1967 - Present
Tom and Barbara Budjanek are the original owners of the Ambridge Family Theatre. They began the theatre creatively; wooden seats were purchased from the Pittsburgh Playhouse during one of its' renovations, neon lights were taken from the old "Blue Sky" sign, and Barbara's artistic talents furnished the front lobby in a plush 1930's style with hanging brass and crystal chandeliers, gold accented crown molding, red flocked velvet wallpaper, and mirrors to give a spacious appearance. Later on, cushioned seating from Radio City Music Hall was placed in the theatre. In 2004 the seating was refurbished with new padding and upholstery.
The Projection Booth
Tom brought the equipment from the "Blue Sky" drive in to the theatre, circa 1940's Strong Utillity carbon arc lamphouses with their "pure" light, Super Simplex projectors, and RCA soundheads. The setup was what is called a changeover system, in which approximately 2000 feet of film is run through a projector, at which time the operator changed over to the other projector. This happened 5 -6 times for the average movie. The sound system used a RCA tube amplifier and Altec "Voice of the Theater" speaker. The screen is approximately 6 x12.
In 2005 the projection booth was updated. A new film transport system was installed, allowing only one projector to be used. The carbon arc lamphouse was replaced with a xenon lamphouse. The soundhead had the red reader that modern films require installed, and the power amplifier was updated to a solid state unit.
Theatre Mascot- "LadyBug"
"Where's the little dog?" people still ask me, and they mean "LadyBug"! Barbara's little terrier "LadyBug" was a fixture at the theatre, part of the "staff", greeting customers and resting in the ticket booth under Barbara's feet during shows. LadyBug was in the theatre from puppyhood until the day Tom and Barbara turned over the business to us, a long career as a theatre pup. Sadly, shortly after we purchased the theater, LadyBug passed on, a sweet little dog, she is missed by many regular customers.