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Finally found the place the other day on a cycling trip. It’s in Building 18, the last on the edge of the village. It’s like a barn and it fits in very well with the faux village feel. I saw it at 9pm, well after the crowds were gone. They also show live musical theatre for children as well.
I was biking by on my way out to Danielson from Killingly and you couldn’t miss this. However, the pics that Roger Katz has on CinemaTour are drastically different than what I saw, some 5 years later. There are now no dilapidated buildings and trees have been cut down that were encroaching on the view of the screen.
Lots of grass and growth are everywhere and there are just scattered slabs of concrete with poles attached. The screen is big and fully intact and there are some trucks in the back left (abutting the trucking facility next door). The driveway slants down on a natural slant to the main area, maybe a drop of 10-20 feet.
Or…you can call up the paper and ask to speak to or email the reporter. Or write a letter to the editor. I’m a reporter and I constantly email and call other reporters when I see questions not asked or gaps in reporting.
Excellent article on the fate/future of the Palace. View link
I was cycling through this sleepy little town on the Hudson. The town’s center has a map of historical buildings and each building/place like this theatre have their own plaques on the buildings entrances.
Anyway, the Hastings Theatre opened in December 1920 with Douglas Fairbanks in “The Mark of Zorro”. The theatre was named after local architect, Foster Hastings.
I arrived just in time to see a worker opening one of the 2 main black gates at 2pm Sunday. The marquee is new looking and there’s a vertical sign above the marquee saying “Hastings.” The horizontal double-sided marquee says, “Moviehouse Mews” (look it up on dictionary.com) “Featuring the Good Things in Hastings.”
Entering on the left there are 5 businesses with nice bay windows and accompanying doors, like a little plaza with trees and square benches against the retaining wall. The businesses are under a canopy with stilts so you can walk under it in shade.
The lady owned the children’s consignment shop, Milkmoney, on the far left and said the theatre closed in 1988 when she was in college. The next place was a coffee and tea shop, jeweler, hair salon and nail salon. Some had drop ceilings, others didn’t.
520 seats? It seems a heck of a lot smaller.
I finally went by this theatre on the way to a documentary showing at the Avon. I like how the 2nd theatre is behind the main in the stagehouse, with a stadium slant. Reminds me of the Latchis.
Anyway, to the left and down the ramp, it’s rope off and the lower walls up to about 10 feet are taken apart and are vacant with blue tarps. I inquired inside and it looks like no additional screens will ever be built. There are already apartments above the lobby and these lower vacancies will be new basement apartments. Strange, but probably more lucrative.
Not to be redundant, but yes again. It dumbfounded me to see the way they split it up. I cocked my head in disbelief when I saw the auditorium intact and when I saw the balcony off limits with no movie showing, I was confused until I heard a movie and turned and saw it across from the balcony upstairs. Very strange and very nice.
I was passing through here last week on a cycling trip and loved the art deco touches of the marquee.
My friend told me the whole story. Basically, the former owner closed it down but didn’t want to sell it. The owner of Amherst Cinemas wanted to buy it from him but he didn’t want to sell, but didn’t want to sit on it either. Local citizens raised $50,000 in a few days and over a few weeks upped it to $100k but it wasn’t enough.
Finally, Amherst owner suggested buying it but not to compete, rather show some movies at his place and then showing them at other times in Northampton and different artsy pics too. Pleasant owner liked that and sold everything to them BUT the projection equipment and stalemated. Eventually, he sold everything.
Saps, I took over 20 pics and would be happy to email you some of them! Email me at
I was passing through last week and it looks like Spectrum did a great job of describing what I saw. I had always seen pictures of atmospheric theatres but to be inside one made me so elated and sad and humble. The seats were beat up but some were newer looking. The tile inlay in the lobby, the outside ticket booth, shiny floors, murals, large wooden poster holders and statues were very memorable -especially the zodiac in the lobby on the floor. The kid working had no idea about the place or what atmospheric meant until I explained it to him. He answered phones very uncaringly.
Facing the stage on the left corner under the Roman arches was a lifesize old man ticket taker behind a podium. Perhaps this was a former owner? Since there wasn’t an adequate source of lighting in the center of the ceiling (although the house lights were on), I couldn’t get a good picture of the proscenium but the zodiac above was beautiful.
The other 2 theaters were strangely placed, as I’ve never seen theaters do that before. One was placed behind the statue in the lobby facing down to the left. Apparently, they moved the wall back and got rid of many of the rows of seats from the back of the auditorium and it slopes down under the lobby. The other theater upstairs was across from the balcony in the former hotel space. The balcony was intact through the windows but it wasn’t open.
Outside of the theater, from the bridge on the other side of the river, there were mini-murals in the boarded up windows, depicting inside theatre scenes. On the top was a window that read, “Latc Now Sh Latchis For The” and continued on the other window to its right continued with, “his Owing Center Arts.” I thought that was cute. To the right of that on a separate piece of building was another pair of windows, much closer together that said “Latchis Theater” and below were the lobby doors. Above that were 2 more windows which depciting 3 sections of auditorium seats with the proscenium and blue background behind the proscenium. The last mural above that was 3 windows close together depicting the statue from the lobby with the curtains raised above it.
I was here last week on a cycling trip. Yes, the bike shop is in front and the other lobby store is “Save the Corporations for Themselves” clothing store and there’s an elevator in the back with many offices upstairs. It feels modern and open now. The bottom floor’s facade is a grey stucco and the top floor is a grey brick, the left side is red brick with fire escapes.
The mural in the back has the theatre on fire with a fireman in the watch. The marquee says, “Nightly 7” and “Dances with Wolves”. The center of the mural has many rows of the auditorium seats and to the left another pic of the marquee that says, “The Fire April 30, 1991, 7&9”.
I was passing through last week on a cycling trip. Long and wide main street and many families were going to see movies as it was dinnertime. I found it quite amazing that even though it was carved up, the marquee fills up the night sky and local unvacant storefronts and it doesn’t feel like a multiplex. It is sandwiched nicely where it is.
But you can see much more than that. I was there on a cycling trip. The business that occupies this former theatre is the Rutland Food Co-op and Market since 1995 with a 2 floor lobby. The carved stone etching on the front says, “Day Beane, Inc.”
Around the back on the left (accessed by going around the block) was a garage for a glove-making company using a portion of the audtorium. The auditorium’s back abuts a nice cobblestone and sitting area pedestrian plaza and the Paramount’s auditorium abuts the same plaza. The back of the Strand’s auditorium has a cool outdoorsy mural on it for a small segment.
I entered and shopped and asked if I could see the auditorium. An annoyed worker said yes but I took the high road. It was huge in there and I could see all the remnants and small ceiling lights, pilasters and turquoise blue octagonal shape in the center ceiling.
Saw this theatre last week on a cycling trip. Great downtown and the theatre fits right in with all the filled up storefronts. The Indigo Girls were playing the night I was leaving.
I was recently passing through on a cycling trip. The address listed as 10 Merchants Row is wrong as there’s already a 10 in the block of buildings down the street by the coffeehouse and bicycle shop.
There was a huge banner hanging in town about the theatre’s reopening and town celebration and it was mentioned in many newspapers I picked up during my 10-day trip.
Was passing through on a cycling trip recently. The marquee looks playful, like an Art Deco lollipop. It was closed when I was there but was going to open up for movies at night, well after I was gone.
Oops. Dark red brick in front, red painted wood and red painted siding in back.
I was on a cycling trip here last week. The former theatre is in the very small and sleepy town of Swanton, not too far from Canada and Lake Champlain. There’s retail on the bottom left, 2 vacancies and upstairs apartments. The theatre auditorium is in the middle but there’s another building on the left corner, not attached to the auditorium but to the front stores and in the same color.
I went in last week to see the auditorium but it was closed. The folks in the ticket booth said I couldn’t take pics since it was closed for the summer and their next show would be in early August.
Saw this theatre in a shopping mall in Burlington last week on a cycling trip. It was a box cinema and inside the clutter, it had a poster on the wall for Talladega Nights from 2006 and a sign on the front door saying, “Thank you for the last 25 years” so that means it was opened in 1981 and closed in 2006.
I was there a week ago. This is a cool theater as it blends in downtown on the corner and doesn’t feel like it intrudes. The best part is the local artsy airbrush portraits all in a row at the bottom trim, under the posters and above the sidewalk. I have pics.
From right to left are Darth Vader, Batman, Marilyn Monroe, some guy in a WWI flight suit, Ray Liotta/DeNiro/Pesci from Goodfellas, I think Clint Eastwood, Malcolm McDowell from Clockwork Orange, someone and Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta mask.
My friend just told me the new owners raised prices and not by a little. Everyone has been complaining for the last week and she urges them to complain with the suggestion box, and the owners are never there, so they workers have to endure the brunt of it.
Adult admission will remain at 9.50, but they raised senior citizens to 7.50! and students as well and matinees – student discounts are only during the week and not weekends. no more ladies nights and no more $6 all day monday.
The owner is the Prez of Focus Features and I chatted with him at length as have others and he says there are no independent films anywhere, which is what Bethel Cinema patrons want and love. He’s the Prez! No indies, my butt. He was just at Cannes.
Update on the architects. A nice sign in the lobby says “Philip Sunderland and Edmund Watson” (The H. Wales Company, 1928-30).
I was there last week for Leatherheads. Haven’t been there in some time but they have new seats! Very comfy.
I went there yesterday to see the 2nd showing at 9pm of young at heart. Unfortunately the movie was cancelled. The owner said that he needed at least 8 people to see the 9pm (his policy). Only 3 of us were there so he shut down and gave each of us 2 free passes.
Was there for the 8th annual Bicycle Film Festival and much to my surprise, they have new seats!!! The old ones hurt my butt and back and were too creaky. Went there yesterday and they look are bucket seats – they look like the kind for those seated racing car arcade games but they are comfy and provide great back support. Found out they were all donated!