Thursday, March 31, 2016



    There's an old building on
what you might call a "side
street" in Wilkes-Barre that
aroused my curiosity the first
time I spotted it. It's on East
Thomas Street.
     The siding is deceiving.
The structure could be mistaken
for something built in the last
20 years or so. Until you take a
good look at the front!
      There's no siding there. Just
old wood and the unmistakable
form of a ticket booth!
       I first happened by the
building a few years ago when
someone was selling a large
metal gate that completely
covered the front when fully
extended. Someone said it had
been a movie theater at one
time. But that's about all I heard.
      I've always loved finding
old theaters. They bring back
memories from the days when
neighborhood theaters could be
found in....well....neighborhoods
all over the place! If you look
closely enough you can still find
some here are there.
     As noted in previous Blogs I
used to hang out at my old
neighborhood theaters where
Roy Rogers and the Bowlery
Boys ruled the big screen, "Commando
Cody" or Batman forced me back
each week to see how they survived
their Cliff Hanger, and there was
always a couple cartoons! 
     Last week my travels took me
by this old theater in Wilkes-
Barre once again. I was surprised
it was still standing. At least most
of it.
     Thanks to an old WYOU
colleague (and film critic), Al
Brocavich, I was steered to a web
site that identified the place as an
old Nickelodeon called the
"Crystal Theater" where silent
films were once shown. That's a
bit before my time. But still
interesting to me.
     According to that site the
section of the building where the
screen once stood was destroyed
when the roof collapsed under
the weight of heavy snow a few
ago. The owner, who has since
passed away, salvaged the
remainder of the building which,
thankfully, includes the historic
ticket booth.
      Sitting idle these days the
interior of the one time movie
palace now seems to be a storage
place for junk. I wouldn't think
its future would be too bright.
       I'd like to see the building
survive. Especially that
classic ticket booth where
people once purchased their
admission to excitement and
entertainment at the Crystal
       Hope it's preserved and
that all your NEWS is good.


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