Bing Arts Center
716 Sumner Avenue,
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Previous Names: Bing Theatre
Operated by the Western Massachusetts Theatres chain, the Bing Theatre is located away from downtown Springfield near what locals call the X. It was opened on August 1, 1951 with Hedy Lamarr in “Samson and Delilah”.
After decades of delighting local audiences, megaplexes, parking problems and more finally doomed the old Bing Theatre. A preservation effort was started in 2001 to reopen the Bing Theatre as a cultural and community center, as the Bing Arts Center. It seems to have re-opened in 2009. Renovations are continuing, but much has been completed. It had closed by March 2022.
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Recent comments (view all 22 comments)
According to their website, a fair amount of renovation has already been completed. The exterior has been completely repainted, building secured and roof replaced on the front portion. Restrooms gutted, prep work completed for insulation, new HVAC unit installed, with ductwork underway. No date on their description, but it’s good to see this much is already done. They indicated a “june” opening date but didn’t say which year.
Here is a 1979 photo:
Looks like it has reopened – they currently have an art exhibit which opened June 12.
If they can run a string of $25 per head events successfully, like the one listed on their web site, my ballpark thinking says they should do OK.
The Bing, in my opinion, is an EXCELLENT renovated theater — personally, it is one of my favorite theaters anywhere.
When I first saw the marquee and then decided to enter it for the first time — personally, I got a feeling like I was entering a very special place. The faces, although not familiar to me, were all smiling and nice — and the film presented was thought-provoking.
The Bing’s current owner deserves commendation on commendation, in my opinion. This would not have happened without a genuine love for Springfield, for theaters, and a sincere sense of community (team) spirit.
The Bing, I believe, is catalyzing the new coffeeshop culture/hip restaurant scene near The X, which is totally homegrown, (e.g. Three Cafe.) Suddenly, it’s an arts neighborhood!
The Bing, in my opinion, is yet another example of Springfield’s recent resurgence.
This opened on August 1st, 1951. Grand opening ad in the photo section of this theatre.
I’ve seen elsewhere that it opened on Christmas Day 1950.
i will be there for a show on Friday evening…
The front of the building was originally a service station from the 1920s through the 1940s. In 1950 it was expanded with an autiditorium in the back and opened as the Bing Theatre which showed first-run movies and then later second-run movies before closing in 1999. All seats on the main floor; I remember the auditorium being completely draped in red curtains.
Announced closure in January of 2021 after being closed since March of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.