The Colonial Theatre


The Colonial Theatre was one of Reading’s first large theatres built specifically for movies, and opened on April 15, 1917, with “Sleeping Fires”. It was operated by Carr & Schad, which had the local franchise for Paramount-Artcraft releases. In September, 1925, the Loew’s Inc. circuit took over and ran the Colonial Theatre through its peak years as home for all the major MGM releases, including “Gone With the Wind”.

In 1963, Loew’s declined to renew its lease when it expired, and Stanley Warner took over for five years. In 1968, some “indies” took over but lasted only one year.

The Colonial Theatre closed in 1969 and was demolished in 1970 to make way for a shopping mall that was never built. A similar fate awaited its rival and near neighbor, the Embassy Theatre.


The Fairgrounds Square Mall

Built on the site of the old Reading Fairgrounds

Opened in 1980

Renovated in 1996

Sold at the turn of the millennium

The Mall changes hands again in 2013.

and again in 2016

Almost a year later and still just as uncertain.

UPDATE APRIL 2018:  The inside of the mall is closed, only the stores with access from outside remain.