Elm Theater

924 Quaker Lane South,
West Hartford, CT 06110

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2001 Photo from the Roger Katz collection

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Elm Theater was built in 1947 and had seating in orchestra and balcony levels. It was twinned in the 1980’s or early 1990’s. After years of success, operated by the Perakos chain, the Elm Theater was felled by competition from new megaplexes built in the 1990’s and finally closed in 2002.

Despite protests from local citizens, the theater was gutted and converted into a Walgreens in November and December of 2004.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 57 comments)

JamieBlumenfeld on June 15, 2008 at 9:30 am

Wow, great to see this stuff – I have fond memories of clutching a dollar and going to see the (almost) latest movie.

Who doesn’t remember the Snack Valley trailer with the penguins? I’ll take a Sprite please! If anyone knows of video or stills from it PLEASE contact me!

I’m glad to see the frontage is still there but I haven’t been able to bring myself to go inside when I visit WH.

Taxi on December 17, 2008 at 9:22 pm

I just ate at a new trendy restaurant called Elements, right accross from the old Elm theater. Why! Walgreens Why! The new Blue back section is such a cluster you know what, that the old cool is now the new cool. I see excellent growth and a bright future for the Elmwood section. If only this theater could have held out a little longer.


cmbrown127 on January 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Jamie, don’t go inside the Walgreens, you’ll be sad. Dropped ceilings, florescent lighting, vinyl tile floors – nothing left of the theatre interior. The Elm sign and a few other bits of memorabilia are just inside the vestibule. Like stuffing and mounting one’s kill after a hunt. Creepy.

kencmcintyre on September 5, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Here is another photo of the Walgreens:

EdmundGlazer on September 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

The projection equipment from the Elm is now located in the Belding Theatre two of the Bushnell Performing Arts Centre Theatre. ED Glazer

nancymc on November 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I am looking for information on who might have owned the Elm Theatre around 1955-1960. When I was a kid during that period I had a friend (Maureen) whose family (an uncle perhaps) was connected with the theatre. She and I would go to the saturday mats. free. It was a huge treat for me since that was the only chance I got to go to the movies. I’m trying to reconnect with Maureen. Does anyone know who might have owned the Elm during this period.?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 28, 2011 at 6:29 pm

An ad for Anemostat air diffusers in Boxoffice of May 7, 1949, featured a picture of the Elm’s auditorium. The caption says the theater was designed by New York City architect E.C. Bullock.

DTG on September 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I remember going to see Close Encounters of the Third Kind when it first came out in the 1970’s there. That was my first time there, unfortunately. While the movie was great, what I mainly think of is the theater. I’ve seen alot of films in theaters in the past 30 or so years, but this one sticks with me. I managed to see a few more films there in the subsequent years, but I didn’t live in the area so it was hard.

cablepuller on January 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I worked here as a teen in the early 1960s. Only one screen when I was there. We played Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm twice a day, every day for months.
The Perokas theater chain had 13 theaters and the chain was headquartered at the Palace theater in New Britain.

TZToronto on March 26, 2013 at 9:36 am

I took my girlfriend there to see Sound of Music. We had reserved seats, as I recall. Liked the movie, the theater, and the girl.

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