633-637 Market Street

The Savar was the flagship theater of the Savar Theatre Corporation chain, which was founded by Samuel Varbalow. His brother, Joseph A. Varbalow, also served as an officer of the corporation, as well as practicing law in Camden. Another brother, Harry, passed away in 1940. Other theaters in the Savar chain in Camden included the the Auditorium, which was torn down and rebuilt as the Rio; the Victoria, the Towers, the Midway, and the Arlo.  

Located just to the east of the Camden Trust bank building on Market Street, the Savar in 1938 was the first theater to utilize a new sound system that had been developed by the Radio Corporation of America, otherwise known as RCA, which had its research and development facilities in Camden at the time. 

The Varbalow family had roots in the Jewish agricultural settlements established near ear Hammonton before the turn of the century. They came to Camden prior to World War I, and engaged in realty, building, shoe stores, and other business. The family settled first in South Camden, and shortly afterwards in Cramer Hill. In the late 1940s, Samuel and Joseph A. Varbalow both lived in the 2600 block of Baird Boulevard, between Marlton Pike and Federal Street. Their neighbors included realtor Edward J. Borden and tavern owner David Plasky

Deteriorating economic conditions in Camden, caused by the closing of many of Camden's major employers translated into declining attendance. By 1970 the Savar had closed its doors. The building has been gone for decades.

The Savar Theater in 1936

Although the caption indicates a 1938 opening, the picture above was taken in 1936, when the movie "Country Doctor" starring  Jean Hersholt was released. Although generally forgotten today, Hersholt appeared in over 130 films between 1906 and his passing in 1956. 


October 1, 1936

Camden Courier-Post
February 21, 1938

Sonja Heine & Don Ameche in HAPPY LANDING

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October 1939 - Street Advertising

The photo was taken by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. My best guess is that this was taken around South 2nd Street, below Mickle Street.

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July 1, 1941

Billy Conn
Joe Louis
Patrick Comiskey


July 23, 1941

Man Hunt


July 30, 1941

Moon Over Miami


February 1942


Stanley Theater
Camden Trust,
and the
Savar Theater

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Camden Courier-Post - May 19, 1964

I Graduated in 1940 from Merchantville High and when my husband and I were dating went to Camden almost every night. Skated first at 4th & Federal and then at 7th and Cooper, then for movies Friday at the Grand, Saturday night at the Savar and Sunday at the Stanley for the stage show. Saw many of the big bands there- it was a wonderful time to be young. 

June Styron Formont, January 2004

CAMDEN Movie theaters