Back in the middle 50’s when I was just a young boy, I can remember my Mother taking me to this movie theater to see a movie once in a while. It was a real nice theater back in those day’s with a well decorated lobby, with fancy lights and ornaments that made it a quality theater to go into. It had red carpets all thru the flooring and also had quite a number of brass ornaments. There were also 2 other nice Movie Theaters here in Reading. I can only remember the Strand Theater that was located just down the street from the Astor pictured here. The Strand was just as nice and depending on what was playing back then, I was taken into that one also.
That was back in the 50’s and part of the 60’s. With more and more business leaving the City and moving into the Urban Shopping Malls, attendance declined in all the movie theaters, thus creating their down-fall. The Astor closed it’s doors sometime in the 80’s, as well as the 2 others. More and more movies were being played in the urban movie theaters, plus the Drive-In Theaters. No one wanted to go into the City much anymore.
Over the years that passed, the theater started falling apart as pictured above. It was just left to history. Such a great movie place was headed into disrepair with no one caring what happened.
Now, more than 50 yrs. passed, the old Theater is no longer there. It was falling apart so bad that parts of it fell into the sidewalk. The once lighted colorful sign was taken apart and placed into a holding area somewhere in the City. This was done to keep the memory of the ole’ Astor Theater alive for future generations. Eventually, the whole block was torn down to make room for a brand new Sports Arena where top bands, concerts, and ice hockey are played. I’ve been in the new complex and it’s very nice. Went to see Barry Manilow in concert and a hockey game.
With most of the City in decline for many years, I don’t venture in there very much. It has become full of crime, drugs, and robbery’s that was never there years ago. The City of Reading, PA has gone down-hill so bad. When the weather turns warmer, I’m going to go shoot what the Historic area’s in the City look like. Thank goodness this has not gone all that bad, with it’s very stately old homes that were built back in the early 1900’s. They still stand to this day.
Thanks for stopping by