Day-by-day Pictures of the Towne 16 Theater Demolition in Egg Harbor Twp., NJ
For the first time in over 72 years, there is no trace of a movie theater at the old Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township.
If you have been watching the demolition of the old Towne 16 Theatre at the Black Horse Pike and Tilton Road over the past few months, it's completely gone now. The last walls fell on Tuesday, July 12th.
You can trace the history of seeing a movie there back to June 16, 1950. That's when the Atlantic Drive-in, which could hold some 900 cars, first opened. According to cinematreasures.org, the first movies that were shown were "Whispering Smith" starring Alan Ladd and Kirk Douglas in "My Dear Secretary."
At some point, the Towne 4 was built in front of the drive-in. Both theaters coexisted until the drive-in closed in the mid-80s. Over the years, the Towne 4 expanded to 12 screens and then eventually to 16.
All was well until...
All seemed to be going well until the theater abruptly closed in the early part of 2019. At the time, owner Bruce Frank told The Press of Atlantic City that the theater would be reopening in the near future, remodeled with dine-in recliners, a full bar, arcade, and a bowling alley. Those plans never materialized and the theater remained shuttered.
Listed for sale
In the summer of 2019, the theater was listed for sale along with the neighboring former Outback Steakhouse building for $3.8 million. The asking price was lowered to $3 million several months later.
Last summer, a chain link fence went up around the entire property and I speculated if the building was going to be demolished, which started this past spring.
Speculation turns into reality
As a fan of theaters, I made a point to frequently stop by the Towne 16 to capture its demise. The pictures below show a maze of hallways and theaters being reduced to rubble.