Elks Theatre

4 W. Emaus Street,
Middletown, PA 17057

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Chertcoff

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Realty Theatre

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News About This Theater

Conceptual Sketch: The Future of The Elks Theatre

This was one of the oldest continually operating neighborhood motion picture theatres in the US with a full balcony. The Elks Theatre was opened in October 1911 and originally had 700 seats.

By 2012 it was operated by the non-profit Greater Middletown Economic Development Corporation. It was closed at the end of April 2015.

Contributed by Jonathan M. Crist

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

JohnMessick on May 3, 2006 at 2:49 pm

Max…nice write up in this morning newspaper about the Elks. Good Luck and I hope everything goes smoothly on opening night.

JMuggio on May 7, 2006 at 10:57 am

It’s nice to see so much enthusiasm here about the historic Elks theatre. Under the Elks previous Lessee, the theatre ran second run films and is continuing to do so under a new lease from GMEDC. Although GMEDC does have plans to do further renovations to the building, it will continue to operate at first for 3 nights a week (Fri – Sun) and could possibly open regularly for daily matinees and evening shows by the end of May or early June. Previous renovations were made only to bring the building up to NEC code standards for safety purposes. The May 5th opening was a success with sales of about 1/3 the total seating capacity. The projection equipment used by Jonathan Crist was his personal equipment, less the screen and speaker system. We are currently operating with a triple platter system, a Strong/Simplex projector and a Dolby CP65 sound processor obtained from one of Regal’s warehouses. Our bookings are confirmed on Monday by late afternoon and we plan to advertise in the Patriot News. I will try to answer any questions I can through this thread or by email.

JohnMessick on November 20, 2006 at 3:47 am

Max Einhorn…I notice the Elks is open 7 days a week now…how are things working out being open 7 days a week now?

JohnMessick on January 14, 2007 at 3:53 pm

ProjectionRoom..I now see the Elks is open 7 days a week. How is that working out?

JMuggio on January 15, 2007 at 12:58 pm

It’s working fairly well..the only drawback is the length of time the studio requires we keep the film, which is usually 3 weeks. We do get the occassion where we can split films which helps us target our audience better. We’re training more of our current staff to operate the projection equipment when Ross or myself can’t be there, otherwise things are going well. Our weekly grosses for the past couple weeks have been better than any cineplex in the surrounding area. (only for the movies we’re showing). Thanks for asking John.

JohnMessick on January 15, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Projectionroom…..I am glad to hear that your doing well. I was down to the Elks on your opening weekend and was really impressed. The prior management, I wasn’t to impressed with. HE gave off a negative vibe. It’s always great to see a single screen theater like the Elks a success…Good Luck!

elksprojectionist on August 21, 2007 at 7:17 am

hello everyone….check out The Elks Theatre website www.elksmovies.com

JohnMessick on August 21, 2007 at 8:32 am

Elksprojectionist….I checked the website out….The pictures didn’t show. I did enjoy the history of the Elks. I am glad the new ownership is prospering. The former owner really turned me off…so much negativity. I like to see a single screen do well

muviebuf on June 3, 2019 at 2:31 am

It has come time to mark this one closed. The Borough of Middletown PA (which had guaranteed the Economic Development loan) pulled the lease from the community group which had been operating the theatre and the adjoining Elks Lodge building at the end of April 2015. That community group let both structures deteriorate to the point where public safety issues necessitated the Borough take action. The Borough closed the theatre at the end of April 2015 and began renovations to the theatre side but the Borough ran out of money. The theatre which has been gutted to the interior walls has sat empty ever since. The Borough sold off the Elks Lodge part of the building to the Tattered Flag brewery for a brew pub. The Borough has put the theatre side up for sale with a realtor asking $300,000.00. But given the extensive renovations necessary it is unlikely it will ever operate as a theatre again.

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