New Family Theatre

102 Main Street,
Mount Morris, NY 14510

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Martina Circuit

Architects: Michael J. DeAngelis

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Family Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Vacant but continuing announce events in 1983

The New Family Theatre was opened April 27, 1939 with Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers in “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle”. It was part of the small Martina Circuit. After closing in 1980, the theatre was run down and in need of some serious work. It was owned by the village of Mount Morris since 1984. It was listed on the National Historic Sites registry on August 1, 1997.

Attempts were made at restoration but no real momentum was built. The New Family Theatre was demolished, apart from the facade.

Contributed by Lara Ebert

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm

C. V. Martina was operating a house in Mount Morris called the Family Theatre at least as early as 1930, when it was mentioned in the Nunda, New York News on December 30. The New Family Theatre could have been either a replacement theater, or the old Family Theatre remodeled.

Patsy on February 13, 2012 at 5:41 am

I haven’t been to Mount Morris in the past year, but would like to return to see if the theatre is now “just a facade”! So many of these small towns across America that had small theatres have them no more.

Boomer on July 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Next to the New Family Theater in Mt. Morris was another theater, the ROXY. It was small and must have closed in the late 40’s. Does anyone have a picture of this theater? I would enjoy seeing what it looked like. Thanks.

Boomer on January 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm

The Marquee of the New Family Theater has been restored to its original condition. However, the black letters are nowhere to be found. Is there a way to get new or used one?

Patsy on January 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Great marquee news! Congratulations! Not sure where you could find black letters though hopefully someone on CT will read your post and help!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Boomer: Wagner Sign Company of Elyria, Ohio, still makes marquee letters, as does Gemini Signs and Letters of Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Chances are they both have dealers in your region (Buffalo, Syracuse, maybe some smaller towns.) Both companies make the classic dimensional letters, which are fairly costly, but also make flat letters (Wagner’s Zip-Change and Gemini’s Pronto line) that are (and look) considerably cheaper.

Wagner actually invented the plastic-molded dimensional marquee letter in 1942, and when you see old photos of theater marquees you are probably seeing Wagner letters in most cases.

You can also sometimes find vintage letters, but they tend to be badly worn and more expensive than new letters. As yours went missing, odds are that somebody stole them and sold them to an antique dealer.

GlobalGood on April 11, 2013 at 10:06 am

Only just beginning officially, after a number of years discussion with friends and concerned citizens I’ve proposed to the new Mayor of Mount Morris the possibility we might finally have the funds to find and purchase a set of letters for the New Family Theater marquis. He assured me, as one might expect that this is something that will happen after the new budget is in place. His predecessor is and was a good friend, and he likewise wanted to find letters for the marquis but was limited by a lack of funds and public support to raise the money needed. Mount Morris was and still is struggling to manage the needs of the Village, and the signage letter set is an extra expense. God willing, we will finally be able to finish the marquis restoration by purchasing letters to make civic use of this beautiful piece of Mount Morris history.

Patsy on April 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

Sorry to read “was limited by a lack of funds and public support” as it is important to “make civic use of this beautiful piece of Mount Morris history”.

avidfisher on February 20, 2018 at 6:28 am

Vincenzo Martina (my Great Grandfather) moved from LeRoy to Mt. Morris to open a small movie theater called the Family Theater down the north part of Main Street. Later, after his death, all of his children built the New Family Theater in his honor. It was run by his daughter and her husband until it closed. In fact many of his six children had theaters around western New York which became part of the Martina Circuit: Dansville, Attica, Albion, Clyde, Naples, Nunda, Cuba and a few more at times.

Texas2step on July 9, 2018 at 4:23 pm

The New Family Theatre opened on April 27, 1939. The feature film was “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle”.

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