5410 Chester Avenue,
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Architects: David Supowitz
Styles: Italian Renaissance
The Lenox Theatre opened on February 9, 1927 on Chester Avenue, designed by architect David Supowitz. It was equipped with a Marr & Colton 3 manual 9 ranks organ. The 994-seat theatre had a steeply sloped floor which allowed for an unobstructed view of the screen. The stage was 22ft deep and there were six dressing rooms. It was closed on June 7, 1964 with Gregory Peck in “Captain Newman, M.D.” & Peter Cushing in “The Evil of Frankenstein”. It was immediately demolished to build an ACME Supermarket on the site (now a Great Value Supermarket).
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The Lenox was around the corner from my grandmother’s house, and my sister and I saw quite a few kiddie matinees there, often of the 50s sci-fi variety, e.g., “The Fly,” “The Blob,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” etc.
Acme Markets, which had a store next door to the Lenox, expanded into the theatre’s space shortly after it closed.
Here is a sketch of the interior from the Temple U. digital library:
I posted the photo. Our family lived a block away from the Lenox when I was a child. My mother was a part time cashier at the theater in the early 1950s. The theater was owned by the Spears family. The elder Mr. Spears died in about the late 50s and his son Ed Spears ran the house until he sold it. A man named “Sig” worked as a manager I believe. A family friend, Kay McGucken also worked at the theater. I remember many memorable films that I saw there as a child including Disney’s “Song of the South,” “Old Yeller,” and “The Absent-Minded Professor.” There was a nickel soda machine in the lobby.
The Lenox Theatre launched February 9, 1927. It closed permanently on June 7, 1964 with “Captain Newman” and “Eye of Frankenstein.” A salvage sale occurred immediately thereafter as Acme Supermarkets purchased the building and had the theatre razed.