Wilkinson Theater

270 Center Street,
Wallingford, CT 06492

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Wilkinson Theater

The Wilkinson Theater was a marvelous old vaudeville theater that converted to movies well before my time. It was located on Center Street near Simpson Court and the town center. Unfortunately, it was torn down in the 1960s to make way for the Dime Saving Bank’s parking lot and drive-up teller.

The theater had a broad, deep balcony where the older teenagers would neck and throw candy down on the younger kids below. The walls wree hand painted with gorgeous birch trees and long v-tailed swallows. There was a pit for orchestra in front of the stage, and there were deep red velvet curtains that would open for the movie and close at the end.

I remember going for Saturday matinees where you could watch a whole slew of cartoons and a feature for .25 in the early 1960s. Just before school one year, they handed out Mickey Mouse pencil boxes with a pencil, smaller ruler, eraser inside the cardboard box with a small drawer and a picture of Mickey and friends on the front cover.

The movie theater is mentioned in the book “Riding in Cars With Boys: Confessions of a Bad Girl Who Makes Good” by Beverly Donofrio, which was made into the 2001 movie “Riding in Cars With Boys” starring Drew Barrymore.

Contributed by Bob Aldrich

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

rgdei8 on June 20, 2006 at 10:09 pm

does anyone know where I could see old pictures of this place?

shoeshoe14 on April 25, 2007 at 7:24 pm

Try the Wallingford Public Library. Either microfilm or those series of books titled “Images of America”. Sometimes they show cinemas in a scene.

rgdei8 on April 26, 2007 at 5:18 pm

Thanks, ill let you know how I made out

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 14, 2010 at 5:24 am

The March 18, 1922, issue of trade journal Domestic Engineering said that George H. Wilkinson of Wallingford was having plans prepared for a theater to be built on Center Street. The architect for the project was Loomis J. Thompson. Thompson later designed the Capitol Theatre in Watertown as well.

lldaley0426 on January 25, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Thank you for the memories! I also received the pencil box before school started. I believe they closed down shortly after that. Miss that place. Was beautiful to me even though I was only 5 years old!

rokcomx on May 7, 2018 at 10:26 am

Can’t seem to add photo for some reason, so here’s a shot online of the theater in 1935 – https://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/2018/may/06/122000/

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