Empire Theatre

55 Main Street,
North Adams, MA 01247

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(Posted by Francis Rogers, a former projectionist who posted this comment on the Mohawk Theatre page)

The Paramount Theatre had 1,467 seats and was designed as a full stage theater. There was an orchestra pit for a 25-member orchestra, dressing rooms on each side of a full stage (three rooms up and three down on each side), foot light pockets, complete stage rigging and a huge lighting control board full of orignial knife switches. It had motorized red velvet curtains over the screen along with a white “traveler” between the two. The booth had an operational carbon arc follow spot that was used for holiday parties. The theater was demolished in the 1970’s (possibly 1980’s). The lobby can still be seen if one looks carefully for it; it now houses a restaurant.

Prizes, raffles, and tons of cartoons were all on the program. It was the first theater that I was lucky enough to gain entry into the projection booth so I could begin learning what would become a life long passion.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 18, 2007 at 4:33 pm

As the Paramount, this theatre was included in the MGM Theatre Photograph and Report project. There is an exterior photo dated May 1941. The theatre had a narrow entrance in a business building with stores on each side. There was a boxy marquee with “Paramount” in script letters on the front. The attraction is “Men of Boys Town.” The Report states that the Paramount is on Main St. in North Adams; it has been a MGM customer for over 10 years and is over 15 years old. The condition is Good, and the seating listed is Orchestra: 859, Balcony: 448, total: 1,307 seats. Competing theatres are the Mohawk and the Richmond. The Paramount is listed in the theatre directory in the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac; it was under control of Nathan Goldstein’s Western Massachusetts Theatres, a Paramount affiliate.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 5, 2009 at 9:26 pm

In August 1929, the North Adams Evening Transcript announced that Publix Theater Corp. had taken over the Empire, and that the name change to Paramount would be effective September 2.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 12, 2010 at 6:05 am

A publication of the North Adams Historical Society says that the Empire Theatre was built in 1912 to replace an earlier theater dating from 1966 that had burned down.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 12, 2010 at 7:00 am

In my previous comment, that should of course be a construction year of 1866, not 1966, for the theater that burned in 1912 (unless we have one of those rare, time-traveling theaters on our hands.)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm

The Empire is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook as having 1250 seats and open 6 days per week.

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