For those of you who have read the infamous Legend of Devil’s Road and the Duponts, you may have heard of Catman, the urban legend of Frankford Delaware. (To read the full true story of what happened on Devil’s Road and what the urban legends are based off of, click here.) Catman is a creature that apparently was a caretaker of the Long Cemetery and graveyard in Frankford, Delaware, whom had catlike features. Long Cemetery is located on a dirt road path in Sussex County and has been there since the 1800’s.
Sources say they have spotted Catman watching over the cemetery from beyond his grave. One of the most popular sightings of Catman was while some teenagers wandered into the cemetery at night to drink some booze. They soon were scared off, seeing ghostly images of a dark manlike creature standing in the distance. Legend has it, while he lived, Catman took his job as caretaker of the graveyard very seriously.
Others have said he is buried in the center of the Frankford graveyard, in an above tomb according to Delaware Haunted Houses. The story is, if you knock three times on the brick wall behind the cemetery, he will tamper with your car so that it won’t start when you try to leave. I’m not sure who’s willing to test this theory, but it ain’t me.
One forum writer on Delaware Haunted Houses wrote…
“I literally live next to it and drive my ATV around there and I have seen some unusual things that I can’t explain. My ATV wouldn’t start for a couple of minutes.”
All in all, Delaware’s Catman doesn’t want to harm or hurt you. Even with tampering with your car, he’s just trying to show you who’s boss and keep you from messing around in his cherished and most beloved graveyard, Long Cemetery. So stay out!
Inside the Abandoned Cine'Mart Theater in Wilmington Delaware
In the late 60s and early 70s, movie theaters, drive-ins, and strip mall cinemas were popping up all over the nation. They were the new craze. Branmar Cinema had just opened their doors, along with Tri State Mall’s old theater. And then came the Cine’Mart Theater on Governor Printz Boulevard in Wilmington, Delaware. The first date of the box office opening at the Cine’Mart was January 20th, 1969.
According to the credited research that Edwin Graf Diemer contributed to Cinema Treasures for this story, “The shopping center [across the street from Cine’Mart] was built just following World War II and quickly became the most popular shopping destination in Wilmington.” The theater seated 984 people and there was only 1 screen, similar to Branmar Theater just a couple miles away. A newspaper released at the time of the closure stated, “The CineMart, Northern Delaware’s largest motion picture theater was closed over the weekend. Employees of the 984-seat theater on the Governor Printz Boulevard said they were notified of the closing just hours before it was shut down.”
The theater was steadily losing “$50,000 to $60,000 a year” and fell behind on rent. The owners did ask the owners of the Merechandise Mart to twin the theater, but they declined. At the same time of the CineMart closure, the Edgemoor Theater, which was only a few hundred yards up the road, would close when their lease expired.
Edwin cited that “The auditorium was completely in gold with wide rocking chair seating. The front was deeply curved to allow for the screen, with curtains that went to the rear of the auditorium.” According to local WJBR listener, Gary Rauso who has been to the Cinemart as well as Branmar Cinema, stated “It was the first theater in the area to have surround sound.” This theater, along with many others across America, actually were booking shows ranging from G-rated to explicit pornographic films. The theater was originally built to operate solely on X-rated pornographic films, but the Budco company acquired the theater from Hallmark Theaters of Massachusetts and started showing all varieties of films. The first film ever shown at the Cinemart was in 1968, titled “The Odd Couple”. The last ever film shown there was “The Exterminator”.
The downfall of the Cine’Mart was actually due to the Concord Mall on Route 202 in Wilmington. The Mall had been built with a theater of its own and sucked the life out of the Cine’Mart. This also resulted in the abandonment of the entire Merchandise Mart. Today, the Cine’Mart is fully abandoned, but remains standing with boards up on every possible entrance.
For a more-in depth read of the history of the Cine’Mart, I highly recommend reading Edwin’s full contribution on Cinema Treasures.
Hollywood Kyle is the Digital Content Producer and Production Director of Mix 99.5 WJBR. Being a Delaware local, Kyle takes pride in his hometown and has had a love for music since a young age. Hollywood Kyle joins the Mix Morning Show for abstract thoughts and ideas during "Hollywood Kyle" segment around 9:40am Monday thru Friday.