Crystal Theatre

203 Barney Street,
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702

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The Crystal Theatre was operating prior to 1941, and continued into at least 1950. Locals referred to it as ‘The Bucket’ for reasons unknown.

It is believed that the theatre was destroyed by the 1972 flood of the Susquehanna River. The Brislin family who lived next door were either the owners or the managers of the theatre.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

jtardio on July 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

There should be no reason at all to wonder why this theater was nicknamed the “Bucket” (not the Bucket Theater). If anyone had ever been there to attend a movie way back in the ‘40s/early 50’s, the condition of the theater was atrocious at best. NO comparison to any of the other theaters in Wilkes-Barre in those times. As a youngster, I would go to visit my aunt in Lee Park, and at least once each time she would take me to a movie at the “Bucket”. The interior was not well maintained and the less than appealing odors drifting about while watching the film I’m sure provided inspiration for its nickname. One of the films I remember seeing there was the original version of “DR.NO”

Aloysius on November 17, 2016 at 2:52 am

This theater had an elaborate facade that resembled an opera house – several stories with many windows. It was closed well before Agnes' flooding. it looked like a dark wooden colleseum. Many theaters are nicknamed “the bucket” due to the structure – either steep seating or many levels that resemble the inside of a bucket. You can find theater listings in old copies of The Times Leader that are from the 1930’s. I think this theater was built prior to motion pictures as an opera house or for other liver performances. It was unlike any 20th century movie theater I’ve ever seen. A trolley ran down Barney St. So this was a very lively area at the time of the 19th into 20th century. Most unusual!

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