The marquee outside the Dallas Theatre announces the facility’s closing Wednesday.
The marquee outside the Dallas Theatre announces the facility's closing Wednesday. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS -- BIL BOWDEN)
Dallastown didn't know it was without a movie theater once again.

On Tuesday afternoon, film titles still lined the Dallas Theatre's Main Street marquee. Last weekend's showtimes hung out front. The only hint of a goodbye was a handwritten thank-you sign in the lobby beyond the locked doors.

Some residents knew things weren't going well.

Last month, Barbara Coroneos said, she received an e-mail.

The Dallas Theatre was in trouble, and there was an effort to keep it open.

But by late Tuesday afternoon, its marquee read: Closed. We tried.

The e-mail effort must have been too late, Coroneos said.

According to the theater's MySpace page,, it had closed Sunday because of low attendance.

A post from "Bill (the donutman)" added that the one-screen theater's up for sale, something that's become commonplace in its 82-year history. The latest owners, Bill and Christina Hunt, bought the theater in May 2008. The Hunts could not be reached for comment.

"I really want to cry for them," said Coroneos, who owns the Hot Spot Salon across the street from the theater.

She said she told her customers to stop by the Dallas Theatre. Most tickets were cheap - $3. She saw a few recently released and classic movies with family and friends.

But judging from the way her business is struggling, Coroneos said, she wasn't too surprised the theater closed.

"It's so slow," she said, looking at the empty sidewalks. "We as a community should pull together to keep businesses going."

Frank Musso said he tried to set up a special deal with the Dallas Theatre. The idea was that moviegoers would get a discount at his shop, Roma's Pizza & Italian Restaurant.

But it never got off the ground.

Musso said his mother liked to go to the theater, but that most patrons probably went to the megaplexes. The new Frank Theatres going up in York Township's Queensgate Towne Center wasn't going to help, he added.

A sign hangs in the window at the Dallas Theater in Dallastown on Tuesday.
A sign hangs in the window at the Dallas Theater in Dallastown on Tuesday. (DAILY RECORD / SUNDAY NEWS -- ERIN McCRACKEN)

But Musso said the lack of a public parking lot downtown probably had the biggest impact.

"Dallastown needs better parking for better business," he said.

George Sechrist, co-owner of Sechrist Bros. Meat Market, said he was sorry to hear the Dallas Theatre had closed.

He remembers that it was packed in the '60s when The Dallastown American Legion held holiday parties. Santa would hand out navel oranges and boxes of chocolate.

Sechrist's co-worker Jane Boring said she remembered going to the theater in the early '70s when she was in junior high. Every night Dallastown Area High School had a football game, there would be a movie playing afterward.

"It was where the kids hung out on Friday and Saturday nights," she said.


Augustus Wagman built the silent movie house in 1927, but sold it soon after because sound equipment cost too much.

It became a bowling alley in the '30s, sat empty during World War II and re-opened as a theater after the war. It changed hands a few times before closing in 1993. Dallastown borough's plans to purchase the property in the mid-'90s fell though and Mike Delone bought it in 1998.

The theater changed hands once more before Bill Hunt and his wife, Christina, purchased it in May 2008.

According to the theater's MySpace page, it closed Sunday.

Also of interest

· Hanover's old State Theater: 'Don't lose hope, it's not dead.'

· Dallastown theater closed, but Glen Theatre in Glen Rock still showing flicks.