Showing 1 - 25 of 38 comments
Wow. Looks great. Now that I’ve moved to Long Island, and desperately seeking a good movie house, I will be checking this one out, very soon.
In response to the posting above from “ken mc,” I believe that view is of Meriden, CT, looking EAST on Main Street toward City Hall, and that the movie theater marquee is of the POLI Theater. My grandmother, who lived to be 101 years old and who passed away a few months before 9/11, told me she used to go to that theater when she was a kid, and saw vaudeville acts there. She said it had at least two balconies. For those who live in Meriden, the estimated former location of the POLI is directly across from the 1968/69 era former Central Bank for Savings, on what used to be known as “Parcel 8.” Unfortunate that Meriden, which was named as the nation’s “Ideal War Community” during WWII is now a location where everything USED to be. Very sad.
This movie theater megaplex is a waste of time. It was cheaply and crudely built, and there are almost ZERO amenities to it. Overpriced everything. Poor location. Mega-bummer. In fact, the theater’s exterior doesn’t even state the name of the place. All it says on the exterior is “Cinemas.” That’s like saying “generic soft drinks.”
Criterion Cinema is still TERRIFIC! (No, I am not an employee, thank you.) Although I recently moved to Long Island, I come to Connecticut often and try to get to the Criterion whenever I can. Although the awesome breakfast place across the street is now closed, nothing beats having a nice breakfast at a Mom and Pop place somewhere in the New Haven area, then checking out a vintage film at the Criterion at 11 am on Sunday mornings. Last weekend, my wife and two of her friends joined me to see the Criterion’s screening of the 1945 film, “Mildred Pierce,” a film I would otherwise pass up on television. The film was very good, and the print was surprisingly very good as well. Spread the word: we need more theaters like the Criterion. Support it. Go to a movie at the Criterion!
This place could use at least one larger auditorium. Cozy is nice, but its competition in New Haven is cozy as well as roomy.
In the “for what it’s worth department,” I actually was able to see this theater under construction. As a kid back in 1969/70, I used to routinely wander through construction sites, and hardly ever got yelled at or told to leave. I remember the construction crew using snap lines to mark the placements of the auditorium seats. I think the first film I saw in this was either “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein” or “The Godfather.” The theater is NOT missed, and neither is the atrocious mall in which the theater was located.
I was in my home town, Meriden, recently, and noticed that this building has been demolished. Don’t know if there was a fire, or if it had been condemned. I do know this was a late 1880s/1890s structure that probably hadn’t had a paying tenant for its upper floors in probably 50 years. Meriden used to be a thriving industrial town. What’s left is a ghost town. Very sad that the one town voted in WWII as America’s “Ideal War Community” ended up like this.
Fun thing about the Pike: you could easily stand in front of the projection booth and display your antics on the big screen. Did this many times in the early 70’s.
Never got the chance to go here, but I recall seeing the marquee and the other sign that paralled the Berlin Turnpike. Fabulous neon and flashing lights. Exciting stuff. Sad this is gone. People don’t know what they’re missing these days.
Just can’t say enough about this terrific place. What a gem. I joined the membership club and go there quite regularly. Parking is super-convenient, and get this — there is a brand new gourmet restaurant directly across the street that serves arguably the best breakfast in Connecticut. (100% maple syrup, etc.) Want a fab Sunday? Check out the breakfast at 10 am, then walk across the street to the Criterion to see a classic film at 11 am. Did this recently, and saw Hitchcock’s The Birds. The place was packed! This place is G R E A T !!
Prior to the destruction of the auditorium (translation: cutting it in half to make two theaters), this was a terrific movie palace. It was here, in 1977, I saw the first version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The screen was huge. I moved away from Ft. Worth in 1980, but have returned from time to time, on vacation. The last time I stopped by this theater, it was being converted to a bar. The seats had been removed. It would be nice if the theater aspect of this place is still intact. That fabulous marquee was always a sight to see on Camp Bowie Boulevard!
Very very nice place. I went with a friend last night. It certainly lived up to my expectations and — yes! — there was real butter on the popcorn. Parking was very convenient, across the street in a well-lighted garage. Seats were very comfortable, and the size of the auditorium was just right.
This is a terrific theater! It is, of course, a shame that the main auditorium has been divided up into additional theaters, but the lobby (and building) are still vintage art deco. The terrazzo floor and stairs are beautifully crafted and look brand-new. Last time I was there, the theater sold real butter for the popcorn. When in Vermont, check this out!
I would say the style is 60/40 art moderne/art deco. The curved windows and terrazzo-type stucco tell me this was probably built in the late 1930s. I lived in Hamden in 1983, and drove by this theater many times, but to my knowledge it had been closed for many years prior to that. For anyone who might be interested in this particular style of architecture, there is a strikingly similar building (Ezzo Building) in nearby Meriden, CT, directly across the street from where the Capitol Theater once stood on Grove Street.
Just read your response about the real butter. Wowee. Here comes your newest customer! From Bridgeport, no less. Will tell my friends, too.
Now that I know about the Beekman, I will make it a destination within a few weeks. no matter what is playing (unless, of course, it’s a documentary about Menudo.)
Nice place! One of the few single-screen movie theaters left in Connecticut. Wonderful neon marquee in pretty good shape. Interior is clean and prices very low. I don’t know how much longer this place can survive, but if the good people of Seymour support it with their attendance, perhaps it might stand a chance. I’ve always felt these small theaters deserved some type of official government recognition for their value to community. I’m not suggesting anything grand, here. Just something as simple as “Governor’s Night at the Movies.” Once a year, the Governor would make it a point to visit one or more of the remaining single-screen theaters in the state. Just a thought…
Torrington is in the northwest corner of Connecticut. Take the CT 8 expressway north from Waterbury, and it will bring you right to it. Check out the terrific architecture in downtown Torrington while you are at it. Interesting collection of art deco/moderne as well as some Victorian here and there.
Thanks to Cinema Treasures, I was able to find out about this place, and had the opportunity to attend there this evening. Wow. What a jewel! This is the best “divide the theater in half” project I’ve ever seen executed. In short, it was done right. Neon on the marquee, too. Very, very pleased to see this. I attended in the stadium theater, and it was just terrific. Ticket and refreshment prices were reasonably priced. One of the attendants claimed they served “real butter” on the popcorn, but it sure tasted like the fake stuff. That was the only (slight) bummer. But overall, an “A” and I’ll certainly be back to catch a few films per month. (As an aside, there is a great new restaurant directly across the street that serves terrific malts.) From my house to there is 20 miles each way, but in my book this is well worth it. I am SO done with those megaplexes!!
I understand that this theater is home to the largest remaining movie theater screen in Connecticut. Prior to the renovation, I saw restored prints of Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, and Bridge on the River Kwai there. These widescreen epics deserve to be seen on the big screen… a REALLY big screen. Unfortunately, the Garde doesn’t run a classic film schedule. Bummer!
I love to support independent movie theaters such as this, but the York Square Cinema has always been a tough sell for me. First, you can’t walk from your car to the entrance of the theater without being hit up for “spare change” or “extra cash” by some New Haven street urchin. Second, when you make it inside the York Square, you find the theaters are terribly small and the screens are little bigger than your TV set. I go here, but it’s never pleasant.
This place is SPECTACULAR. Worth a special trip! Art deco rules!!
If this place offers real butter on the popcorn, I’m there next weekend!!
If anyone in Meriden wishes to contact the local newspaper editor, I’m sure he/she would be interested in the work being done online through Cinema Treasures. Meriden and it surrounding towns at one time had many, many theaters and drive-ins. Now, all gone but still remembered. This is a news feature story that could capture interest and make for additional online submissions about these theaters.
Very curious what happened here. Not only was this theater demolished, but the brand-new ice cream franchise next door was also demolished. Nothing has been on either site for years!