New Castle News

Local News

July 5, 2013

Movie Memories, Part 5: Post-World War II generation kept Super Castle thriving for nearly 25 years

NEW CASTLE — With the surrender of Japan on Sept. 2, 1945, World War II had officially come to an end.

This meant that (as Tom Brokaw so eloquently coined the term) the members of “America’s Greatest Generation” would soon be returning home.

Although the first drive-in movie theater opened in Pennsauken, N.J., on June 6, 1933, drive-in movie theaters did not really begin to take off in this area of the country until after the soldiers began returning home from the war in large numbers.

Upon their return, they ushered in the Baby Boomer generation. Their interests centered on getting married, starting a family and buying an automobile.

With this as a backdrop, on April 27, 1947, Outdoor Theatre, Inc. entered into a five-year lease — with the option of automatic extension for an additional nine, five-year terms — covering 20.072 acres owned jointly by my father, Joe Aquaro; my mother, Ada Irene Aquaro; my father’s brother-in-law, Rocco Ieraci;  and his wife, my father’s sister, Lucy Aquaro Ieraci.

This  parcel was a large fruit tree orchard and was an integral part of approximately 96 1/2 acres they owned, bounded on the north by Route 224, on the east by what is now Interstate 376, on the south by what is now Angela Lane, and on the West by Winter Road from Angela Lane north to the storefront to the left of Keystone Rehab Systems Physical Therapy. There, the property cut in on an angle to approximately where Ruby Tuesday’s now meets Route 224.

Construction began immediately, and on Oct. 24, 1947, the grand opening of the Super Castle (drive-in) Theatre was held. As you can see from the grand opening advertisement, it referred to “Route 422.”  This was a misprint. It should have read “Route 224.”


From the very beginning, the theater was a tremendous success. Everything seemed to click. Admission was 50 cents for adults, and children under 12 were admitted free. The fact that there had been this pent-up demand on the part of GI’s for an automobile, getting married and starting a family all fit neatly into the equation.

In 1947, network television was rare. Radio had been around for quite a while, and air conditioning in the home was unheard of. So, did you want to sit home in the heat of the summer listening to the radio, or did you want to hire a baby sitter and go to an indoor theater?

What many chose to do was to bathe the children, put their pajamas on, possibly pack a picnic dinner and head off to a movie under the stars in their new automobile. They would get to the theater early, let the children play in the large yard in front of the screen, enjoy their picnic dinner, then settle in to watch the movie in the cool evening breeze.

By the time the movie was over, the children were usually asleep. You could take them home and generally just place them in their bed without waking them up. By now, the temperature in the home had cooled down somewhat, making for more comfortable sleeping.

In the months that the theater was operating, the evening sky would be lit up from the neon lights. When it closed down for the winter, you would have four months of total darkness. Both extremes took a little getting used to.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • fairphoto.jpg County fair looks for a few good bakers

    The countdown to the 2014 Lawrence County Fair has begun. In less than two weeks, the fairgrounds will be brimming with animals, vegetables, fruit, flowers, music, food and fun. This year’s fair runs from Aug. 11 to 16.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • CarolineOrrico.jpg Local teen off to state DYW event

    Lawrence County’s 2015 Distinguished Young Woman is heading back into scholarship competition.


    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NicholsonOffice.jpg County to buy new office for Nicholson

    Before the end of the year, the Lawrence County commissioners plan to move District Judge Jennifer Nicholson into new offices.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • PortersvilleSS.jpg Portersville Steam Show summer event arrives

    The Portersville Steam Show will stage its summer event Thursday through Sunday at its show grounds.


    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veteran.jpg Veterans seminar to view technology

    A veterans benefits seminar has been set for Friday. The program will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the commissioners room of the Lawrence County courthouse.


    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Part-time guard position created

    The Lawrence County Salary Board created a part-time temporary court guard position Tuesday.


    July 30, 2014

  • JaredGustafson.jpg Mohawk senior Jared Gustafson elected nation FCCLA officer

    A Mohawk High student was elected to national office at a leadership conference in Texas. Senior Jared Gustafson now is the 2014-2015 national vice president of parliamentary law for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.


    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • PipeDreams.jpg Concert to feature sounds of ’60s

    This week’s Friday Night Live at Riverwalk Amphitheater will feature a 1960s theme. Entertainment will be provided by Pipe Dreams. The group performs a tribute to the British Invasion and American rock ’n roll with music from The Beatles, Stones, Doors, Monkees and hits from Motown and Philly.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Environmental groups oppose forced pooling

    An effort by local landowners to have forced pooling declared unconstitutional is getting some outside support. Two environmental groups — Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Mountain Watershed Association — have filed a friend of the court brief with Commonwealth Court. They are asking that the court review forced pooling, which is part of a 1961 Oil and Gas Conservation Law, before scheduled hearings take place.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CashMob.jpg Cash Mob returns Saturday to downtown

    The New Visions Destination Downtown Action Team will host a cash mob Saturday in downtown New Castle.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo