Savar Theatre

633-37 Market Street,
Camden, NJ 08102

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Savar Theater

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Built in 1936, this strikingly modern theater must have really stood out amongst the mostly traditional architecture of downtown Camden.

Savar is a contraction of the name of theater owner Samuel Varbalow; his Savar Corporation would operate several theaters in and around Camden as late as the ‘70s. This flagship house wouldn’t last that long; it closed in 1964 and was demolished soon after.

Contributed by RickB

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 7, 2005 at 7:31 am

The Savar Theatre had a seating capacity of 1,500 given in Film Daily Yearbooks 1941 and 1943. In the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. it gives a seating capacity of 1,732.

barrygoodkin on October 29, 2005 at 8:58 am

The Savar Theatre was designed by architect William H. Lee.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 2, 2007 at 12:54 pm

The Savar was one of the most dazzling cinemas built in the midst of the Depression. Here are three views copied from a 1936 trade journal:

kencmcintyre on November 2, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Hard to believe that was in Camden. I never saw the town in its better days.

LuisV on January 17, 2008 at 3:55 pm

This must have been some theater; especially for Camden! I suppose we couldn’t expect Camden to retain their movie thaters when even Philadelphia, right across the river, has only been able to keep one: The Boyd. And even that one is hanging by a thread.

Unfortunately, Camden is so far gone that even if a theater had survived, it is unlikely it could ever survive any economically feasible alternate use. The city is a pit and not many people seem to care about it.

Even on CT, it’s amazing how few comments there are from people who might have attended these theaters in their youth.

At least Jersey City managed, miraculously, to keep not one palace but two: The Loews Jersey and The Stanley. Even better; they’re right across the street from one another.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2008 at 10:49 am

New direct links to images previously displayed above on 11/2/07:
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veyoung52 on April 25, 2008 at 5:03 pm

South Jersey’s first CinemaScope presentation, “The Robe,” premiered here December 30, 1953.

Tinseltoes on October 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm

The Savar is prominently featured in this lecture about Camden theatres: youtube

Tinseltoes on June 25, 2012 at 11:19 am

Two views of the Savar’s unique auditorium can be found in this 1940 trade article: boxofficemagazine

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