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

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE — CIRCUS STOPOVER

One summer evening, a circus was coming through town, and the owner had no place to put all the animals and circus acts up for the evening. He stopped and arranged with my father to put the circus up. My father and his brother, George, owned and operated a mink ranch. There was plenty of land and water, so it was no problem to put the circus up for the evening.

When the circus arrived and settled in, it was still daylight. There were elephants, lions, tigers, etc. Everyone in the theater saw this and a large crowd came over to see all the animals. The owner of the circus said that had he known he would have such a large audience he would have set up the tents and arranged for a complete performance before the opening of the movie.

When I awoke the next morning, the circus had already pulled out.

CHANGES

In 1953, the motion picture industry introduced Cinema Scope. This meant that the original screen had to be widened significantly in order to accommodate the movies now being released. In the picture accompanying this article, you can see where they widened the screen.

When the theater first opened, Berlo Vending Co. of Philadelphia was in charge of the concession operation. Later, the Castelli Brothers decided to bring the concession operation in-house. As part of the change-over, they modernized the operation. They expanded the building out on both the left and right sides and put in large glass windows and speakers so that you could watch the movie while in the concession stand.

Instead of going up to the counter to order and not being able to see or hear the movie, they converted it to cafeteria style. While you would be going through picking out what you wanted to have, you would not be missing any of the movie.

Around 1965, outdoor movie theaters began to lose their appeal and that was also the case with the Super Castle. You now had color television, first-run, made-for-television movies, central air conditioning, and the children of “America’s Greatest Generation” were now adults. While the thrill of the automobile was still there, it was not like it was when the GI’s were coming back from the War.

On Jan. 23, 1970, the state highway department announced that Pennsylvania Route 60 (now Interstate 376) would be coming through a portion of my family’s 96 1/2 acres. This spelled the end for the Super Castle. The picture that accompanies this article shows our home and the screen just before the bulldozers began tearing them down. Our home sat approximately where First Commonwealth Bank sits today and the theater was just to the right of where the bank is located.

Subsequently, Agway Inc. bought a portion of the remaining property, but they never built on it. Later, all the property, including the portion that Agway had bought, was purchased by the developers of Union Square and Maple Heights Apartments and Condos. Today, these facilities occupy the entire property.

(David Aquaro is a Neshannock Township resident whose family owned the site of the former Super Castle drive-in theater).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • LATCOM_Unspoken.jpg County fair concert to benefit LATCOM

    The Christian band Unspoken will perform a benefit concert for LATCOM at this month’s Lawrence County Fair. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 in the fairgrounds grandstands.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenWarriorRide.jpg Fallen Warrior Ride to preface soldier tribute

    Area motorcyclists will be heading out once again this month to pay tribute to the nation’s soldiers and veterans. The second annual Fallen Warrior Ride is scheduled to leave Cascade Park at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 for a one-hour, circuitous route to Laurel High School. Once there, riders — led by the Patriot Honor Guard of Western Pennsylvania — will parade into the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, where they’ll join a Salute to the American Soldiers: For God and Country, a crusade by Vision Ministries of Lawrence County.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOVEkitchen.jpg Love Kitchen: Little Caesars provides special delivery for Rescue Mission

    The Little Caesars Love Kitchen rolled into the City Rescue Mission for a special delivery Wednesday. A pizza kitchen on wheels, the big rig travels across the United States and Canada to meet the needs of the hungry, the homeless and disaster survivors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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