The Theatre Company has always been a family business. Alan Frank, Samuel’s heir, is still keen on running cinemas
Teethed on the back of a theatre seat, Alvin Frank beams: “I’ve had the movie theatre urge since I was old enough to walk. When I was just a tot, my father Samuel would take me to his office. It was fascinating. I knew even before I was a teenager that this was to be my life’s work. Dad never overlooked an opportunity to please movie-goers and I guess I’ve always followed his lead.”
Frank’s first theatres
This ‘lead’ began in 1927 at the Bryn Mawr Theatre, located above a fire house in Bryn Mawr, PA. The next, the Rivoli Theatre in Hammonton, NJ, opened in 1929. There were more than 2,000 attending its opening. It was said to have been the-then most elegant theatre in the state.
When Samuel Frank retired in 1950, Al, having gained sufficient experience in all aspects of theatre management, was well-qualified to take over as CEO of the Frank Company. Along with his late wife Barbara, he ran the theatres. Meanwhile their three children also learned the theatre business from box office to boardroom.
The Frank Theatre Company
The Frank Theatre Company is known as an innovative organization. It opened the first twin-screen theatre on the East Coast back in 1968. Today, it has theatres in New Jersey, the Carolinas and, more recently, a new-build multiplex in Florida. Al includes having clean theatres, a first-rate sound system, modern patron conveniences and his family’s participation in the business as among the things that remain important to him.
A family business
His semi-retirement in 2004 led to his son Bruce assuming the CEO position and daughter Deborah as President. Daughter Karen also maintains an active interest in the industry. In 2005, Al’s many years of service to the industry were recognized: he received the Exhibitor of the Year Award at ShoWest.
Al and his wife Betty presently enjoy retirement in both New Jersey and Florid. They continue attending Shows East and West to keep tabs on the industry to which their lives have been devoted, and to catch up with their many friends.