Provincetown Theater

237 Commercial Street,
Provincetown, MA 02657

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Provincetown Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Before the New Art Cinemas, Provincetown had a single screen movie house on the opposite side of the street. This theater closed and was converted into a jewelry marketplace in what was the auditorium. The back wall was demolished providing a view of the ocean. The former lobby, still with its pitched floor, had small shops on either side. The words “Provincetown Theater” could still be seen high above the exterior proscenium.

I recall vacationing with my parents in the mid 1950’s and wanting to see a Marilyn Monroe movie playing there at the time. I was out voted. Guess they didn’t want to cater to my dream girl obsession. The building eventually was the victim of a massive fire during the 1990’s.

Contributed by AlLarkin

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

SpikeSpiegel6262044 on February 1, 2006 at 2:36 pm

I remember visiting this place when it was retail space and it still is after they rebuilt the place. It still looks the same too, I think I remember the lady telling me that they used old photographs to get it just right. It’s very beautiful now and I think it has an open ceiling. The coffee shop may still be there and so may the place where they sold shells and rocks. Also, there’s a theater in there that shows art films, it’s a pretty good sized one too. I saw a documentary on the theatre fire, the fire not only destroyed the theater, but did some damage to a few other buildings, like The Crown and Anchor. One last thing if you go out the rear of the building, you’ll see that old stone sign.

SpikeSpiegel6262044 on February 1, 2006 at 3:20 pm

I forgot to put down that the building is called Whaler’s Wharf and the theater inside is run by New Art Cinemas. It’s state of the art and like I said a pretty nice place. It’s on the second floor and it will reopen on February 10, 2006, the anniversary of the fire.

jodice on July 24, 2006 at 9:34 pm

In reply to Spike Speigel,,,I used to work in Whaler’s Wharf for many years before it burned down. It was one of the last places in Provincetown where people actually made the crafts they sold. Provincetown used to be full of unique handmade crafts. The new building is nothing at all like the old building. It has a couple of the original craftspeople left but is mostly mass produced gifts etc ordered from a catalog, not unique handmade one of a kind crafts. The funky fun atmosphere disappeared when the old Whaler’s Wharf burned down in 1998. Provincetown will always be beautiful, but it will never be the same…now you have to be very wealthy to live there, and all the taleneted craftspeople are slowly being pushed out by the high rents.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 4, 2009 at 7:29 pm

The 1927 Film Daily Yearbook lists one movie venue for Provincetown, the Provincetown Theater with 700 seats, open 7 days per week.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 26, 2015 at 8:38 pm

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the Provincetown Theatre. It’s Card # 553. Despite clearly marked “Mass.”, it was filed with cards from Rhode Island. It has an exterior photo of a row of French doors in the entrance. The photo was shot in May 1941. The Report states that there were 441 seats on the main floor and 173 in the balcony, total 614. Fair condition. It’s at least 15 years old (as of 1941) and has been showing MGM films for over 10 years. Address: 239 Commercial St. The 1941 population of P-Town was 3,600.

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