Seeing a film at The Avenue movie theater in Rehoboth

March 22, 2022

Long before the Movies at Midway opened on Route 1, Rehoboth Beach had its very own single-screen theater at 32 Rehoboth Ave. This photograph was made in 1951. The movie of the day was “Purple Heart Diary,” a World War II love story released in November starring Frances Langford and Judd Holdren. The other movie posters appear to be “Slaughter Trail” and “On The Loose.” The theater was built in 1941 by William B. Derrickson, father to Richard Derrickson who opened Movies at Midway and once operated the now-defunct Rehoboth Mall Cinema. William opened the The Center Theatre in 1945 across Rehoboth Avenue. He later opened the Midway Palace theater in 1965. The Avenue remained open until the 1960s. Addresses in Rehoboth Beach changed in the mid-1980s, so the Avenue Theater’s location was at today’s Odysea shop in the second block. The Center Theatre was located on the property that is now Browseabout Books. 

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. 

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