The Towers Theatre on Broadway and Pine Street predated movies, and featured both film and live entertainment into the 1950s. During the theater’s glory days, in the vaudeville era, it featured its own orchestra, led by Gus Borchard and featuring Ollie Bundick on drums and Sammy Adams on the piano. Camden’s own Don Traveline also played many a show there.
The Towers was also used for mass meetings by labor and political groups at different times, including an October 28, 1931 rally by Democrat candidate for governor A. Harry Moore.
The Towers Theatre had a large grand piano on stage that was employed when piano-based acts played the theater. The theater closed for a spell during the Depression, but reopened around the end of 1939. Journalist Dan McConnell wrote about the piano and some of the artists that used it in his November 24, 1939 column.
When the theatre reopened actor-producer Lee Harvey was appointed manager, a post that he held until his death in April of 1950. He was succeeded by Willard G. Johnson, who had appeared for many years in vaudeville with his father Jesse P. Johnson.
Different editions of Film Daily Yearbook give several seating capacities. The 1941 edition states 1,200, while the 1943 edition shows a 1,700 seat capacity. The 1950 edition has the theatre with 1,420 seats.
By October of 1956 the Towers’ doors were shut forever. A gas station replaced the old palace, and remains there to this day….
The Towers Theatre predates moves and, in the vaudeville era, it featured its own orchestra. It was also used for labor and political meetings at various times.
The Walt Whitman Hotel was a venture championed by the Greater Camden Movement, a coalition of business and civic leaders that began to coalesce shortly before and during World War I.
When Camden began its period of industrial growth and expansion after the Civil War, the intersections at Broadway became anchor locations in the civic and commercial life of Camden and the surrounding areas.
Mrs. Trado used the stage name "Kay Hamilton" as a singer who won her fame in vaudeville, touring from Boston to Chicago.
Camden Courier-Post – October 29, 1931 Demanding a fair election and protection to Democratic voters, A. Harry Moore was greeted here last night by the largest crowd to gather at a Democratic meeting in Camden’s recent history.