SHAMOKIN - The former Amity House Ice Cream Shoppe building, last known as the Movie Gallery, is going the way of the wrecking ball.

The one-story building at the corner of West Walnut and North Sixth streets is being demolished to make way for an employee parking lot for Weis Markets, located across the street.

Work to tear down the building began Thursday, and there was a huge hole in the eastern side of the building visible by day's end. The contractor, A Plus Incorporated, based in York, had been waiting for utilities to be disconnected before proceeding with demolition.

Once the building is torn down, blue prints indicate the area will be paved. Existing sidewalks, light standards and curbing will remain. Paving will be done by JC Sons Excavating Inc., based in Whitehall.

Shamokin Code Enforcement Officer Rick Bozza said long-term plans for the site are to renovate the whole parking lot, including installing new light posts, parking stalls and landscaping.

Former tenants

Before the Amity House, the plot of land was the site of the Spurr Gas Station.

Weis Markets, which later purchased the property, broke ground for the Amity House on Oct. 28, 1969. Patrons enjoyed a variety of food, including the "super sundae," a large bowl of ice cream popular with children and adults alike. The establishment abruptly closed its doors on July 20, 1992.

The Movie Gallery, the next tenant, occupied the building until late 2010, after its parent company, Movie Gallery Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier that year.

Dennis Curtin, director of public relations for the Sunbury-based grocery chain, said in 2010 there were no plans for gas pumps at the site, a rumor that has widely circulated around Shamokin after Movie Gallery shuttered its doors. Curtin was not available this week for comment.