Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cinemas of the World: LOEW's REGENT Theatre, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Loew’s REGENT Theatre, at 410 Market Street, was the Harrisburg chapter of the national Loew’s chain of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer “flagship” theaters.

These photographs show Loew's after it closed around 1960. Both shots look down Market St. towards Market Square.  

In the above the large building is Pomeroy's department store. Beyond Pomeroy's is Doutrich's, a clothing store (vertical sign), Bowman's, another department store, and beyond Bowman's (not visible) Woolworth's five-and-dime.  The Colonial Theatre (also not visible here) was at 3rd and Market Streets.

The large photo below shows Loew's from the same POV but closer. The theater was housed in a row of old buildings which included a bar, a dry cleaner, a novelty/gag shop (which kids of the era loved), and a photography/art store. There was a parking lot which is partially seen to the far right in the above photo. The Harrisburg train station was (and is) across and set back from this Market St. block.

In its prime Loew's  Regent was the first-run Harrisburg theater for most of MGM’s prolific output of period epics, musicals (such as "Brigadoon") , and melodramas, as well the studio’s series of often well-produced B-movie and noir programmers (such as "Rogue Cop"). 

But Loew's also showed the occasional oddball independent picture. I saw  both Lippert’s unforgettable “Rocketship X-M’’ as well as “Bwana Devil,” the infamous first 3-D feature, at the Regent. 

Otto Preminger's controversial "The Man With the Golden Arm." "An Adult Picture" as the newspaper ad warned, also played there in February, 1956.

Loew's opened in 1920. But, a victim of the 1950s trust busting that forever altered the production/distribution/exhibition system of studio era Hollywood, the Regent was razed in 1961. 

More about Loew's REGENT Theatre: 

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