Efforts Underway to Restore Historic Westmont Theater
by KYW’s Pat Loeb
Efforts are underway to revive the historic Westmont Theater in Haddon, New Jersey. The theater has been closed for decades, but its storied past has earned it a legion of fans.
It’s said that Steven Spielberg got his inspiration to become a movie director, sitting in the Westmont Theater in 1952, watching the “Greatest Show on Earth.”
Historian Allen Hauss can’t vouch for that story but he says the Westmont is an important treasure:
“It’s the last remaining full Vaudeville film house in Camden County. And if you look throughout the country, almost every major city has restored as a performing arts center at least one of these cathedrals of entertainment.”
Hauss says two developers are looking at restoring the theater, now that Haddon has regained control of the theater after a legal battle. But the theater has been shuttered since 1986 and Hauss estimates renovations will cost $5-million.