Pictureland Theatre

645 Penn Street,
Reading, PA 19601

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Pictureland program for July 9, 1917

George W. Bennethun launched the Pictureland Theatre in Reading in May of 1909 on a 20-year lease. The building was home to Columbia Hall and former home to the Odd Fellows Hall back to the 1860’s. Bennethun had used to facility for a cigar store and billard parlor but wanted to challenge the Orpheum Theatre and New Bijou Theatre who were filling crowds with motion pictures.

Reading was soon overrun with movie theatres having 20 in operation within five years of the Pictureland Theatre’s launch. But the Pictureland Theatre was a survivor lasting to the end of its lease and closing at the end of January 1929. The building was sold with the long-running Kagen’s Sporting Goods taking over the spot. The building was demolished and replaced by the five-story Exide Battery Headquarters Building.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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