Our Theater


Our Story

Marshall Straight built the theater in 1946.
In is a post war surplus building.
Marshall sold tickets for 9 cents.
He hosted movies for school groups to come in.
He also brought in a photographer to take family photos with several different backdrops on the stage.
On the Saturday before Christmas he played a free movie for the kids then the fire department would have Santa arrive to pass out bags of candy and nuts. This is still being done today, 60 years later. Marshall sold the theater to Edmond Gooding on August 4. 1973.

Edmond was the first owner to offer X-rated movies. In May of 1978, Edmond relinquished the ownership. Crystal Township had the theater from 1979 to 1981 when they leased it with the option to purchase to Kenneth McQueen. On February 14 1984 Kenneth McQueen sold the theater to Margie Sharland and Pat McShosh.

They together with local citizens modernized the theater while keeping the original projection equipment. Even the prices are reminiscent of the good old days – admission is only $1.50 and popcorn and pop are 50 cents.

On October 3, 1990 Jack and Marry Sharp became the new owners and in May of 2000 they sold it to their employee Roger Gooding Jr. In its lifetime, the theater has hosted local talent, concerts, bands have performed there, it was turned into a haunted theater for Halloween and has even hosted a wedding.

Although there have been few owners and few changed over the years. In 2006 the theater now boasts new seats and a new counter. Retaining the old world charm and a small town feeling. With admission prices and concessions still being reasonable enough to take the whole family for an outing without breaking the bank.

One cannot pass up the chance to enjoy current movies in a building full of the best of Crystal’s history.

The Quonset Hut movie theater ad shows a local company made the theaters like the Crystal Box Office Theater. This ad was found in a 1948  trade magazine.


 After World War II the Quonset Hut theaters spread across the country. The prefab building keep the cost of building a movie theater lower than building the traditional four all building. The Quonset Hut theater was often found in smaller communities. In the 50s the popularity of the Quonset Hut theater faded as the movie theater “palace” became more popular. Today there are only approx. 6 of the original Quonset Hut movie theaters remain open and showing movies. The Crystal Box Office Theater is one of the few remaining Quonset Hut movie theaters still in operation as a movie theater. Step back in the 1940s. The Crystal Box Office Theater is a mix of modern theater while still using many of the old ways.

This is an ad from  late 40s or early 50s.


I found this interesting. When the theater opened tickets cost 25 cents Plus 5 cents tax for a total of 30 cents. That is a movie ticket tax of 20%.

Take a tour of the Quonset Hut theater or learn more about the theater and the behind the scenes of running a theater in a small town.

Click here: https://www.youtube.com/@114SouthMainStreet/videos


Ghost Stores

Like every old place, The Crystal Box Office Theater has a few ghost stories.
It is believed by many that the old theater is haunted. A local physic/medium came through the theater and not only did she find the theater to be active with spirits, but the entire town was active with the dead. She found those who continue to call Crystal home after their passing, to be fun loving, and kind spirits. Crystal is a place to come to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and some say that doesn’t change after we pass. Some of people’s best memories come from Crystal so my not call Crystal home after we depart?
Over several years, three different people with no knowledge of the other two, have made claims of seeing a young man staring outside the theater wearing what is described to be old fashion gangster clothing. The description from the three individuals of this spirit are eerily very similar. Keep an eye out for a ghostly image standing outside the theater. We are not going to give details on clothing or what he is said to be doing but if you see him, make note of it, talk to him and see if your experiences match that of others.

The door that allows access to the marquee, among other locks, has a hook and eye latch on the inside of the door. In order to use the latch, you had to pull on the door tight and push down on the hook to get it into the eye. It was a very tight fit. Twice the door slammed shut and lashed, locking the person on the roof of the ticket window. This happened twice. We have since changed that door and no further issues have occurred.

Once, while the theater was closed, from the lobby, music could be heard coming from the auditorium. When the auditorium door was opened to see what was going on, the music stopped.. Once the door was closed, the music started again. Every time the door was opened, the music stopped until the door was closed again.

Once and a while voices are heard in the theater. To debunk the idea that I was not alone in the empty theater, I would rush down from the projection room to investigate. I rushed down to see if the voices might have been people walking by the theater, or maybe people loading their hardware store purchases.. Possible it was music from a passing car or something going on in town. I would rush to the front doors, look around, even walk around the building only to find a peaceful, quiet little town with no activity.
At times you get the uneasy feeling as if you are the center of attention. It is not a scary feeling or an unwelcome feeling, but one that comes from being watched as if you are the unwanted center of attention. Never has anyone reported the feeling of fear or being unwelcome. After all, now for forever, people come to the theater to have a good time. The staff along with an paranormal investigating team explored the theater. Those involved had some personal experiences but nothing could be documented.
We honor those who have come before us during each showing by running film from when they might have come to the theater.