York Town Square

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Dallas Theatre showing flicks, but Stewartstown’s Ramsay Theatre: ‘It is really in bad shape’

The Dallas Theatre is equipped with antique movie memorabilia, a pipe organ and heavy lush curtain shrouding the screen. It is one of the few small-town theaters still operating in York County. (See additional photo below.) Background posts: Miata, pool suggest changes in small-town Stewartstown, LBJ’s, Lady Bird’s visit a high point in Dallastown’s history and Ella Fitzgerald’s show was ‘memorable, not Memorex’ .
Dallastown’s Dallas Theatre is one of the last functioning movie houses out of several that once dotted York County’s small towns.  (Editor’s note: It has since closed.) The Glen Theatre in Glen Rock is another.
John Fishburne noticed another of those old small-town theaters – the one in Stewartstown – that is deteriorating.
“It is really in bad shape,” he wrote… .

In this 2005 photo, Jim Ahonen shows the original projection room in the Dallas Theatre he’s restored on Main Street in Dallastown.
Why is that? he wondered.
I can’t answer that, but “Stewartstown, Pennsylvania: Then and Now” tells a little about the theater:

“In 1920, the residents of Stewartstown witnessed the construction of the RAMSAY THEATRE. Up to this time, moving pictures were being shown on the second floor of the Gus Neller building on West Pennsylvania Avenue. Now the town had its first and only movie theatre with a billiard room and a bowling lane located in the basement, which became quite an attraction to men of the community. It is known that one of our local pianists, Margaret Edie Jones, played the background music for the moving pictures. In 1926, an RCA sound system was added to the movie theatre. Mr. Charles F. Ramsay died in 1948, at which time his wife, Bessie Breuninger Ramsay, continued the operation of the business. In 1956, Mrs. Ramsay retired and sold the theatre to Mr. Emory Trout, who continued the operation until about 1960. Located at 3 South Main Street, the building shows little of its former glory.”

Here’s hoping that an entrepreneur takes over the old building and restores it, as has happened in Dallastown.
Related post: Hanover’s old State Theater: ‘Don’t lose hope, it’s not dead’.

Edited: 1/2/12