Reading Theatre

555 Main Street,
Reading, MA 01867

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Reading Theatre (1955)

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The Reading Theatre was the only movie theatre in Reading, a suburb to the north of Boston. It was operated at one time by Graphic Theatres of Boston. Any additional information will be appreciated.

Contributed by Ron Salters

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

AlanF
AlanF on July 12, 2007 at 3:35 am

The building that housed the Reading Theater still exists. Until recently it housed a retail establishment called “Fabric Town” which closed its doors in early 2007. The future of the space is uncertain.

LindaR
LindaR on May 11, 2008 at 5:51 am

I have 2 original posters from the Reading Theater, one from the week of Feb. 5 and the other from the week of Dec. 11, 1938 (based on the movies that were showing). These were in my grandmothers garage for years, my father took them when she passed away and recently gave them to me. I would be happy to send along photos to anyone who is interested!

Michelle66
Michelle66 on May 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm

There must have been two different places know as “Reading Theater” (or more specifically “Reading Theatre”) as these pictures show two different locations in downtown Reading.

Judging from these pictures, the earlier location was in the middle of Reading Square (where the Woolworth’s / CVS would later stand).

Here you can see the theater on the left and the Old South Church on the right (from a postcard with a 1915 postmark)
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Here is another shot (framed more to the left, so you can see a horse):
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This is a 1914-dated picture that shows a closeup of the theater’s doorway (the sign on the sidewalk is the same as the one in the two previous pictures):
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Now, here are some pictures of the later location (where Fabric Town used to be – just down the hill a bit from Pizza World).

A picture dated 1924:
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Judging from the marquee, this one’s circa 1953:
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Again, based on the marquee, this one is from 1955:
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Here’s another shot (looking down from Haven St.). The theater is on the left, opposite the Texaco station:
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I grew up in Reading, but I have no memory of the Reading Theater. When was it closed? (I remember going to Fabric Town as a child with my mom, so the theater must have been gone by the mid to late 60’s.)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 24, 2009 at 7:53 am

The photo posted by ken mc on April 17, plus the circa-1953 and 1955 photos posted by michelle66 are definitely the same as the Reading Theatre in the 1941 photo on the MGM Report. The Reading Theatre in the 1914 and 1915 photos posted by michelle66 are definitely a different building. The 1924 picture isn’t quite the same as the 1950s photos, but it is only one story high, so I guess it’s the newer Reading Th. The MGM Report says that the Reading was “over 10 years old” in 1941 which implies that it was constructed in the 1920s. I don’t know when it closed, but it could well have been out of operation by the late-1950s or early-60’s.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 20, 2009 at 7:40 am

I looked at the Google Street View for this address and the closed-up Fabric Town store (ex-Reading Th.) is still there.

jan01867
jan01867 on November 4, 2010 at 1:50 am

I am in search of pictures of the Old Reading Theater. The building has been totally rehabbed and now is home to Premier Realty Group, Inc and Reading Cable TV. So it still features “Premier’s” and video entertainment too. Seems like it has almost come full circle with an updated use for the new century.

AlanF
AlanF on March 7, 2011 at 10:43 am

The old theater building is now in the hands of Reading Community Television (RCTV) which has gone out of its way to give the place a “theater” feel to it. Movie posters from its golden age hang in the lobby. Posters from famous movies that were shown there adorn the hallway. One is for “Camelot,” the last movie ever shown there. The studios also include a screening room for about 40 people, and movie nights have been held there. The grandfather of the current director was an employee of the the Reading Theater.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 26, 2011 at 8:17 am

That’s nice to know. It’s always good to hear of a re-use like this.

Michelle66
Michelle66 on November 6, 2011 at 3:41 am

All of the links I posted before now seem to be dead, so I posted all of the pictures here instead.

Many of the pictures posted are actually of the old Reading Theatre, which was located in the middle of Reading Square. (There is no separate listing for it here, but it was at about 650 Main Street – up the road a bit from 555 Main Street.)

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