Boscov memorial moved to larger venue
READING >> With thousands expected to pay their respects to retail icon Albert Boscov, a planned memorial service has been moved to a bigger venue.
The event had originally been planned for The Santander Performing Arts Center on Sixth Street in Reading, making use of both the theater and ballrooms, where video of the event would have been streamed. But the service is now planned for 1 p.m.. on Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Santander Arena on Penn Street.
The move was necessary to assure that everyone who wants to attend the event is able to get in, according to CEO and Vice Chairman Jim Boscov.
“I was starting to get comments from some large groups — saying they were going to come in the night before to get in line to be sure they could get in. And while we had arranged for overflow areas, if we can eliminate that and make it easy for everyone, that’s better.” Boscov said. “The arena gives everyone the chance to come,” adding that parking is not an issue in the area around the arena.
Doors will open at noon to the public, with the memorial service scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Tickets are not required.
“The family is putting together a program that
will be a tribute to Albert and which will include some speakers who know Albert well,” Boscov added. “People can expect to hear some wonderful tributes from those who know him and have worked with him, as well as music and some visuals.”
Boscov, the chairman of Boscov’s Department Store LLC passed away on Feb. 10, a little more than one week after announcing to co-workers and the community that he was battling late-stage cancer.
Since his passing, there has been an outpouring of support, memories and well wishes for the Boscov family on social media.
“The family and I take tremendous comfort in the comments people have made,” Boscov added.
Matt Christine, marketing manager for the Santander Arena said that at full capacity — the Santander Arena can seat up to 8,000 people. The
Performing Arts Center can seat 1,774.
Boscov said the plan is to have about 1,000 seats on the arena floor and another 3,000 to 4,000 seats available in the arena.
To accommodate the Boscov memorial, the Reading Royals home hockey game scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Feb. 26, has been pushed back one hour and will now begin at 6 p.m.
“We’re grateful to the Reading Royals for pushing back the start of their game and we’re grateful to the arena and its employees who will have to quickly get the arena ready for the hockey game,” Boscov said.
The Boscov’s Department Store chain was started by Boscov’s father Solomon. Under Albert Boscov’s leadership, the business has grown to 45 stores in 7 states with 7,500 employees — making it the largest family-owned department store chain in the country.
In addition to his retail expertise, Boscov is remembered for his philanthropy and community revitalization efforts — including Reading’s GoggleWorks; Our City Reading Inc., which has made home ownership possible for more than 600 families and most recently, Reading’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
The service will be broadcast live on WFMZTV Channel 69 and online at WFMZ.com
Albert Boscov in 2014 as Boscov’s Department Store LLC was celebrating the 100th anniversary of the company. Boscov passed away Feb. 10 at age 87.