The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

September 23, 2009

Watson Theatre to close after special screening

Thursday will mark the end of an era

WATSONTOWN — A special screening of “Marley and Me” at the Watson Theatre at 7 p.m. Thursday will mark the end of an era.

Rick and Deb Whistler and their son Jason, who have owned and operated the theater since 1996, have decided to close it. They’ve run the theater as a hobby since they bought it, and on Jan. 1, they cut the prices of all tickets to $5 in an effort to bring in more customers. But between mall multiplexes, home theaters and the lousy economy, it didn’t help.

For 68 years, the 490-seat Watson Theater has been a community fixture, and a movie theater has been on the site since 1912. One of the oldest theaters in the region, it retains the ornate silk damask wallpaper applied in 1940, when the theater was rebuilt following a fire.

David Hontz, Watsontown’s mayor, fondly recalled Friday night movies at the Watson.

“It was a big thing when you were a kid,” he said. “You met all your buddies there.”

“I’m sad to see it close,” he went on. “It was an institution here, and I know the businesses downtown will miss it, and so will a lot of people.”

The iconic theater, one of only a handful of single-screen operations in the country, has been for sale for some time. For many years, the Watsontown Police Department has held an annual event at the theater to collect toys for children, and the Whistlers have always been willing to open their doors for other special events such as Thursday night’s movie.

The free showing of “Marley and Me,” which stars Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston, is part of a regional reading promotion, Read Across the Valley, sponsored by 14 area public and academic libraries. The movie is an adaptation of the book by the same name by John Grogan. Grogan will speak on at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 in Weber Chapel-Auditiorium on the campus of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove.

Text Only
News
  • State: Discard raw milk from Greenfield Dairy

    MIDDLEBURG — Consumers should discard raw milk purchased recently from the Greenfield Dairy of Middleburg, which also has temporarily suspended production after Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in the product following routine testing, the state Department of Agriculture announced today.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penn State police: Three posed nude at Nittany shrine

    STATE COLLEGE — Penn State police say three male students who reportedly posed nude for a photo at the university’s Nittany Lion Shrine face school discipline.

    April 18, 2014

  • State unemployment rate drops to 6 percent in March

    HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s jobless rate has continued its steady decline. The state Department of Labor and Industry says unemployment fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 6 percent in March.

    April 18, 2014

  • Report: Pennsylvania forests impacted by drilling

    PITTSBURGH — A small portion of Pennsylvania state forest land has been impacted by shale gas drilling, but many questions remain about how to manage the politically sensitive issue that is opposed by many residents, according to a new report.

    April 18, 2014

  • TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Route 45 east of Montandon

    MONTANDON — A paving project is slowing traffic today on Route 45 east of Montandon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Accident victims remain in critical condition this morning

    DANVILLE - Victims from serious traffic accidents the past two days remain in critical condition this morning at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

    April 18, 2014

  • Porn prank riles Bucknell University president

    LEWISBURG — A fake email that contained a link to a pornographic website was sent to Bucknell students, faculty and staff on Tuesday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • 28-mile cross walk steps off in Northumberland

    SUNBURY — Two “cross walks” this morning, including a 28-mile trek from Northumberland to Beaver Springs, are among the highlights of Easter activities and services in the Valley.

    April 18, 2014

  • rsstrike18a.jpg Picketing begins at four Danville schools

    DANVILLE — It started like any other school day during the year, with teachers up early and arriving at school at 7:30 in the morning.

     

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Line Mountain board, teachers to talk Tuesday

    MANDATA — Line Mountain school board President Troy Laudenslager is far more optimistic this week than he has been as the board and the Line Mountain Education Association head into their first contract negotiation session in three months.

    April 18, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Poll

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.