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The Hilander was the project of local business men…
Albert Tate, Johnny Winsick and Joseph Glorisso. It was
a state of the art theater, for its time, with a smoke
room on the left side of the projection room and a cry
room on the right,each with approximately 12 seats.The
theater comfortable. A year or so after opening 4 track
magnetic sound, with surround was added to enhance cinemascope presentations….but was not used very often because of extra rental cost and availability of
magnetic prints. The theater was long and somewhat narrow which made it impossible to twin or quad so it stands empty.It was the only area theater that had a curtain.
The fire in 1949 ultimately helped the Penn Theater.
Not only did they lose a competitor (REGENT) They gained badly needed parking space, directly across the street.This parking lot remained for the rest of “Penn Theater’s Days”
The Crescent Theater was locally owned. For a short period of time, prior to closing for good, the theater was run by Norm Freeborn and Johnny Brogan, union projectionists from the State Theater.In addition, they
ran the State Theater when long time owner Morris Markley called it quits.
This is the only way a movie should be projected
I was releif projectionist at almost every new castle theater, including the penn from 1956 on (hilander,state,victor,supercastle drive in) my father was chief projectioist at the penn theater for almost 40 years retiring when it closed.I saw or ran almost every movie that played there. I don’t remember the tiffney chandelers but do remember the giant statue of william penn setting on top of rhe marque. The cinemascope screen was large but not wall to wall as exit doors to the left & right limited size. the giant panoramic screen was not so giant for the same reason.Penn, unlike the hilander, had 3 track stereo magnetic sound but never added surround speakers.the hilander has full stereo. leo mickey was an outstanding manager. The penn had one of the largest and most comfortable projection roome i ever saw. tooooo bad it had to be torn down. it could be a fine 4-plex today and a spark plug for downtown.