The West Shore Theatre—Where Dreams Come Alive!

The West Shore Theatre has been a focal point in New Cumberland since opening its doors in 1940 with its premier movie, “The Secret of Doctor Kildare.” Kids, and then their kids, and then even their grandkids have transported through stories on the silver screen to places where imagination flourishes and dreams come alive.

Prolific theatre architect William Harold Lee designed the 430-seat West Shore Theatre, as well as many theaters around the country including the Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg. Of the 12 community movie theatres in the region, West Shore Theatre is the only one standing.

Generations of families enjoyed viewing first-run movies under the theatre’s gorgeous painted ceiling. During World War II, the theatre kept audiences abreast on the latest war developments with newsreels before every feature.

After nearly 80 years of continuous operation, the theatre fell victim to the changing economics of the entertainment industry and closed in February 2018. Most of the equipment was removed and the building was sold at a bankruptcy sale.

But the story of the West Shore Theatre was far from over. A new chapter was coming…

Friends of the West Shore Theatre, Inc. purchased the building in November 2019, with a dream to return this community icon to its former grandeur. This group of volunteer visionaries went to work initiating a capital campaign, recruiting volunteers, and engaging an architect to bring their vision to reality.

The Friends dedicated themselves to maintaining the integrity and beauty of the theatre while revitalizing it for the audiences of today and tomorrow. The building’s structure was sound, but nearly every piece of equipment and building infrastructure was replaced or upgraded.

Reopening in Spring 2022, the theatre is proof that dreams do come true. Today’s West Shore Theatre is truly a revitalized hub for the community. From movies to live music to comedians to hosting private events, the West Shore Theatre is where you can dream a dream and watch it come to life!

west shore theatre 1940
west shore theatre 1946