College Theatre

627 S. Chester Road,
Swarthmore, PA 19081

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Budco

Architects: Karl F. Otto

Functions: Retail

Styles: Colonial Revival, Neo-Georgian

Nearby Theaters

College Theatre and Shops, Chester Road late 1980s

Opened on September 20, 1946 with Carol Raye in “Waltz Time”, the College Theatre has a single story Georgian style façade, in Colonial style brick with four columns supporting a portico. The auditorium had all seating on a single floor. Notable decoration were two large photo-murals midway down the side-walls over emergency exits. These depicted the Parrish Hall (the main building of Swarthmore College) and the Clothier Memorial Tower at Swarthmore College.

It was closed on December 5, 1987 with Tim Curry in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. The College Theatre has been turned into stores.

Contributed by Robert Rooney, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

ronnie21 on May 14, 2011 at 9:59 am

Any more memories or info on this theater would be appreciated. For example, i wonder what year they changed everything and turned it into a business office? Did the theater sit for a few years once it closed??

ronnie21 on September 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Mad Max shown here in 1980 also…

ronnie21 on October 10, 2011 at 1:04 am

what happened to the 1983 photo that was on here??

ronnie21 on January 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm

college theater from May 1983.

ronnie21 on January 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm

chuck, i really wish i was old enough to see movies at this theater. I pass it by almost everyday. You can see in the back of the shopping center that the one part of it stands out really far in the back, thats where the theater was….

ronnie21 on July 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Nightmare on elm street played here for like a week in july of 85…

ronnie21 on September 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I noticed that the college theater played moslty exploitation and B horror movies between 1979-1982, mainly 80 and 81.. but by 1983, they went more main stream, by 84 on up, they were like family and bigger budget films..

ronnie21 on September 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm

another case of a theater where one week you would have blood beach and the next week snow white…

ronnie21 on February 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Closed in March of 87. I think the last movie that played here was hannah and her sisters.. and star trek IV played here a week before that.

dallasmovietheaters on May 7, 2022 at 9:12 pm

The College Theatre launched on September 20, 1946 with “Waltz Time.” It appears to have closed with “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on December 5, 1987. If so, that’s a good way to go out.

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