Moorlyn historic photo
The Moorlyn 4 Theatre in Ocean City was purchased by The Tabernacle this week.
Ocean City Tabernacle President Richard Stanislaw inspects the Moorlyn Theatre Friday. The Ocean City Tabernacle is buying the theater on the Boardwalk from Frank Investments, Inc., as part of a gift earmarked for the purchase. The nonprofit Tabernacle plans to operate the theater with first-run movies along with community programming.
- Theater history
The Strand and Moorlyn theaters both opened near the start of the 20th century and have gone through dramatic changes since.
Both survived a fire that devastated much of the city’s Boardwalk in 1927 and were relocated to the new Boardwalk built in its place several hundred feet away.
Before that, the Moorlyn was a bowling alley, and it became a movie theater in 1922. Afterward, it served as a vaudeville theater and had a dance hall on its second level.
“Those theaters were an institution in Ocean City for a while,” said Ken Cooper, president of the Ocean City Historical Society. “The Moorlyn has always been at the center of Ocean City. It’s really a highly visible spot. Vaudeville was originally at the Moorlyn, and that was the venue of choice at the time.”
The Strand opened in 1938 in the place of another theater that burned the year before.
Frank Theatres purchased both theaters in 1989. That same year, the company had plans to dramatically expand the Strand, with more screens and stores in the lobby, but the city denied the plans.
The Moorlyn last underwent a renovation about 10 years ago that completely restored its facade to resemble the neighboring Music Pier.
Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012 2:15 am
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Saturday, October 6, 2012 2:15 am.