If you’ve ever taken a trip to downtown York, it’s hard to miss the glow of the vintage bulbs on the Sylvia Theater.
The building is a staple to the county seat of York County. The building has stood as part of of the downtown for more than 100 years. After a devastating fire, Mr. George O’Leary build the Shandon Hotel at 27 and 29 N Congress Street. It later became home to the Feinstein’s Department Store and then the T.M Dobson Dry Goods Company.
The building first held movies from 1926 to 1933, but it soon became retail once again.
“The Sylvia” finally got her name when the Fleming family moved up from Florida in 1935. Mr. Tom Fleming purchased the left half of the building and named it after his daughter. The family installed large screens and up-to-date equipment. Classics like “Gone with the Wind”. The theater thrived off business from the circus, but finally closed its doors in 1968.
Current City of York Mayor Eddie Lee remembers the theater as a child. “I got a chance to spend my 15 cents here, I bought popcorn and a coke and we settled in and saw The Blob here, I saw Gone With the Wind here, I saw the Wizard of Oz here, so the list of memories just goes on and on,” said Lee.
In 2001, investment banker Paul Finnican purchased the abandoned theater and restored it to the theater and live music venue it is today. The Sylvia Theater is now managed by two York natives Cagney Larkin and Tyler Register. Now, more vibrant than ever. You can hear music pouring out of the theater or lines of people heading in for a weeknight movie.
The theater hosts popular new release movies 6 times a week on their single drop down screen, including Thursday evenings at 5:40, Fridays at 6:40, Saturdays at 2:10 and 6:40 and then again on Sunday at 1:20. Many of these movies are perfect for the kids, making the Sylvia Theater a go-to for family-friendly entertainment.
And if you’re looking for free entertainment? The Sylvia Theater has that too. Every Wednesday night the Theater hosts free family friendly entertainment at 7pm.
Once the sun sets, the theater comes alive. On any given weekend night you can hear the sounds of popular bands taking the Sylvia’s stage for concerts. This is the best place to hear budding or established artists for a small price. Tickets usually range around $15.