Showcase Cinemas East Hartford

936 Silver Lane,
East Hartford, CT 06118

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Opened June 27, 1973 as a 4-screen theatre and expanded through various renovations and auditorium divisions, it currently stands at 14 screens, 2 of which on the entrance side of the building are “new” – meaning the seats actually have cup holders. The other 12 are traditional big box types, a few have been subdivided, screens 7, 8, and 9 are the largest in the house.

A victim of National Amusements Buckland Hills this theatre was never crowded (unless the picture was sold out at the Palace or Buckland) and would usually show two Indian films (the only cinema in Hartford County to do so regularly).

A former ice cream shop in the cinema now sits closed up. The Showcase Cinemas were closed in 2006 and have been demolished.

Contributed by John J. Fink

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

danpetitpas on December 10, 2008 at 7:44 pm

The Courant has an article saying the property has been bought by a developer and the cinema will be demolished.

You can read it here.

sandyrand on July 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Saw “Tommy” there in 1975 for $5.50 (outrageous for the time) when it was UA Theaters East!

nemsltd67 on July 18, 2010 at 1:31 am

I seem to recall, in the spring of 1982 while the film “Arthur” was playing here,seeing an article in the New Britain Herald
mentioning the actor Dudley Moore, who starred in the film, was in town accompanying his then girlfriend actress, singer Susan Anton who was performing in Hartford. While in town, Moore actually attended a showing of the film here, reportedly to watch audience reaction to the film.

John Fink
John Fink on July 18, 2010 at 2:47 am

Anything going on with my old escape from a rough day of school? I loved this place. It was the first theater we visited when we went to look at where I went to undergrad (UHa) and I frequented it often on late weekday nights where I’d have one of those giant 400 seat auditriums to myself. I made the mistake of taking a girl on a first date here to see Queen Latifia in Beauty Shop, she said to me “this is amazing, how could a theater this big have no one in here” – it’s no wonder they closed – all my favorite theaters where I see awesome movies alone like Cineplaza and The Screening Zone in NJ are gone.

The place is/was still in good repair and kept spotless by the staff – only ever had one strange complaint about it – they jumbled the last two reels on a Bollywood film. I remember thinking “gee, that movie just ended – what happened to the other guy” and then I stayed after the final musical number and then – there was another 20 minutes that explained it all. National sent me 4 free passes for bringing it to their attention.

I’m willing to bet if someone could/were to reopen this as a discount house (could probably never happen, I think the property was sold with the condition it could be a theater) it could do some solid business.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on July 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Sadly, it is still sitting there all boarded up.

rivest266 on February 24, 2017 at 8:17 am

This opened on June 27th, 1973 with four screens. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

Tomyad on October 30, 2017 at 11:41 pm

I was one of the original management team that opened the 4 Plex. It was a gem on silver lane. The entire operation was top notch for the time. As floor manager, I interacted with thousands of pleased patrons who received a grand entertainment experience. Popcorn was popped on site and land o lakes butter was the topping. I was saddened to read that the cinema closed.

dansdriveintheater on November 18, 2018 at 6:54 pm

was supposed to be demolished for a new state casino. i don’t think the casino was built but it was demolished. please update

Cinerama on September 11, 2019 at 4:46 pm

I remember one night the cars were backed up to the entrance and an employee telling us which shows were sold out. Very popular theatre in the 70s.

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