“This story may never be an epic piece of cinematic genius, but I’ll bet you it would capture the hearts of movie goers everywhere. The opening scene is set with the camera panning over picturesque Lebanon County. A boy named Allen Hicks (everyone calls him Skip) is strolling down the street with his friends about to enter a local movie theater on Cumberland Street in downtown Lebanon. They take their seats, lost in the darkness of the theater. Suddenly, music begins to play, the stage curtains rise and larger than life images appear on the screen completely and utterly mesmerizing young Hicks. This becomes the first of many trips to the local movie theater and as Skip grows into a young man, his life takes him in another direction, but he never forgets how he feels when he is watching the big screen. His friends used to call him “Nustdy”, for movies. “Nutstdy” was a Lebanon colloquialism for “nuts”. And, they were right. The scene changes to 1917 and the camera now closes in on a quaint movie theater on a street in the village of Annville. The name of the theater is “The Hippadrome” and it shows movies to the local residents a few evenings a week. Little did Skip know how much this little theater would change his life forever.
Skip attended Elizabethtown College and it was there he says he met his most patient wife, Martha. They both became teachers and Skip took a position at the Milton Hershey School. They had their daughter Stephanie some years later and life was rolling along pretty good. But in 1992, just like something out of the movies, the most unusual event happened. Skip’s mother Mary Jane Hicks, told him she was purchasing a movie theater in Annville. And, not only was she purchasing the theater, she was purchasing the appliance store next door. And this is the best bit. She was gifting both to Skip.
Renovation began in 1992 on the newly named Allen Theater, in honor of Skip’s father, Allen, Sr. The Hicks chose Hickey Architects to perform the renovations and in 1995, the doors to the Allen Theater and MJ’s Coffeehouse opened to the public. And from that day, until today, you can purchase your ticket, pause and have a chat with the man who has sat in the little arched ticket booth for the past twenty two years, Skip Hicks.
The theater is handsomely decorated with vintage movie posters and movie memorabilia. Customers can grab a delicious sandwich and coffee at MJ’s Coffeehouse (dedicated to Skip’s mother Mary Jane) and take them right into the movie theater. Skip says you would be surprised how clean the theater has stayed over the years. Customers always clean up their plates and cups when they leave. The theater has gained much notoriety over the years and is rated in the top four theaters in the regional area. With its close proximity to Lebanon Valley College, Skip and Martha have generously donated the use of the theater’s stage for concerts and other events. Folks from Harrisburg, Lancaster, Chester and Berks counties flock to see the top rated movies Skips offers. But as in all movies, there is a beginning and an end, and Skip has decided it’s time to move on to the next feature. Retirement. Skip and Martha want to have a bit more time to spend at their beach home and they have chosen to place the Allen Theater up for sale. Skip says he has mixed emotions, but is ready for a new chapter in his life. What will he do next? He says he’ll probably start another small business but he’s not sure what he’ll end up doing. For now, he’s looking for someone who loves movies, a good cup of coffee and who will be a good steward of the Allen Theater and MJ’s Coffeehouse. He says he hopes that the new owners will love it just as much as he has.
So as the camera pans back from the Allen Theater and MJ’s Coffeehouse in Annville, PA, we see the sun setting over the rooftops, Skip locking the front door of the theater and grabbing his wife Martha’s hand. And as the two stroll away smiling, they are remembering with much fondness how grateful they were to have the chance to be a part of the local community and help people to forget their troubles just for a little while. So long friends. Come back and visit us some day. I’d say this would make a fine ending to the movie wouldn’t you?”
For more information about the Allen Theater at 36 Main Street in Annville, PA, please call Anne Lusk 717.291.9201.
Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty will host Open Houses this Sunday, March 12, 2017 from 1p-3p at the following properties:
Hempfield 5808 Wild Lilac Drive, East Petersburg
$535,000 3 bedrooms, 2 full and 1 half baths, located in Hadyn Manor – a premier new neighborhood.
We know that Lancaster is a truly remarkable place with lots of fun for people of all ages. But when we find articles online, especially from publications in NYC, it makes us especially proud to live and work here in Lancaster, Pennsylvania!
“New Yorkers looking for a weekend getaway alternative to the Hamptons or Hudson Valley this spring can dial it down by taking a three-hour train ride from Penn Station to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
There’s a lot more to the laid-back, culturally diverse city than its main tourism draws — handmade Amish goods and outlet shopping. There’s also a thriving culinary, craft brew and arts scene.
Once you scratch past the stereotypical surface, there are endless layers to this city that was our nation’s capital for just one day in 1777, during the American Revolution.
As one of the most visited spots in Lancaster, Central Market has long been a hub for those in the city and the surrounding bucolic areas to gather, and buy and sell the bounty of the county. The red brick Romanesque Revival style of Central Market’s building, with its terra cotta roof, dates back to 1889. The actual market, however, is the longest continuously running farmers’ market in the U.S., dating back to 1730.
Today it’s a mad mix of Amish, Mennonite and German vendors touting Pennsylvania Dutch favorites alongside hip, young farmers pushing organic foods. And since Lancaster takes in more refugees per capita than any other U.S. city, that diversity is reflected in the culture and cuisine here, as well as at the market with vendors cooking up authentic fare from Kuwait, Thailand, Cuba, Kenya and Greece.
If you’re more into booze than food, there’s plenty on pour as Lancaster’s beer roots run deep. The county has been brewing since the early 1700’s thanks to the influx of Europeans. For a fun brewery crawl today, Lancaster Brewing Co.; Wacker Brewing Co.; and Spring House Brewing Co. make a good trio. Spring House is not as centrally located, but its Taproom in town (25 W. King St.) is also a great spot post-market for Saturday afternoon samplers. Outside of breweries, most restaurants and bars have a great lineup of taps in town.
For cocktails and local lure, head to the Horse Inn. At one time, a horse barn here was a front for the speakeasy upstairs. The original hay stalls remain today and serve as booths. A mixologist named Benjamin Hash, who’s won cocktail competitions around the country, makes his own elixirs.
For art, design, and fashion, head to Gallery Row on the first and second blocks of North Prince St.; and the shopping strip called 300 Block of North Queen Street in Downtown Lancaster.
Galleries are scattered throughout the city, yet concentrated on Gallery Row. According to Lancaster artist Liz Hess, “About 85% of galleries [here] are owned by the artist themselves. Few are owned jointly by several artists, or in a co-op arrangement.” Thousands descend upon the city monthly to celebrate Lancaster’s art with “First Friday,” when galleries, shops and restaurants along Gallery Row extend their hours and host activities between 5 and 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month.
On Queen St., chic boutiques, antiques and vintage shops abound. Scarlett Willow (320 N. Queen St.) can be a hit for vintage coats and cocktail glasses. Madcap & Co. and Building Character house several vendors — old, new and artisan. For mid-century madness, head to Space.
Artsy types looking for a place to stay should check into the Lancaster Arts Hotel. The 63-room chic boutique boasts $300,000 worth of art; 269 pieces by 36 different local artists displayed around the hotel and in guestrooms. Across town, the Cork Factory Hotel in Downtown Lancaster is a work of art unto itself. The 93-room space housed an actual cork factory in the 19th century and is a member of Historic Hotels of America.
For theater enthusiasts, the Fulton Opera House, built in 1852, is the go-to spot. With its ornate Victorian architecture and neoclassical interior, it’s the oldest continuously operating theater in the U.S., and one of only eight theaters in the country recognized as a National Historic Landmark.
Lancaster is a very a walkable city, perfect for self-guided architecture tours with several buildings dating back to the early 1700’s. You’ll see Art Deco, Beaux Arts, Classic Revival and Georgian Style, among others, alongside Victorian row homes and old tobacco warehouses that are now lofts and bars.
There is history in every inch, plate and pour in the city, and it’s a part of contemporary culture here, including at Tellus360. The Irish pub and concert and event venue hosts performances over several floors, cozy corners, and rooftops.
If you go…
Getting there: Amtrak offers a direct three-hour train from Penn Station. From the station in Lancaster, it’s a 15-20-minute walk to city center.
Sotheby’s International Realty Achieved $95 Billion in Global Sales Volume for 2016
Lancaster, PA (February 27, 2017) – Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty, a luxury real estate firm based in Lancaster, PA, today announced that the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand reported that in 2016 its affiliated brokers and sales professionals achieved approximately $95 billion in global sales volume, the highest annual sales volume performance in the history of the brand, driven largely by a brand record of over 127,000 transactions.
In addition, Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty announced that it achieved $137.7 million in sales volume in Lancaster and the surrounding Central PA region for 2016.
The Sotheby’s International Realty brand also reported growth across its global network, which now encompasses nearly 70 countries and territories worldwide. At year-end, the network totaled 880 offices and more than 20,000 sales associates.
“2016 proved to be yet another record year for the Sotheby’s International Realty brand,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “In just 12 years, we have grown from $4.2 billion to $95 billion in sales volume. Our brand has achieved exponential growth, and I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication from our affiliate member companies, their independent sales associates and our dedicated worldwide staff. This is a true testament to the strength and international footprint of this extraordinary brand.”
In the United States, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand achieved $85 billion in sales volume in 2016 and also added seven independently owned and operated residential real estate firms as well as 45 new offices to its network across the country. This past year witnessed continued significant growth by existing affiliate companies through talent attraction and mergers and acquisitions, most notably increasing the brand’s market presence in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, throughout southern Rhode Island and on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The brand also entered several key new markets last year, namely: Gulf Shores, Alabama; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
“2016 was a fantastic year for us at Lusk & Associates. We had the opportunity to work with so many truly incredible families in the area sell or buy their homes,” said Anne M. Lusk, Owner of Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty.
“We are proud of our affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty and their reputation as a luxury brand,” Lusk said.
Outside the United States, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand achieved $10 billion in sales volume in 2016 and continued to expand into key markets. The brand saw continued growth in Europe, entering the countries of Austria, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Montenegro. The brand also expanded in the Asia-Pacific region through affiliations in Fiji and Shanghai and continued to grow in Hong Kong and greater Thailand. Finally, the brand expanded its presence in the Caribbean with the addition of affiliates in Roatan and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The Sotheby’s International Realty brand was at the forefront of interactive technology in 2016 with the introduction of 3D Tours with Virtual Reality capability on sothebysrealty.com. Additionally, the site saw the most traffic in its history with nearly 22 million visits, a 54% increase year-over-year.
The brand also launched the first luxury real estate app for Apple TV, featuring professionally curated high-resolution photography and high-definition video giving consumers the opportunity to explore homes on a screen larger than ever before. An alliance with Juwai.com was launched in 2016 that gives the Sotheby’s International Realty network an edge to generate Chinese homebuyer interest on one of the world’s most prominent real estate websites with over two million monthly visitors. As a truly international brand, Sotheby’s International Realty has the most global representation on Juwai.com, displaying luxury listings from 66 countries and territories.
The Sotheby’s International Realty brand was the No. 1 real estate company represented in two of the six categories that comprise the annual REAL Trends/The Wall Street Journal “Top Thousand” report. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand claimed 45 of the top 250 sales associates in the Individual Sales Volume category, more than any other real estate company. The brand also had the highest combined individual sales volume from sales associates in the same category. In addition, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand had the most individuals represented in the Individual Average Sales Price category, holding 17 of the top 50 spots (34%), further establishing the strength of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand as a leader in luxury real estate sales.
Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty, which has agents in Lancaster and the Central PA region, offers exclusive Sotheby’s International Realty marketing, advertising and referral services designed to attract well-qualified buyers to the firm’s property listings. In addition, the firm and its clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house, which promotes real estate referral opportunities with auction house clientele. Property listings from Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty also are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website, as well as on the firm’s local website, www.luskandassociates.com.
Based in historic Lancaster County, Lusk & Associates is located near major arteries for business and commerce for south-central Pennsylvania. Anne M. Lusk, the owner of Lusk & Associates, has over 25 years of real estate experience in residential and commercial listings. When Anne opened the office in 2006, she was already a prominent figure in Lancaster real estate and that year was voted the number one Realtor® in Lancaster County by Lancaster County Magazine. In 2012 she became the top agent in Pennsylvania for closed sales volume and was ranked 206th in the country by transaction sides in both 2012 and 2013. By collaborating with some of the finest agents in the area, Lusk & Associates was formed with the goal of bringing a shared vision for world-class service to a broader base of homeowners and buyers. They can expect to receive a unique degree of personal attention, hard work, dedication, and local knowledge that when combined provide an unparalleled approach to real estate. From the first meeting to the settlement table, from buying or selling a first home to centuries-old historic property, each and every customer is made to feel like that they are our only one.