used the theatre as a reduced admission rerun theatre. The Eden was closed by AMC on 1/23/97. Another operator took over and reopened on 2/7/97 as a subrun reduced admission venue. However, However on 5/30/98 the Eden Closed and was demolished soon thereafter. There is a Sheetz gas and convenience store on that property now.

wocmfm on May 13, 2007 at 8:51 pm

i grew up in lancaster area and was always was a cinema january of 1974 i took a part-time job at the wonerland BUDCO cinema,and worked there on and off until sept. of 1980!!the staff were theater veterns who came from the older venues in the area,some going back to the 1930s...note worthy titles during my tenure: pappillion(steve Mcqueen),the sting(which ran for 6 months straight in 1974)the orig. JAWS(june 1975,and sold out three shows nightly for a month)....i want back to see a movie fall of 1992,everything still looked much the same....the main lobby housed a very large,modernistic styled in search of photos(new & old)of any lancaster area theaters,pre 1980.

Marcel on May 7, 2007 at 5:30 pm

I have many fond memories of the Wonderland 4 when i was a child because my parents always took us to a movie here after going to dutch Wonderland. Saw all the cool 80’s flicks here like “Gremlins” and “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” I attended the Eden once- it was o.k., the staff was friendly. When did the Wonderland 4 and Eden actually close? I rode by once in August of 1994 and took pictures-The Wonderland had “The Mask”, “Natural Born Killers”, “Clear And Present Danger” and “Trial By Jury.” I take my family to Dutch Wonderland now and it’s just not the same not seeing the marquee out there on 30 anymore, or being able to take my kids. It’s so built up now-I remember a time when it was Dutch Wonderland, Howard Johnson’s and Denny’s out there- the few hotels 0n 30 would fill up and my Dad would drive up to denver looking for a room, in our beat up matador!

JohnMessick on January 8, 2007 at 1:37 am

DennisZ..drop me a line at > Would like to hear from you.

JohnMessick on January 6, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Yes, Dennis this site is getting slower. In fact sometimes when I bring up the site, my name doesn’t appear as a member. Sure thing I would like to meet sometime. I have been to the Allen. It has been awhile though. Mount Joy could use a theater. You know the saying, “What is old is new again.”

dennisczimmerman on January 6, 2007 at 1:15 pm

John – Sorry for the delay. No I do not have any pictures of the Joy Theatre. Just remember going there when I was a kid (10-12 years old) when visiting my Grandmother who lived in Mt. Joy. I had sent an email to the Mt. Joy Chamber of Commerce asking if they could give me any information as to the ownership of the theatre or any contact information. No one there had the decency of replying to my email. I know I have read in the Lancaster papers how the Mt. Joy Chamber and area business people are trying to revive the “main street.” A operating movie theatre would go a long way to do that. But I guess no one took my email seriously. I just know what the restoration of the Allen Theatre in Annville has done to that community and think it can happen on other main streets as well. Have you ever gone to the Allen. It is worth the trip! Granted it is a college town with Lebanon Valley College located there. However, it has quite a wide range of patrons. Most times when we have gone there there was more older patrons than college patrons. Of course, I guess that depends on the movie. “Dreamgirls” is supposed to be their next attraction. With the Lucas sound system installed by Clair Brothers that should be an exceptional place to see that movie! Now that the holidays are over, perhaps we can meet somewhere and I can loan you my scrapbook and collection of articles on movie theatres in the area. P.S. – Is this site getting slower again? Lately it seems to take a long time after you long on to get anywhwere!

JohnMessick on January 3, 2007 at 4:43 am

I have to disagree with part of Jonathan M Crist post on April the 1st 2004. Where the Hill theater sat is not the place where a drug store sits today. That was the Hill’s parking lot. The Hill sat on the lower side of what was Landis Jewelers. The Hill was demolished and a 2 story office building built in its place.