WEEU Broadcasting Towers – Broadcast Road

Towers in 1958

Before the shopping center called Broadcasting Square occupied the space between Broadcasting Road and Van Reed Road on Paper Mill Road, there was sprawling farm land a tall radio towers. The towers and land belonged to WEEU and were used to broadcast the AM radio station far and wide.

WEEU had it’s first broadcast on New Years Day 1932. According to WEEU’s website, “That business, then, was the Reading Broadcasting Company. The station’s transmitter building was located between Paper Mill and Van Reed roads on what was then called Broadcast Road. Next to the building were two 200-foot towers that supported a 500-foot antenna that was strung between them.”
At some point between the 1930s and the above photo in 1958, two more towers were added.

Aerial from 1971. Middle is broadcasting towers. Top left Road to Nowhere can be seen after it extended north toward Muhlenberg. (Click to enlarge)

From the 1958 & 1971 aerial photographs it appears there were four towers and a small structure, all sitting approximately between the strip mall portion that currently houses a Chipotle and Panera all the way over to the stand-alone Wendy’s.

In 1999, WEEU started transmitting out of a new cluster of towers off Route 78 near Shartlesville. This allowed them to sell the land between Broadcasting, Paper Mill and Van Reed Roads. It was purchased, redeveloped and Broadcasting Square Shopping Center opened in 2001.

WEEU is currently a subsidiary of the Reading Eagle Company, which has recently declared bankruptcy and is in the process of being bought by a venture company. The future of the AM radio station is uncertain.

UPDATE: WEEU is set to go off the air sometime this summer as a result of MediaNews purchase of the Reading Eagle Company, unless someone buys it’s FCC license.

On this Day – May 1st, 1973

Above the fold in the May 1st, 1973 Reading Eagle (click to enlarge)
Pee Wee Wallace in the Alabamian Vega Gets a slight jump on the Hill Brothers car Sunday at Maple Grove Dragway where eight funny cars competed in the annual Spring All-Pro Series of drag racing. Pete Hill had to shut off on this final run and Wallace sped to victory, his first in three years at Maple Grove. -Reading Eagle
Joseph A. Leiendecker, state game protector, helps Thomas C. Laucer and Danielle J. Drewett, both kindergarten pupils at Whitfield Elementary School, plant a crimson king maple tree on the school grounds. Looking on are Mrs. Richard E. Woodward, left, committee chairman, and Mrs. Robert E. Frederick, comittee member, both of the Whitfield Woman’s club which sponsored the tree planting Monday in observance of Arbor Day. – Eagle Photo
The current furniture trend
What’s in the theatre’s?

Easter Egg Hunts through the years

March 28th, 1959 Reading Eagle (click to enlarge)
Easter 1962 – Children yesterday had their day in the city and county as Easter egg hunts were conducted for their benefit. Shown above is the “breaking from the barrier” at Brookline Playground. – Reading Eagle
The scramble for Easter eggs is on as participants in the egg hunt yesterday at Keffer Park Rush across the playground. The hunt was one of seven held on city playgrounds. -Reading Eagle
Meeting the Bunnies – At the annual Easter egg hunt held at Bernharts Dam under the sponsorship of Local 1893, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Scott Kahn of 3310 Fairfield St, Laureldale and Donna Ohlinger of Fleetwood R.D. 3, are joined by Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny as they collect their bag of chocolate candy and prizes. Approximately 700 egg-hunting children attended the festivities. -Reading Eagle.

The Park Theatre – 1016 Penn St

The Park Theater opened November 11, 1926, and it was closed by a fire on May 19, 1978. The theater was demolished the following year.

James S. Maurer operated the theater as a X-rated movie and live burlesque house, and in 1964 he was arrested along with two strippers in a raid by the Reading police.  In the late 1950s and 1960s, the raids were fairly common.  Maurer eventually bought the theater building, circa 1975.  The building may have been leased to a New Jersey company in 1976, but Maurer was still involved in the management and operation of the theater.  Burlesque shows returned, and he was arrested in another raid in January 1977. On May 3, 1978, the city declared the Park Theater and the adjoining Daniel Boone Hotel “unfit for human habitation”.  Maurer appealed the ruling and both businesses stayed open, but shortly after, the fire destroyed everything.

1936

One of the featured strippers, “Jada” was connected to Jack Ruby and the Carousel Club in Dallas:

According to his 1993 Obituary,

James S. Maurer, died June 28, 1993, age 69.

President of James S. Maurer Investments, Inc.

Owned the Park Theater, the Park Luncheonette, the Frontier Bar, the Daniel Boone Hotel and the Park Bowling Alley.

In May, 1978, a fire destroyed the theater and damaged the hotel.  Two months later, a fire destroyed the hotel and taproom.

In January, 1979, charges of arson against Maurer were dropped following a hearing before a district justice.  He had been charged in December, 1978, with starting the blaze.

He was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for mayor in 1967.

He appeared several times before a federal grand jury in Philadelphia, which probed kickbacks to officials in Reading and Berks County.

Huge thanks to David Procter for putting together all of this information!

Kaleidoscope at the Berkshire Mall – 1970s

The Kaleidoscope was a store in the Berkshire Mall in the 70s. It sold jewelry, black lights and other psychedelic things. You could also get your ears pierced there. Do you remember this store?

circa 1973