Savar Theatre

633-37 Market Street,
Camden, NJ 08102

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Additional Info

Architects: William Harold Lee

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Savar Theater

The Savar Theatre opened on April 15, 1936 with The Dionne Quintuplets in “The Country Doctor”. This strikingly modern theatre must have really stood out amongst the mostly traditional architecture of downtown Camden.

Savar is a contraction of the name of theatre owner Samuel Varbalow; his Savar Corporation would operate several theatres in and around Camden as late as the 1970’s. This flagship house wouldn’t last that long; it closed on October 27, 1964 with Frankie Avalon in “Bikini Beach” & Tippi Hedren in “Marnie”. It was put up ‘For Sale’ and was demolished soon after.

Contributed by RickB

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 7, 2005 at 4:31 am

The Savar Theatre had a seating capacity of 1,500 given in Film Daily Yearbooks 1941 and 1943. In the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. it gives a seating capacity of 1,732.

barrygoodkin on October 29, 2005 at 5:58 am

The Savar Theatre was designed by architect William H. Lee.

kencmcintyre on November 2, 2007 at 10:02 am

Hard to believe that was in Camden. I never saw the town in its better days.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on January 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm

This must have been some theater; especially for Camden! I suppose we couldn’t expect Camden to retain their movie thaters when even Philadelphia, right across the river, has only been able to keep one: The Boyd. And even that one is hanging by a thread.

Unfortunately, Camden is so far gone that even if a theater had survived, it is unlikely it could ever survive any economically feasible alternate use. The city is a pit and not many people seem to care about it.

Even on CT, it’s amazing how few comments there are from people who might have attended these theaters in their youth.

At least Jersey City managed, miraculously, to keep not one palace but two: The Loews Jersey and The Stanley. Even better; they’re right across the street from one another.

veyoung52 on April 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm

South Jersey’s first CinemaScope presentation, “The Robe,” premiered here December 30, 1953.

minbinder on December 4, 2019 at 4:05 pm

A local FB page states there is an underground theatre at this location. Run by the diocese. Has anyone seen or heard of such a thing? They state it’s been closed for decades but is intact.

RickB on April 30, 2023 at 2:00 pm

Last day for the Savar was October 27, 1964, with a double bill of “Bikini Beach” and “Marnie.” Two days later the Courier-Post reported that the Stanley was up for sale, heralding the end of first-class exhibition in downtown Camden.

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