1964: Lititz Theatre closes … forever

By on March 5, 2014

Nine years later, in June of 1973, the East Main Street theatre was demolished as part of a downtown improvement project. Record Express file photo

Nine years later, in June of 1973, the East Main Street theatre was demolished as part of a downtown improvement project. Record Express file photo

‘Hootenanny Hoot’ final film; movie house demolished nine years later

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10 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

March 4, 2004

• Moving a School – Relocation plans continue for the Lititz El project with the help of community members and school administration.

About 35 people turned out last Thursday in the Lititz El cafeteria to go over current plans on transportation, classrooms and other aspects of the relocation for the next school year.

• Schofield Honored – Borough Detective John Schofield has been honored with the borough’s first-ever Officer of the Year award.

• Arson Suspected – The investigation into a suspected arson that occurred in an apartment building at 101 S. Broad St. on Aug. 27 is still ongoing, according to Det. Schofield.

“An arrest is probable,” he said.

At least 14 people fled from the building at the corner of Orange and Broad streets as smoke and flames moved quickly from the first floor. Seventy-five volunteer firefighters fought the blaze, which completely gutted the interior.

20 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

March 10, 1994

• Wal-Mart Fracas – Wal-Mart’s recent announcement of plans to build a 199,000-square foot “supercenter” off Route 501 in Warwick Township had some local residents and business owners talking late last week.

Across the board, traffic placed high on the list of some people’s concerns.

Traffic is “horrible as it is” said Rodney Moseman, president of the Lititz Retailers Association and owner of Bicycle World, which is located on Route 501.

“Lititz Pike is going to become a street with a stoplight at every intersection,” he said.

• Lead in the Water – When the borough tested its water last year, a handful of homes in the Lititz community registered elevated levels of lead in their drinking water.

“But it’s nothing to be alarmed about,” said Borough Manager Sue Barry. “There’s no lead in the water itself. It’s mostly from connections.”

To avoid possible health risks, borough officials are working diligently to solve the problem.

30 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

March 8, 1984

• Cabbage Patch Craze &tstr;Attention all Cabbage Patch Doll lovers, here’s your opportunity to get that doll you didn’t at Christmas.

Thanks to Jason Brown, five-year-old son of Linda and Bill Brown, 852 Cindy Lane, the Lititz Recreation Center is now the proud parents of Katherine Patience, a registered original Coleco Cabbage Patch Kid.

Knowing that it couldn’t offer Katherine the love or attention that some youngster in Lititz could, the Rec Center will be hold a drawing to give her to a real mother or father.

• Union Talks – Lititz borough employees, disgruntled because they say the borough council is “gradually taking things away” from them, have asked the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to represent them as their collective bargaining agent and are seeking borough council recognition of the union.

A meeting between representatives of the IBEW Local 1600 and borough officials was canceled last week on the advice of the borough’s solicitor, according to C. Wendell Hower, council president.

Hower said the borough was advised “not to meet face to face” with union representatives but to ask the union to “put their requests in writing.”

40 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

March 7, 1974

• Women’s Liberation! – Many things have been changing since the women’s lib movement began. One of the latest changes is taking place in the Industrial Arts Department at Warwick High School, where the shops are allowing girls to take classes.

Warwick is one of the first schools in the county to do so, according to IA instructor Donald Petty.

While females are now enrolled in all of the programs, including metal and electronics, the chief attraction for girls has been photography, wood, leather and graphic arts.

50 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

March 5, 1964

• Lititz Theatre’s Final Film – The Lititz Theatre will close on Saturday after serving the public for 29 years. Herbert R. Roth, Lititz, manager, said yesterday that there are no definite plans for disposition of the building. The final picture will be a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. of the film “Hootenanny Hoot.”

• General Sutter’s Fate – By March 15 a definite conclusion will be reached as to whether the General Sutter Hotel is “to be or not to be.”

There are two groups vitally interested, and the fate of the historic hostelry may depend on “first come, first served.”

The businessmen of the community who are interested in it reopening as a hotel are still working on the deal actively. The Church Synod which was interested is still in the mix. Neither has entered an agreement, so apparently it will be a photo finish as the deadline nears.

60 Years Ago

Thursday’s Record Express

March 4, 1954

• Now Playing – This week at the Lititz Theatre:

Robert Mitchum and Linda Darnell in “Second Chance”

Walt Disney’s “Peter Pan”

“The Stand at Apache River”

“Crazy Legs” starring Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch

• Rabbit Trapping – Rabbit trapping in the borough closed Saturday and members of the Lititz Sportsmen’s Association reported they trapped 121 rabbits and released them outside the borough.

• Ham Winners! – The PTA card party held at the firehouse last Thursday night was well attended. Winners of hams were Mrs. Robert Girvin, Charles Gerlach, Mrs. Fellman, Mrs. Mary Mease, Max Hoaster, Mrs. Frank Wonder, Mrs. Harry Mount, Miss Anna Mary Franck, Marvin Schmick, Mrs. Barton Sharp and Mrs. Warren Diehm.

• 2014 Editor’s Note – We did publish news from March 4 in last week’s Out of the Past, but did so again this week in order to realign publishing dates.

70 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

March 9, 1944

• Now Playing – This week at the Lititz Theatre:

Humphrey Bogart in “Crime School”

John Wayne in “The Fighting Seabees”

“The Masked Marvel” (Saturday matinee)

“South of the Border” with Gene Autry

• New World Order – A United States of Europe was foreseen as one of the most likely and desired developments after the war, by Gerhart Seger, former member of the German Reichstag, in an address before a large audience in the school auditorium Monday evening. Discussing Russia, Seger described Stalin as a cold, calculating dictator who is one of the chrewdest rulers the world has known. After this war, Russia may follow the course of being the balance of power as England has done for generations, he asserted. After the war, the Nazi party and the Prussian militarists must be eliminated, Seger predicted.

The address was the second in a series sponsored by the local Rotary Club. Next Monday, I. J. Fisher, who spent 20 years as an instructor in Tokyo, will discuss the part Oriental nations, principally Japan, will play in the new world order to come. In 1941, he resigned his position in Tokyo and took the last free boat out of Japan to Canada before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

80 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

March 8, 1934

• Trolley Crash – Two Lititz men were injured, one seriously, when their automobile crashed almost head-on into a trolley last night on the Lititz Pike, just this side of Koser’s. The injured men are Charles Birkenbine, who is in the Lancaster General Hospital with a fractured skull, and Levi H. Rudy, borough councilman, who was driving.

• Hit by Underwear Truck – Dorothy Morrison, of Lincoln Avenue, was injured yesterday when struck by a truck of the Linden Underwear Company, driven by Theodore Stauffer. The driving snow obscured his vision. She sustained injuries to her shoulder and knee.

• Eli Garber – Eli L. Garber, who has been confined to his home on North Broad Street, is reported somewhat better. Mr. Garber is a victim of the “Governor’s Disease,” the shingles.

2014 Editor’s Note: Eli Garber is the founder of PennSupreme Dairy and it has been rumored that he discouraged Milton Hershey from establishing a factory in Lititz.

• World War I Veterans – Between $15,000 and $20,000 will be distributed to World War veterans of town as part of a state bonus to former soldiers. Payments will average about $100, and there are more than 150 in this area.

90 Years Ago

Friday Morning’s Express

March 7, 1924

• Animal Trap History – It was back in 1890 when John M. Mast, then of Lancaster, later of Lititz, and now conducting a flourishing hardware business at Clover, Va., began the manufacture of what he called snap shot mouse traps. It happened in this way:

Some lady who was using a circular trap with wires on the outside said she don’t see why some one don’t make a trap that don’t catch in your dress. Mr. Mast had an inventive mind and made a block with 2 holes and one with 4 holes, the springs and bait within, and as soon as the bait was touched, snap when the spring and the life of the mouse.

This was soon followed by rat traps and so well did his idea in traps take that in a short time he had built up a $9000 business for a year. At this juncture he felt the need for greater facilities, which required capital. Having learned that the Board of Trade at Lititz, organized in 1901, was after industries he asked the editor of The Express as a personal friend what they would think of his industry. The result was that soon $15,000 was raised and the J. M. Mast Manufacturing Company erected the building on North Water street, adjoining the railroad on the north.

The business prospered, export trade grew and soon there was a consolidation with a large plant in Illinois, which led to plans to erect the plant now located on North Locust street and the railroad.

The Oneida Community of New York learned that the new concern purposed making traps to which they claimed almost a divine right owing to their start in 1848. They purchased two acres of ground just east of the proposed factory. These two companies came to terms and consolidated in 1907.

Twenty-five hundred gross of traps are made and sold weekly and their output is 60 per cent of all the traps made in this country.

The Oneida people became involved in the silver industry and shredded wheat, and eventually sold out the trap business to three of its executives who have established the Animal Trap Company of America. It is a wise rat or a clever mouse that escapes an Oneida trap.

• Linden Hall Spelling Bee – The annual Shrove Tuesday spelling match was held on Tuesday. The first prize was won in the Primary Room by LeMean Donahue. Eliza Blackburn won the booby prize, a large doughnut.

• Public School Notes – The total amount of money deposited in the school savings fund this week was $101.90. One hundred per cent of the pupils in Miss Eberly’s room were depositors.

A game of basket ball was played on Tuesday evening by the Senior and Junior girls, the latter winning in a score of 12-9.

100 Years Ago

Thursday Morning’s Record

March 5, 1914

• Blizzard of 1914 – Last Sunday will be a day that will be recalled by many for years to come. It marked the worst blizzard in a quarter century. The wind reached a velocity of almost sixty miles an hour and drove the snow in a blinding manner. To add to the discomfort the electric current failed and the town was in total darkness. Trolley cars between here and Lancaster were forced to stop running and some were stranded in the country. Passengers sought refuge in nearby farmhouses, one of which quartered 20 or more. Two railroad engines were stuck near Stevens. Traffic on the country roads was completely demoralized, as the snow was drifted into banks as high as six feet.

On Tuesday, mail carrier John Singer started out on foot and covered the greater part of his route, or about 18 miles.

• Boxing Match – A young fellow from Lancaster, who came to town Saturday evening hunting a scrap, got more than he bargained for. The would-be pugilist succeeded in putting away one opponent and thereupon became boisterous and challenged anyone in his hearing. Suddenly, a young farmer residing at Warwick appeared on the scene with a bag. In less time than it takes to relate it, he grabbed the city boy and began putting him in the bag while the crowd which had gathered yelled with delight. After showing the Lancastrian who was boss, the farmer let him go, and we went some at that, without saying another word about his prowess.

110 Years Ago

Friday Morning’s Express

March 4, 1904

• Rudy’s Hall – For some time past there were evidences that an event of more than ordinary importance was to take place in Rudy’s Hall. It culminated Tuesday night, the occasion being a well-planned and successful banquet to fittingly celebrate the eighteen years of usefulness of the local castle Knights of the Golden Eagle.

Two hundred and fifty gathered in the spacious lodge room on the third floor, which was tastefully decorated with the national colors while the word “Welcome” was ingeniously wrought in the lodge colors at the head of the hall. Music was provided by Flory’s Mandolin Club of Lancaster.

Garfield Castle No. 76, K. G. E., was instituted March 2nd 1886 by Grand Chief Geo. W. Crouch. Thirty members were admitted on the night of institution, 17 of which are members at the present time. The castle was instituted in the building known at that time as Concert Hall, and moved with other orders of the town to Bomberger’s Hall in April of that same year. They moved into Rudy’s Hall in December 1900.

During the eighteen years we buried fourteen members and nine wives of members. Current membership is 232.

120 Years Ago

Friday Morning’s Record

March 9, 1894

• March Musings – A stray hen came to the premises of D. G. Witmyer, where the owner can get it by calling.

Wayne Longenecker, son of L. H. Longenecker of this place, who left here three weeks ago in search of employment, enlisted in the regular army for four years and has been stationed on League Island, Philadelphia.

Mr. Harry Bailey, teacher of the intermediate school, is sick and Henry R. Gibbel is serving as substitute.

Michael and Samuel Huber received the contract to remove the four big willow trees near the Broad street Spring entrance.

Physiology must be taught in the public schools, says State Superintendent Schaeffer, or no State appropriation will be made.

A valuable cow belonging to Henry Firestone of Pleasant View took sick and died a few days ago.

Burgess Young is after several parties for a driving race through town on Wednesday evening.

The water at the head of the Springs has risen about eight inches and the trout are happy.

The weather has been very spring like this week. The boys, like the bees on warm days, were out playing. One evening they were playing under the arc light in the square.

Rev. J. W. Woehrle preached his introductory sermon in the English language in the Evangelical church on Sunday.

We call attention to the new advertisement of S. E. Grosh & Co., which appears elsewhere in the Record.

130 Years Ago

Friday Morning’s Record

March 7, 1884

• Recollections of 1843 – “To talk about our cold snap and snows of the past week is nothing,” said a man in a public place last evening. “Why,” he said, “on the 16th of March, 41 years ago, which then was election day, a heavy snow fell, which made splendid sleighing, and on the 25th of the same month of that year John Seaber took Ambrose Rauch and his newly-wedded better half, who was a sister to George T. Greider, to Bethlehem in a sleigh and returned three days afterward.” A bystander corroborated the above statement, and added that the snow was so deep that horses were hitched to a snow plow to open passages for church goers.

Saturday Morning’s Express

March 8, 1884

• Town Gossip – A man up town gave his wife 17 cents to buy meat. In order to make it go far, she bought liver. When her loving husband came to dinner and saw the liver in the pan frying he kicked the pan off the stove and frightened the cat into fits. The cat upset a coffee pot, the hot coffee ran down the old man’s pantaloons and burned his leg. Serves him right.

Benjamin Pfautz now runs the Warwick House restaurant.

Mrs. Charles Seaber will celebrate her jubilee on Monday.

Thursday Benjamin Hope shipped three car load of cattle to Philadelphia.

A horse, valued at $150, belonging to Baker Brothers, died on Wednesday.

Thaddeus Stevens, four year old son of Mr. Eli J. Barr, is very ill with pneumonia.

April 1st the telephone exchange will be moved to the building now occupied as Squire Reidenbach’s office.

Saturday evening Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Shaeffer tendered their friends a banquet. The guests attacked the well-loaded table with more than ordinary energy.

The new cushions in the Moravian church are stuffed with the best hair and make very comfortable seats. They were manufactured by S. & H. Grosh.

Research for Out of the Past is compiled weekly by the current Record Express editorial staff. Much of the style and information reported is written as it appeared in its original form.

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