Winthrop Theatre

50 Putnam Street,
Winthrop, MA 02152

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donmcauliffe on June 19, 2011 at 8:04 am

My grandfather was the projectionist there in the late 20’s early 30’s.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Thanks to ekincade for his info. If you or jfarago know anything about the State Theater in Winthrop,please post it. The most informative posts are from locals like you.

ekincade on March 13, 2009 at 10:54 am

My Uncle Billy bought this theatre in the mid to late 1970s. I don’t remember the exact date. He did some basic maintanence to it but nothing major. He wanted to keep the old character.

Billy and his wife Dorothy also owned the dance studio/function hall/catering/soft serve facility nearby for many years before buying the theatre. Billy always said he bought the theatre because it was built the same year he was born —– 1914. I remember the date being carved in granite on the top of the theatre. My dad said that when Billy was a teenager he talked about buying the theatre someday.

Billy owned and managed the theatre, my great Aunt Geraldine ran the ticket booth until her death in 1980 and Dorothy ran the dance studio and dance productions. As a “family” member I saw free movies while my dad visited his brother and aunt. Got to sit in the balcony (closed to the public) with friends —nice old theatre details- and also could wander around behind the screen/curtain after the movie while waiting for my dad. There was a warren of little rooms and such that were used for Dorothy’s dance studio but which I assume were original to the building and vaudeville as everything was wooden, old and dark.

I believe it ceased to be a theatre when Billy retired and sold it in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

Billy (William Kincade, Jr) died in the late 1990s. As far as I know Dorothy â€" who was born in 1922- is still alive and living in Winthrop.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Thanks to jfarago for his comments. Something notably missing from many of the theatre pages here in CT (especially in smaller towns) is comment posted by local people like him.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 28, 2009 at 7:56 am

If I go to this location in Google Street View, I see a large red-brick building with the sign “Kathy’s Place” on it. Feeding “Kathy’s Place, Winthrop MA” back into Google yields this page, which suggests it is now a youth center.

jimmyseabrook on February 28, 2009 at 7:40 am

I grew up around there. All of us local kids <10 years old used to go to that theatre to watch feature films, every Saturday. I did not realize how lucky I was to be able to do that at the time – a local theatre right down the street from our house. The theatre was on Putnam street. The building might still be there. Last time I checked, it was a bowling ally (at least in the 90’s anyway). If it is still there, it has certainly become a forgotten landmark as you can see in one of the more current pictures – too bad – another case of you never know what you got until it is gone.

I believe Bill Kincade bought that theatre in the late 70s. Obviuosly, he renamed it. We used to know it as the Winthrop theatre before then. I am not sure what happened to Mr Kincade and his wife. They seemed to be very decent folks – very consrvative by today’s standards. From my observation, they would never show a film that they wouldn’t want their own family watch.

Like everyone, I grew up and ventured out from Winthrop, predisposed by other things in life, not really thinking much about the theatre; but I do remember the last poster hanging in the “now showing” display case. It seemed to be there for a long time and was probably the last showing, ironically, The Big Chill.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 10, 2008 at 12:44 pm

The caption on the photo posted above by ken mc on Jan 23 2008 states that the Winthrop Th. opened in 1914. Since the Kincade Th. was 56 years old in 1982 it seems likely that the Kincade was a new name for the old State Th. on Shirley Street.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 9, 2008 at 1:57 pm

I’m guess that it probably is, but the “Kincade” could have been a renaming of the other theater in Winthrop. Too bad that the 1982 article did not have a street address.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 9, 2008 at 1:43 pm

So, is it the same as the Kincade theatre mentioned in the first comment?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm

The building in the photo posted above by acme401 is definitely the same building in the 1941 MGM Report photo. Only the big Winthrop Theatre marquee is missing. Plus the exit doors near each end of the facade have now been bricked-up. So the theater is not “demolished” after all.

acme401 on September 12, 2008 at 8:23 am

Here is a photo from 2008
View link
The theater is now a dance studio

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 20, 2008 at 12:56 pm

The photo posted by ken mc on Jan 23 2008 is definitely the same building as in the 1941 MGM Report photo, except that by 1941 the theater had a large marquee out front.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 25, 2007 at 9:45 am

The Winthrop Theatre was included in the MGM Theatre Photograph and Report project. There is an exterior photo dated April 1941. The theatre had a grand, heavy facade. There was a big 3-sided marquee with “Winthrop” on the front and sides and space below for posting attractions with black letters on a white background. The Report states that the Winthrop had been a MGM customer for over 10 years; that it was over 10 years old; in Fair condition and had 840 seats. The Winthrop is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook, but with no information beside its name. It’s listed in the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac as being operated by Ralph Snider theatres of Boston. If the Kincade Theatre was 56 years old in 1982, it would have opened in 1926 and could have been this theatre.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 24, 2007 at 12:43 pm

A March 16, 1982 article in the Boston Globe refers to a Kincade Theatre in Winthrop. Is it the same as this one?

[quote]Although a few old movie houses continue to slide into disrepair, more have found new life through owners who care for the theaters as they do their own living rooms. “Not surprising,” notes William Kincade at his 56-year-old Kincade Theater in Winthrop, “since this is where we basically live.”

Kincade and his wife Dorothy were the “famous unknown” entertainment team of Kincade and Russell, a song and soft-shoe team who even went on tour a few times back in the ‘40s.

They call themselves happily fallen stars, content to run films by night and a dancing school held on the theater stage by day. Kincade sings a ditty into his automatic telephone machine to announce each week’s film. And he still dreams of vaudeville.

“Yup, crazy to have such ambition at this age,” says the 66-year-old Kinkaid [sic]. “But with a lady as pretty as Dorothy (at 60, the dance intructor looks 15 years younger), why not put some vaudeville back on the stage here?

“Who could have imagined owning a theater could be this much fun?”[/quote]