March 14, 2017

Book On Its Way

The very latest: The book is nearing completion…about 30 more pages to go!

We’re very excited to update you on a book that will chronicle the 80 year history of the Alexander family’s involvement in the cinema industry, beginning with Thomas Alexander arriving at Ellis Island before the turn of the 20th century. It will include a timeline dotted with incredible characters and events which led up to the building of the family’s legacy theatre in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania, as well as stories that took place in the Wyoming Valley, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Hollywood, and in Greece. Making Concessions. From Nickelodeons to Movie Palaces: One Family’s Life From the Other Side of the Silver Screen by Tom Alexander is expected to be published by the fall of 2017. The author also shares his own personal reflections on life during and after his days in the movie theatre business.

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February 17, 2014

More stuff to come.

It’s been a while since our last post.  We’ve been pretty busy here in South Florida on a variety of projects, and are developing one in particular that is related directly to old movie theatres.  We’ll update as developments unfold.  In the meantime, here’s an old photo of the Forty Fort Theatre lobby on the day we closed the theatre: 2/29/88 – Leap Day.

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All Alexanders. L to R: Taki, Mary, Thomas F., Thomas C., Alice, Gwyn, Frank, Mim.

 

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July 30, 2012

What a find!

Our old friend and Wyoming Valley resident/TV newsman David DeCosmo posted this video of the Forty Fort Theatre’s last day of operation on February 29, 1988. The first part of the video features Channel 22’s feature story, the second half is David’s home video shot in the lobby, auditorium, and projection booth. Thanks David for sharing these great memories!!

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February, 2012 UPDATE:

We’ve added a Short Subjects, Cartoons, and More page highlighting specific shorts, cartoons, and other oddities that played frequently before the feature presentations at the Forty Fort Theatre.

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February, 2012 UPDATE:

For those nostalgic folks wondering what song was at the top of the hit parade when the Forty Fort Theatre opened on January 29, 1938, this is it. It’s called You’re a Sweetheart performed by Dolly Dawn and  Her Dawn Patrol.

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September, 2011 UPDATE:

We tracked the serious flooding from Hurricane Lee earlier this month online with radio and TV feeds directly from NEPA. We were happy to learn that most of Wyoming Valley was spared. However, tragically, not everyone was so lucky. Our family and friends were safe, but their lives were affected.  I learned from my cousin, Louis Degnan, who suffered damage to his office, that all his family photos as well as all the materials involving the Wyoming Theatre have been lost.

I saw Lou earlier this summer. He’s been a great source for material in the building of this site as well as the plans for a planned book/documentary on the Valley’s theatres.

This comes as a great setback. But most importantly, he and his family are safe.  I remember the rallying cry after the 1972 Agnes Flood –  “The Valley With a Heart, Comin’ Back Better Than Ever!”

Don’t worry Lou, we’re not gonna stop!

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June, 2011 UPDATE:


Sometimes in your travels, unexpected nuggets from the past drop in your lap. Jeff Hosle, from Hoss’ Garden Hut in Dallas, PA came into possession of these 1930s era marquee letters from our movie theatre in Luzerne. After the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1969, the aluminum letters were sold to Yalick’s Farm Market (now Hoss’). They look great after last gracing the marquee 42 years ago. The were designed and manufactured by Wagner Sign Service Inc. (Now Wagner Zip Change)

It’s great to add these wonderful relics to our memorabilia collection. Thanks Jeff!

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June, 2011 UPDATE:


I wanted to thank Liz Martin of IndependentNEPA Magazine for allowing me to share my story on the Dallas Drive-In.

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April, 2011 UPDATE:

When we closed the theatre in 1988, longtime Forty Fort police officer Barney Evans wondered if he could have his old ushers jacket as he ushered at the theatre as a young man in the 1940’s. We  were happy to oblige. We learned recently that Barney passed away a couple of years ago. Barney’s lovely wife Faye wanted us to have it back saying “Barney would have liked that.” Thanks Faye – and Barney.

This photo was taken by our longtime projectionist and good friend Jim Austin. Jim is preparing to ship it to us here in Florida. It’s from 1938 and appears in excellent condition. Thanks a lot Jim! ___________________________________________________________________________

March, 2011 UPDATE:

America’s First Cinema Museum?  Perhaps. Click Here.

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March, 2011 UPDATE: Greek America Magazine published my article, The Exhibitor: Building a Dream Founded on Dreams, in their latest issue. You can find it on the drop down in the Miscellaneous section, or simply click here.