Miss Pennsylvania at Watt & Shand opening, 1970

Miss Pennsylvania, Margaret Walker of York, strikes a pose on a countertop under a chrome-cylinder chandelier at the Park City Watt & Shand store, prior to the store's opening in August 1970.

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Excerpts and summaries of news stories from the former Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster New Era and Sunday News that focus on the events in the county’s past that are noteworthy, newsworthy or just strange. 

And then there was one.

Movie houses were a staple of the downtown Lancaster scene for decades, but as of 1995, one of only two remaining theaters was closing its doors for good after a 25-year run.

The Lancaster Twin Theater - formerly the Eric - opened in 1970 as part of the much-ballyhooed Lancaster Square urban renewal project. The $20 million project, anchored by the Hotel Brunswick, never met its lofty expectations.

Staff for the Lancaster Twin was set to be relocated just up the street to the Pacific Theater. Both cinemas were owned by United Artists. 

The first film shown at the Eric in 1970 was "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," and the final shows in 1995 were the Sandra Bullock thriller "The Net" and Kevin Costner's post-apocalyptic "Waterworld."

In the headlines:

Allied jet downed in attack on Serbs

China trying to limit women's free speech

Windows 95 sales soar, as do calls for help

Check out the Aug. 30, 1995, New Era here.

In the summer of 1970, the gradual process of opening Park City Center continued with the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Watt & Shand store.

Miss Pennsylvania, Margaret Walker of York, would be on hand for the festivities, which were to be led by Lancaster mayor Thomas Monaghan and Watt & Shand president James Shand.

The Sunday News of Aug. 30, 1970, ran a front-page story detailing the new store, with a department-by-department rundown of the amenities and decor.

In the headlines:

L.A. antiwar rally erupts in rioting

School integration test due in South

Draft resisters Flock to Calif. for 'sympathy'

Check out the Aug. 30, 1970, Sunday News here.

Even with World War II essentially over, the front pages of Lancaster newspapers at the end of 1945 were still packed with stories about the upcoming official surrender of Japan and the return of American troops from Europe and the Pacific.

One end-of-the-war story had a local connection, though.

The Watt & Shand department store in downtown Lancaster received a letter from one John Mazarakes, writing from the town of Thermon in Greece. The town had been ravaged by a German attack in retaliation for sabotage conducted by its residents against Nazi facilities, Mazarakes wrote, adding that residents were living in tents and shacks as only 50 of Thermon's 500 homes was still standing.

Mazarakes, who had visited Lancaster in 1937 and recalled shopping at Watt & Shand, enclosed a coincidental artifact in his letter: A Watt & Shand sales slip, crumpled and yellowed with age, that he found in the pocket of a suit that was given to him through the Red Cross, via the local Greek War Relief Society.

Grateful for the suit and other items he and his neighbors received as part of the relief effort, Mazarakes wrote to thank the residents of Lancaster for their generous donations.

In the headlines:

MacArthur lands near Tokyo

Secrets of Pearl Harbor bared by Truman

List 24 Nazi chieftains as war criminals

Check out the Aug. 30, 1945, Intelligencer Journal here.

Burglaries of businesses are fairly common in newspaper police reports. But one burglary, reported on Aug. 30, 1920, was a bit more dramatic than most: Someone had  managed to steal 10,000 pounds of flour from the Pride of the City Bakery at East Chestnut and Marshall streets.

Sometime over the preceding weekend, police said, a group of thieves - presumably with access to a truck - entered the bakery warehouse and made off with 100 100-pound bags of flour. 

Police weren't sure how the theft was accomplished unnoticed, but they suspected that one member of the group climbed into the building through the rooftop ventilation ducts, then unlocked the warehouse for his associates.

In the headlines:

Death and injury in wake of worst riots Belfast has seen

Senate committee starts inquiry of campaign monies

Check out the Aug. 30, 1920, Lancaster Intelligencer here.