About The Berwick Theater: My name is Renee DiAugustine-Bower and I currently maintain operations of the Berwick Theater. I took over this responsibility when my grandfather passed away last summer.

My grandfather, Vincent DiAugustine, was a legend in the small town of Berwick, PA. He was a man of many trades, but his passion was in the Berwick Theater. He maintained operation of the Berwick Theater for over 40 years and sold tickets in the ticket booth every night until he fell ill a few months before his death.                                the berwick theater front from the street

When my Pop got the news that he had a little over a year to invest in a digital projection system that would run him about $60,000, or he would no longer be able to show new movies, he didn’t quit. At the ripe age of 88 years old, my grandfather actively pursued his options. Even in my Pop’s last moments, the Berwick Theater wasn’t far from his mind. It was literally his dying wish to keep the doors open at the Berwick Theater.

My grandfather was proud to provide low cost, family friendly entertainment to his community. He insisted that prices never exceed the already low $4 admission fee. Sine I’ve taken over the responsibilities of the Berwick Theater, I’ve only raised prices that I absolutely had to. The Berwick Theater is a low-cost, family friendly source of entertainment that I believe is important to this community.

The actual structure of the Berwick Theater goes back a long way. It was originally built and maintained by the Patriotic Order Sons of America for it’s intended use as an Opera House. In the 1910’s it was renamed the Lyric and later it became the Palace. It’s believed that it was being operated as a playhouse at that time. Records show that it was the Strand in the 1920’s-1930’s and operated as a movie theater. Our patrons tell of silent movies and later popular titles like “Stowaway” with Shirley Temple.
the berwick theater seats and screen
In 1937 there was a devastating fire, but it seems that the Strand was more fortunate than it’s neighboring play house. In 1969 major renovations were made to the theater. It was those renovations that the Berwick Theater still very much resembles. The whole project included fire proof walls, state of the art technology for it’s time, the infamous BIG screen and many other upgrades that cost upwards of $90,000 at that time. My grandfather purchased the Berwick Theater in 1971 and has had it ever since. He leased it for a number of years but resumed control in 1997 and maintained it until his death in July 2013.

Though changes have been made to the theatre over the years, it still exudes a certain character that’s unique to small town theatres such as this one. It’s a charming theater that resonates history with every turn, from it’s cast iron exit signs, art deco theater seats, to it’s original classic aisle lighting.

The theater acts as an anchor for the downtown business community the same way that a multiplex attracts shoppers to a mall. It is part of the character and vitality of the town. If the theater is forced to go dark part of the attraction of downtown Berwick will be lost along with it.

The Berwick Theater doesn’t bring in a profit, and hasn’t for a long time. Every cent that comes out of the Berwick Theater, goes right back into it. My pop never cared about a big profit, he just did what he had to keep the lights on. I don’t intend to change any of that. The more profit we bring in, the more money we can put back into the theater.