Chambersburg theater provides taste of old days

August 04, 1997


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Stephanie Salisbury saw her first movie at the Capitol Theatre when she was a little girl, so it was only fitting that she'd bring her 6-year-old daughter, Rebecca, to see a movie there on Sunday afternoon.

"When I was a kid I came here for movies. That was before the mall," said Salisbury of Chambersburg, standing in the theater's popcorn-scented lobby with her daughter, mother, and father after the showing of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

The movie was the first in a series of the Capitol Theatre's "Old Fashioned Sunday at the Movies," which is being held every Sunday at 2 p.m. this month.


Children accompanied by parents can get in for 25 cents and adults pay $2.50 to watch the family films, complete with cartoons and cliffhanger serials which were popular in an earlier era.

"It was a fun afternoon. We enjoyed it, and we'll be back," said Lillian and Dick Garrett, who drove to the theater at 159 S. Main Street from Hanover, Pa., as part of Lillian's 81st birthday celebration.

Lillian Garrett said she remembers the days when going to the movies cost a nickel and was considered a real treat.

"Next time we'll bring our friends. This is something you won't see anymore. We enjoyed this movie even if it was for children," she said.

It took three men behind the scenes to run the show from the theater's projection room, where they had to splice reels of film together and run it through the two 1948 projectors.

One man stood below to dim the lights and open and close the stage curtain on cue.

"An awful lot of work, timing and coordination goes into this production," said Judith Wolfe, executive director of the theater.

If the positive comments from the 132 adults and children who attended the movie were any indication, then it was worth the work.

"It was fantastic. We'll be back," said Joan Sachs of Chambersburg.

Next Sunday, Aug. 10, the Disney classic "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" will be playing. The feature film on Aug. 17 will be "My Fair Lady," and on Aug. 24, "Finian's Rainbow."

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