87 Massabesic Street,
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The Empire Theater was built in 1912.
Information is scant, but as of 1990 court document found online…
“The plaintiff, Andrew Conforti, and the intervenors, Orion Theatre, Inc. and Robert A. Howe, appeal a ruling of the Superior Court (O'Neill, J.) that the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) of the City of Manchester (city) correctly concluded that the city zoning ordinance did not permit live entertainment on the property owned by the plaintiff and leased to the intervenors, and that live entertainment was not a preexisting, nonconforming use of the property, which, at the time of enactment of the ordinance, was used only as a movie theater. We affirm.
The plaintiff owns the Empire Theater in Manchester. The theater, erected as a movie house in 1912, is located in what is now a B-1 zoning district. The plaintiff leased the property to Orion Theatre, Inc., who in turn subleased it to Robert Howe. In 1990, the city granted a building permit for interior renovations of the theater, recognizing that, although the use of property as a movie theater was not allowed in a B-1 zoning district, the use of the Empire Theater to show movies was a preexisting, nonconforming use."
It was empty for many years, and has now been gutted and converted into office space and a meeting room.
It is a rather unremarkable building. Darn plain actually. If you want to find it, go down Lake Avenue until you get to the Four Seasons Family Supermarket. Take a right and its there.
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