National Cleaners – Penn Ave – West Lawn – Then & Now

National Cleaners West Lawn
Pictured in 1975
National Cleaners West Lawn
Today

A brief history from National Cleaners website:

National Cleaners was founded in 1945 by Theodore Roeberg, father of current owners Richard & Mickey Roeberg. He purchased a small wholesale dry cleaning plant in Reading and was quickly the first in the area to offer six-hour dry-cleaning. He expanded quickly opening six small stores and in 1955 began offering one-hour dry-cleaning and entered the shirt laundry business.Read the rest

5th and Penn – National Central Bank Signage – April 1977

National Central Bank has finalized arrangements to install a specially designed message center on its office building at the southwest corner of 5th and Penn Streets. Announcement of the anticipated early-April installation of the new computer controlled display sign at National Central’s Retail Loan Center was made by W. Sturgis Corbett, bank senior vice president and Reading region administrator.

Mr Corbett said: “The sign, which has been under consideration by the bank since early November of last year, will repeat a programmed, eight-line message and the current temperature and time.Read the rest

Shillington Theatre

Shillington Theatre
Shillington Movie Theatre pictured in 1957

The Shillington Theatre was located at 29 E Lancaster Ave between Liberty and Brobst St. It opened Sept. 3rd, 1949.

Shillington Theatre
Sept 3rd, 1949 Reading Eagle Ad for Shillington Theatre
Shillington Theatre
1956 ad

It was not until the late 1960’s that the Shillington was able to run movies on Sundays due to the local municipality refusing to repeal and continuing to enforce Pennsylvania’s antiquated “blue laws”.… Read the rest

Sammy’s Steaks

Sammy’s Steaks was a pretty popular sandwich joint that was founded in 1946. The “Original” shop was at 12th and Buttonwood Sts. While under family ownership they sliced their own meats from fresh formed ribeyes and NEVER used anything but; unlike the emulsified meat that most others use today. They also made their own sauce from a recipe that the founder developed.… Read the rest