Webster Theatre

31 Webster Street,
Hartford, CT 6114

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rivest266 on February 20, 2017 at 4:17 pm

November 19th, 1937 grand opening ad:

Found on Newspapers.com powered by Newspapers.com

Also in the photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 27, 2011 at 1:17 am

Here is a fresh link to the 1938 Boxoffice article about glass blocks, which features two photos of the Webster Theatre.

TLSLOEWS on August 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Glass blocks have been around a long time Joe,they do look good though!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 29, 2009 at 3:59 am

A number of sources attribute the design of the Webster Theatre to Hartford architect George Zunner, and others attribute it to both Zunner and Mrs. Shulman. This 1953 Hartford Times article indicates that Pauline Shulman was an interior designer. Her 1960 obituary, to which that page links, says that she was a “…designer and interior decorator of theaters and private homes….” but also refers to her as an “architectural designer”— a term usually applied to people who have designed buildings (usually houses) but who are not licensed architects.

Among the few times Pauline Shulman is mentioned in Boxoffice magazine, she usually appears as Mrs. Joe Shulman. Of note is the October 23, 1937, item which reads, not without a touch of condescension: “Taking it from those who ought to know, Mrs. Joe Shulman is doing an original and attractive job of the decorating at the new Webster, Hartford, and her verbal juggling of beams, joists, etc., is amazing the gentlemen.”

It’s quite possible that Pauline Shulman had considerable input into the style of the theater both inside and out. George Zunner was quite elederly when this very modern theater was built— he had been born in 1863. Mrs. Shulman was considerably younger, and a friend of Le Corbusier to boot. Still, Zunner went on to design at least one more theatre, the Dover, at Dover Plains, New York, in 1948.

Two photos of the Webster illustrate this article about glass blocks in the April 30, 1938, issue of Boxoffice. The article, by Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. executive Guy Berghoff, only contains a couple of paragraphs about the Webster, near the end, but does mention George Zunner as the architect.

shoeshoe14 on June 24, 2009 at 9:04 am

Um. Let’s not forget that Max Creek played there on 2/10/90. My friend is a taper and he just posted a “lost” show on archive.org. Just do a quick search for the band and the dates pop up.

fruitbag on November 9, 2006 at 4:06 am

I fondly remember seeing Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home here in 1986. The neighborhood is just like any urban neighborhood, it is totaly normal.

shoeshoe14 on September 30, 2005 at 10:41 am

The theater looks the same as it always has, at least recently. The neighborhood is dilapidated but it’s safe to walk through at night and in the daytime, unless you subscribe to fear tactics by police and the depressing news channels.

Patsy on September 30, 2005 at 5:45 am

Does anyone know the current status/photos of this theatre and surrounding area as I’ll be in the Hartford area next weekend? Thanks.

shoeshoe14 on July 25, 2005 at 3:58 am

Possibly? Creek had other Hartford and West and East Hartford venues as well. Maybe they were tapping into a market venue they knew would pay off later on in the years, which it did.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on July 25, 2005 at 2:56 am

Check the Hartford Courant archives at iconn.net. That is what the articles from 1996 about its reopening say. Possibly it could’ve been retned out occasionally before that during the years it was closed?

shoeshoe14 on July 24, 2005 at 5:34 am

It reopened in 1996? I don’t agree. Setlists at www.max.creek.com, show them playing there for the first time on 11/24/89, 3/9/90, 3/22/91, 4/11/91, nothing in 92-95, 4/27/96, 7/13/96, 11/27/96 and 12/31/96. After that they played there at least 4-6 times a year.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on July 24, 2005 at 2:32 am

Opened in 1937, the Webster was designed and owned by Albert Shulman. It closed in 1986, but reopened in 1996. His daughter still owns and operates the theatre today. The Shulmans also owned the now-demolished Rivoli on Park Street in Hartford and the now-vacant Plaza in Windsor.

I remember seeing a movie at the Webster in the mid-80’s as a young child during its brief run as a family-oriented cinema.

shoeshoe14 on July 23, 2005 at 7:26 pm

It wasn’t showing films there in 1990, rather the seats were still intact and so was the screen. It could have been vacant around then.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on July 23, 2005 at 4:44 pm

There’s no way the Webster was still open and showing films as late as 1990.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 23, 2005 at 12:45 pm

I don’t remember what year I took this photo, but the theatre was clearly closed at the time.

shoeshoe14 on July 23, 2005 at 7:44 am

The wall isn’t so dramatic, really. It was a porn theater until 1990 and the greatest northeast band, Max Creek performed there in 1990 when it ceased as a porn theater, the stage was there but the nasty seats were still there.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 9, 2005 at 8:58 pm

That is pretty sweet.

pianoman on December 24, 2004 at 7:44 am

Two words, and only two words-AWESOME FACADE!

agutt on April 9, 2004 at 6:17 pm

The Webster does retain some of its Art Deco Style, but the neighborhood around it has turned for the worse affecting the overall appearance of the theatre. The theatre is starting to be in dire need of serious cosmestic renovations.

Sean Ryan
Sean Ryan on April 8, 2004 at 12:12 am

What a wall!– Must be awfully dramatic at night. Very streamlined.

William on November 19, 2003 at 6:10 pm

At one time the Webster Theatre seated 910 people.