280 South Main Street,
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Architects: Harry S. Cannici
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Cheshire Theatre
The Cheshire Theatre opened in 1935. This single screen theater of brick construction was situated on the main thoroughfare, CT Route 10, in downtown Cheshire, CT.
The Cheshire Cinema, a shining example of cinema’s golden age, and was a place to meet friends and neighbors, share conversation and a coffee, and enjoy a film in the cozy confines of an old-time theater similar to the ones many knew while growing up.
Unfortunately, despite a valiant effort by the organization Save Our Cinema, the Cheshire Cinema was torn down in 2002.
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Recent comments (view all 9 comments)
How I remember going to the theater back in the late 40’s when Bob Felske was the man who ran the films…..he’s take us up to the projection booth and I thought that was a pretty big deal. What a wonderful project you are undertaking!
The status of this cinema should be changed. It was demolished in 2002.
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!
In spite of my close association with Save Our Cinema, the Cheshire Historical Society, and many other long-time Cheshire residents, I can’t seem to find any pictures of the Cheshire Theater from the 1950’s or earlier. I’m guessing it’s construction would’ve been very big local news in the early 1920’s, so pictures must’ve been taken, but where are they? I did have the opportunity to take video of most every nook and cranny of the theater and also do a bit of archeological digging and artifact collection there just days before the demolition. I also have a set of prelimenary architectural drawings of the building that I commissioned for a possible renovation. So, I guess I could have a replica built someday if I were rich and crazy enough.
The crazy part shouldn’t be a problem… ;)
Should be noted that this theater was known as the “Cheshire Theater” up until the 60’s when the facade and decor was updated (yuk) and the name changed. It had a modest stage and in earlier years, was used for vaudeville type shows, town meetings, and who knows what else.
Joseph DiFrancesco was the original owner, but I’m guessing someone else was actually the professional architect. In fact, I think I read about the architect somewhere… If I can ever find that source again I’ll post more info. At least a few elements of the original design were similar to the Forest Theater in West Haven. Glass ticket booth front and center, snack bar to the rear of the auditorium instead of out in the lobby…
the snack bar was not in the auditorium like the forest theatre in West Haven.
March 24 1970 sees “PUTNEY SWOPE” and “ELVIRA MADIGAN” playing.