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Downtown Movies on The Main Line – Anthony Wayne Theater Wayne, PA

Posted on: March 7, 2017

Downtown movie houses are a rarity these days and those who have hung onto some of their authentic vintage charm are even rarer. That is why the sight of the beautiful terracotta facade and rounded marquee of the Anthony Wayne Theater is guaranteed to put a smile on your face as you visit downtown Wayne, PA. (History note – both town and theatre are named after Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne).

Anthony Wayne Movie Theatre - Wayne, PA, Pennsylvania - Retro Roadmap

The theater opened in 1928 and is located on a busy commercial stretch known as Lancaster Avenue,The Main Line, Route 30, and also the Lincoln Highway!

Anthony Wayne Theatre - Wayne PA - Retro Roadmap

I’ve researched and no one seems to know what was once in that alcove – any idea?

Originally constructed with just one auditorium, be warned the current space is now carved up into 5 different screening rooms, which is a bummer to Mod Betty. Alas she knows it is a reaction to the times as it enables them to generate more income since they are able to present five shows per night versus one, and if that is what allows this theater to remain open and viable, she begrudgingly understands.

Anthony Wayne Theatre - Wayne PA - Retro Roadmap

There is evidence of the charm that may still exist below the dropped ceilings as seen in the original sculptural tile in the main entry/lobby and as you gaze above the concession stand to see the art deco details in the lobby ceiling. Also en route to one of the screens you can spy some of the original ornate sculptures, visible through cutouts in the faux walls.

We’re encouraged in speaking with current management who say they’re look to expand both programming and update the interior to  highlight the historic details of the theater. There are some new “recliner” style seats on display in the lobby, hopefully a positive sign of more comfortable seating in the future. Crossed fingers!

Anthony Wayne Theatre - Wayne PA - Retro Roadmap

In an effort to appeal to a wider variety of audiences, in addition to first run films The Anthony Wayne also has a monthly Reel Cult Classics program, showing cult classics and offbeat films, as well as kids shows and matinees.

There are plenty of restaurants in this walkable downtown area, so why not plan on making it a date night with dinner and a movie? You’ll also luck out that you get to see the marquee of this vintage gem aglow in the evening.

Anthony Wayne Theatre - Wayne PA - Retro Roadmap