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Memories of movies in York County, and how that relates to ice cream

Hubby and I went for a drive in southern York County back in mid-February, and as we were driving through New Freedom, I saw a place where we just had to stop and take a photo! We’ll talk more about this ice cream shop – set to open today, by the way! – later, but to set the stage, do you remember when my brother-in-law Mike asked if anyone else remembered some of the movie theaters around town?

Jim Knaub says, “There was the Rialto theatre in the second block of West Market St. and the York theater on East Market St in front of the White Rose Skating Rink, this theater eventually was remodeled and became the Holliday Theater. The Ritz was in the first block of South George St.”

It seems like we might have an “R” theme; Ivan Spahr writes, “The Roxy and the Ritz were downtown on West Market and South George Street but I can’t remember which was where.”

And Yvonne Leiphart fills in the answer to that! She says, “Do you know there were actually two theaters downtown in the ’40’s? The Rialto was in the second block of West Market St. and the Ritz was in the first block of South George St.”

Mary knew of a couple outside the city, which was one question I’d had. She mentions two, in Glen Rock and New Freedom. And Betsy Baird also cites New Freedom, then adds that there were theaters in Mount Wolf, Hanover, Red Lion and Delta; also, she says, “There was a drive-in in Strinestown – I cannot remember its name.”

The most detail came from one of our community news correspondents – and a good friend of mine – Barb Krebs. Barb writes, “In response to your question about local movie theatres, or theaters – There was the Glen Theater in Glen Rock, still in operation. I have tried for years to get the owners to let me do a story… I don’t know for sure who owns it but once in a while on Fri or Sat night when it is open I stop by and leave my card and a short note asking for someone to contact me about a story but never get a response. That said, it has a balcony, now closed because of safety reasons; the seats and kind of lumpy and uncomfortable, with some one or two of the legs are not screwed to the floor so they kind of rock back and forth; there is a little creek that runs behind the building and when we were kids we always sat in the front row and on occasion would see a rat or mouse run across the floor (EEK). There is a stage because the building was once used for GRHS graduations and band concerts, etc.”

And, she continues, “Yes, there was one in Stewartstown. … It is in very sad shape these days. Too bad. New Freedom had one too, think that where they sell Bonkey’s Ice Cream – but GR had the best cause it had a balcony and once we hit our teen years we sat up there – but I will say no more about that! There was also the Trail Drive-In in Shrewsbury Twp. Torn down some years ago, and the site is now a vet’s office.”

Barb is always a vault of southern York County information, and this is just a great example of how she helps me out! (And she didn’t even know I’d taken that photo above of Bonkey’s, so how awesome is that?)

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