Lebanon will temporarily lose its only remaining movie theater on Thursday when Regal shuts down its 536 U.S. locations.

The company announced the decision in a press release Tuesday.

Regal plans to resume operations “at the appropriate time” in the future when “key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen.”

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Regal operates 536 theaters in the U.S. with 7,076 screens total.

Regal took over Lebanon’s “Great Escape Lebanon Valley 10” theater, located in the rear of the Lebanon Valley Mall, in 2014, along with one Great Escape theater in Harrisburg and 23 more around the country. The Lebanon Great Escape theater first opened in 2006.

According to archival coverage, a thunderstorm-caused power outage left theatergoers in the dark on opening night – no refunds were provided as the event was invite-only.

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Additional theaters still operating in Lebanon County include the Allen Theatre & Coffee House in Annville and Flagship Premium Cinemas in Palmyra.

Incidentally, the Great Escape was not the first theater at the Lebanon Valley Mall, having been proceeded by the Fox Theater. There was also the Howard Theatre at the Lebanon Plaza Mall, and in 2006 there was nearly another cinema center placed on the same spot by Marvin Troutman, founder of Cinema Centers Inc, which developed the Palmyra multiplex.

These are just a couple of Lebanon County’s historic cinemas – if you have a remembrance you’d like to share with LebTown, or a suggestion for exploring more of the history of movie theaters locally, please leave a comment below.

One of Lebanon’s historic cinemas, the Colonial Theatre, was located at 840 Cumberland Street (now the municipal parking lot). The cinema saw a glimmer of hope in the 90’s for redevelopment but alas the structure had deteriorated too far for this to be feasible. (Lebanon County Historical Society)
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