AMC 309 Cinema 9
1210 Bethlehem Pike, Routes 309 and 63,
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AMC Theatres (Official)
Operated by: AMC Theatres
Previously operated by: Budco, William Goldman Theaters Inc.
Functions: Movies (First Run)
This theatre was built by William Goldman & Co. as a single-screen theatre which opened April 10, 1968. Originally owned by Budco, which also owned the adjacent 309 Drive-In. Twinned on February 8, 1974. On February 1, 1980 another screen was added on the right side of the existing building.
In 1982 a fourth screen was added on the left side of the existing building. When AMC took over the Budco chain, they added four more screens on the north side of the building on December 3, 1982. On June 20, 1986 it became a 9-screen cinema. The theatre’s famous sign is the hexagonal “3 0 9” on the building, and the neon “309” sign on Route 309. It was closed for refurbishment/rebuilding on May 23, 2017. It was reopened March 30, 2018.
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Recent comments (view all 34 comments)
The first addition was on the left. Subsequent splitting of the two auditoria made it into a 4plex. The last addition, resulting in 9 screens, was done, prior to the purchase by AMC, by a group of hotshot movie mogul wannabees who hired a major theatre architect from Boston, rather than the local architect who designed all Budco’s facilities, who proceded to screw up the patron circulation.
Opened in 1968, the 309 Cinema, a single-screen, first run theatre was built adjacent to and on the same site as the 309 Twin Drive-In (now demolished) by Budco Theatres Inc. The theatre was twinned in the mid 1970’s and several additions and renovations to the original building, and poor planning, during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s has resulted in the hodgepodge that exists today. The cinema was rebranded the AMC 309 Cinema 9 when the Budco Theatres chain was acquired by AMC Cinemas (now AMC Theatres) at the end of 1986. Renovations to the lobby were made in the early 1990’s. And since it is a cinema, a marquee would be nice!
How many screens did this theater have as of the winter of 1978/79?
The Budco 309 Cinema was a Twin by the start of 1976. This location became a 3-plex in early to mid 1980.
April 10th, 1968 and February 8th, 1974 grand opening ads in the photo sections. 3 cinemas on February 1st,1980, 4 cinemas on December 3rd, 1982, and nine screens on June 20th, 1986. No grand opening ads in the philly newspapers 1980-1986.
https://twitter.com/KeithASiegel/status/846352912561426432 Based on this twitter thread the AMC 309 cinema is set to be upgraded. Either to AMC classic or Amazing.
From what i heard, the 309 Cinema will be completely rebuilt
The 309 Cinema closed 5/23/2017 to begin its renovations/rebuilding
article on the theater reopening. http://www.thereporteronline.com/article/RO/20180330/NEWS/180339977
Due to the expansion of the 9-screener 309 Cinema, the 309 Drive-In which became a twin in 1981 closed its gates during the same year in 1986 not just because of the Cinema 9, but a plan of a strip mall being added.