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Roxy Movie Theatre Northampton PA – Best Unexpected Roadside Find – Part 1

Posted on: October 28, 2010


I seriously had to pull over and catch my breath (and snap a photo) when I drove by the Roxy Theatre on Main Street in Northampton, PA – just north of Allentown. Even now my blood sugar levels are peaking just gazing at the photo of this fabulous vintage movie marquee and neon sign!

Roxy Theatre Northampton PA

It is this type of unexpected, glorious find that makes road trippers and suburban archeologists like myself drive through unfamiliar hamlets and visit sleepy little downtowns.

When I saw the sign for the Roxy looming ahead of me, unlit in the late afternoon light, I was astounded. When I saw that the theatre was still open, I was hopeful. And when I saw that a movie was going to start in a little while, I called Retro Roadhusband and let him know I would not be home for dinner!

I futzed around the area until dusk and as I drove past the theatre I noticed that the sign was not lit, but there was a line of folks gathering to buy their tickets.  I pulled into the free parking lot located right behind the theatre and headed up the alley towards the entrance. I was charmed to be behind an older couple, out on a hot date on a Saturday night, and bid them a good evening as I walked past them.

Going to The Roxy

What a treat was waiting for me as I turned that corner!

Roxy Theatre Closeup Northampton PA

The Neon was ablaze, not one light out, and the sign was in motion with flashing lights and neon. Oh how beautiful, especially at this dusky time of night. I could not stop myself from taking a jillion photos from every angle, across the street, right below it. I could not get enough.
Roxy Theatre Northampton PA - Marquee - Retro Roadmap
Glorious neon sign, check. Free parking, check. How about the fact that the tickets are THREE DOLLARS, yes just $3.00 to see a first run movie on the big screen. I took my dollar coin change from the nice lady in the booth and handed my ticket to the uniformed usher in the lobby.

Roxy Theatre Entrance Northampton PA

Once inside, thrilled that the interior was as lovingly well kept as the exterior, I admired the art deco design of the space, and promptly realized I needed to find the ladies room.

Roxy Theatre Northampton PA Art Deco Statuette

Little did I know that the dashing gentleman in the suit who directed me upstairs was in fact owner Richard Wolfe. He began kindly answering my questions, between greeting patrons, directing folks to the proper line at the snack bar, and selling gift certificates. When I told him a little about Retro Roadmap he was more than happy to allow me to snap some photos and gave me a wonderful history of the place.

Click here to read part 2 of my fab visit to the Roxy – AND see some video of their cool sign sparkling in the night!

Roxy Theatre
2004 Main St
Northampton, PA 18067-1314
(610) 262-7699


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  • http://www.roadsidewonders.net wendyvee

    Holy Frijole!! That GORGEOUS!!!

    What a great time to be strolling up that alley, too :)
    In addition to all of the great vintage finds … it’s photos like that which make me love your site all the more.

    In fact, if I recall correctly, one the first posts that I saw when I found on your site was Nokomis Groves — and what charmed me most was the great shot you took of those cute little ladies eating ice cream.

    The Roxy is certainly on my “to-do” list now!

    • http://www.RetroRoadmap.com Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com

      I know, isn’t it the best? And the owner is taking such good care of the place, it really restores your faith in humanity!

  • http://dinerhotline.wordpress.com Larry Cultrera

    Beth, I’ve known about this theater for a while (never been there). It certainly is one of the best! Glad you are doing something on this, you of all people can do it justice!

    • http://www.RetroRoadmap.com Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com

      Thanks Larry, I’m heartened that other folks know about this place, but still love the “thrill of the find” when I come across places like this unannounced. The internet is great for finding places but also reduces the chance of surprises like this was.

  • http://www.roadsidefans.com Glenn Wells

    The Roxy was featured on the cover of the Fall 2003 SCA Journal, which had “The Art of the Movie Theater,” an article featuring photographs by Stefanie Klavens (whose photo exhibit wraps up at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, MA this weekend!)

    • http://www.RetroRoadmap.com Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com

      Glenn – It was a total kismet when I was browsing through Stefanie’s online portfolio, to find her photo of the Roxy. That’s when I knew I had to make sure Retro Roadmap readers knew about both! Can’t let the SCA folks have all the fun ;-)

  • http://eccentricroadside.blogspot.com Gunnar

    Looks like the only thing missing was the newsreel and the cartoon.

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  • Ron Lokay

    Hi, I’m Ron Lokay and Rich Wolfe is my best friend. Checkout these 2 sites to see what the Roxy Theater, Rich & I have teamed up to do for the Borough of Northampton Fire Dept. Utube Ron Lokay’s Roxy Photo Shoot & on Facebook Rediscover Northampton. Rich has lent his Roxy Marquee numerous times, plus the electric needed to run the lighting for the Photo Shoot at no cost to me or the Fire Dept. I guess you couldn’t find a better person than my friend Rich. It is nice to see that someone else has such nice remarks for this truly fine gentlemen.

  • Joan Lengyel

    Before I found and joined the Theatre Historical Society of America I too would be flabagasted and filled with joy in finding a “Roxy”. I had that happen to me in Ellsworth, Maine when I found the “Grand”. I have realized that there are people that set their own path in life and Richard Wolfe is a prime example. Thank you and to Richard for letting me see the “light” in a small Pennsylvania town of North Hampton. I know Richard and saw and witnessed his love of the movies and movie theaters. I sketch movie houses around the country and hold lectures to spread “survival”. If you see the “Magic of Main Street Movies” in your travels that’s “me” best joan lengyel

    • http://www.RetroRoadmap.com Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com

      Joan, thanks for chiming in and knowing what I mean about the Roxy – I’ll be adding the Grand in Ellsworth ME to my ever growing list of places I want to check out! I’ll alsp be on the lookout for you and your Magic of Main Street Movies – keep me posted!

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