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The Elm Theatre in North Attleboro is listed under Massachusetts in the theater directory in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook (FDY). It had 800 seats and was open 6 days per week. The 1927 population of N. Attleboro was 9,200.
The area was stilled referred to as the “West End” after the widespread demolition and the construction of Charles River Park by the people who used to live there (patrons of the Lancaster) and others familiar with the area. Needless to say, plans to bulldoze the area created a firestorm back circa-1959 among the residents, who had no say in the matter. Caused a lot of lingering bitterness. For someone like E.M.Loew who had ties to the older Boston, it would have been natural to call the theater the “West End”. He also at the time of opening was under the impression that the elevated trolley structure in front of the new facade of the theater was to be shortly demolished, but that didn’t happen for a long while.
Yeah, I attended a play there in 1953, and it was an old theater then, going back to the World War I era.
The 1948 opening was a name change, from Criterion Theatre to Plaza Theatre.
Yes, as the Gaiety (later, Gayety), it opened in November 1908.
When it opened as the Waldorf, it was a name change. It had been purchased by the man who ran a chain of local Waldorf cafeterias. It originally opened in Sept. 1911.
Regarding the exterior photo posted above, I don’t know what year Sean Connery in “Diamonds are Forever” was released, but the exterior of the Rialto obviously had a drastic make-over and modernization, because its appearance is very different from the exterior photo taken in May 1941 for the MGM Theatre Report.
Yes, in the 1905-1915 period, it was common to rent small neighborhood halls and exhibit movie shows in them.
This cinema has begun presenting Met Opera performances in live HD from New York on Saturday afternoons. Renovation work has finished.
Back many years ago, most commercial Broadway shows “tried out” on the road before opening in New York. The Shubert in New Haven was a prime house for such try-out engagements.
Yes, the Eagle is said to be a Clarence Blackall design. Mark-not-Whitey, by “white panel” do you mean the large building on the left, or the smaller “Alpha & Omega” store on the right? I got the impression earlier that the theater entrance was in the latter, but I could be wrong.
And above the “S” in “Mores” can be seen what looks like the M&P logo painted on the rear wall.
Nice photo. In back, above the signs for Mores Shoes and Blairs, can be seen the back of the auditorium with “Dudley” painted on it.
Suga- if you click on “All Comments” above and read thru the various comments in the past you will find some references to photos, but there really aren’t very many good photos of the original 1850s building which became the theater. You might be able to find photos of the current building at the Bostonian Society, or the BPL photo collection, or the Boston Landmarks Commission collection, etc.
The Quincy Patriot Ledger of Feb. 25, 2013 has an article “New Group Making Bid to reopen State Theatre” by Teresa Franco. Apparently, the Save the State Theatre group has morphed into the Friends of the State Theatre. (note how these groups use the old original theater name). The Friends has recently signed a 20-year lease with the building owner, C&V Realty Trust. The lease calls for no rent, in exchange for renovating the theater. They have a budget of $2M. The Friends group has 18 members, including the Little Theatre of Stoughton which gave the final performance at the theater in 2007. The Friends is led by town Selectman John Stagnone.
sonofmarge- the theater at the corner of Park Street and Dot Ave was the Dorchester Theatre and it has its own Page here in Cinema Treasures. You’re right, it was open later than most of the other old movie theaters in Dorchester.
I didn’t realize that the Randolph Th. was set so far back from the curb. (The MGM Report photo was taken head-on from the street). Note in the background a white building with columns across the front- I wonder if it is Stetson Hall, the town’s previous cinema, and still standing today.
Roger- Yes, I noticed on the Google map above that there is no Main St. The photo was taken in April 1941. The front appears to be one story-plus high, and there is a one-story shop to the left, and an older brick building at least 2 stories high to the right. I am guessing that the MGM agent photographed this theater, but somehow got the data about it confused. This theater would have been only 3 years old in 1941.
The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Adams in Adams MA was just posted in THS Readerboard as a sample of the New England MGM collection at the THS archives. The Report has a photo dated April 1941. The theater is listed on Main Street. Built around 1920, and showing MGM product for over 10 years as of 1941. 980 seats, all on the main floor. Good condition. It had a nice marquee with “Adams” in a semi-circle above. Movies posted are “Arizona” and “Meet the Missus”. The 1941 population of Adams was 12,600. Even knowing that there were errors on these MGM reports, some of the info does not jibe with info posted above.
Ron Newman- I’m flying on memory here, but I’m guess ing it closed sometime in the mid-1910s. Fred Allen played there in the vaudeville portion of a movie-vaudeville show around 1913; and the Hub Cigar company was there circa-1918. MarkB mentions above that there is no theater name for the listing in 1917. The building dated back to at least the 1850s, with Williams Market on the ground floor and Williams Hall above.
MarkB- I didn’t realize that Williams Market retained ownership of the building. Originally, the market was on the ground floor with a meeting hall above. The hall was converted to a small theater. The market closed in the 1880s, then its space became a “museum” with theater above. Still later, the entire building was converted into an enlarged theater. Apparently, Williams Market retained ownership thru all these changes.
The Rialto can be seen at the far right of a black & white photo taken of a Union Pacific RR steam-powered westbound freight train chuffing through Rock Springs on October 28, 1956, published in the Spring 2013 issue of “Classic Trains” Magazine. The theater is too far distant to read what’s posted on the marquee, but it definitely is the same building as shown in old postcards posted above.
In the 1942-43 edition of the Motion Picture Almanac, the Cumberland Theatre in Brunswick is listed as part of John Ford Theatres, an affiliate of Paramount. John Ford also controlled the Pastime Theatre in Brunswick at that time.
Yes, I agree. Lilian Bayliss was a remarkable woman, a real leader and doer. She was in the right place at the right time. I recall reading about her way back in the 1950s in, perhaps, the NY Times theatre section, or maybe in Theatre Arts Magazine.
There is a York Opera House listed under York PA in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. It lists 1,500 seats. The theater was on the ground floor and had both gas and electric illumination. The proscenium opening was 32 feet wide X 30 feet high, the stage was 40 feet deep. B. C.Pentz was Mgr. and admissions ranged from 25 cents to $1. There were 8 in the house orchestra. There wer 3 daily newspapers, and 3 hotels for show folk. The 1897 population of York was 30,000.