Merritt Theater

3705 Main Street,
Bridgeport, CT 06606

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

It's finally here, an actual picture of the theater!

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located on Main Street, Bridgeport, at the intersection with Renzy Avenue, the Merritt Theater’s entrance was in a row of stores with a small, attractive marquee. It closed as a theater in 1985, was used as an appliance store until it was demolished for a strip mall about 1998.

Contributed by Joel McEachen

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

barrygoodkin
barrygoodkin on February 4, 2007 at 11:32 am

The 977 seat Merritt Theatre was opened by Warner Bros. Theaters on April 15, 1942. The supervising architect is listed as Bridgeport architect Toby Vece but from observation it is likely that the plans were drawn by Drew Eberson who did much work for Warners' at the time. All seats were located on one floor. The theater was later twinned down the middle. It was the last RKO-Stanley Warner Theatre in Connecticut and closed on February 10, 1985.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 8, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Here is a July 1951 ad from the Bridgeport Telegram:
http://tinyurl.com/2pkm36

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on May 28, 2008 at 7:06 pm

I found historic theatre attendance tallies for the Danbury Palace and this theatre among others while working for the CT Film Fest last week. On Sunday, during the last screening, I self-toured the stagehouse on both sides and found the info.

From 3/19-3/25/79, The Bridgeport Merritt 1 showed Breaking Away/Little Darlings and the Merritt 2 showed A Force of One.

Both theatres are listed as having 480 seats each.

RobbieG1966
RobbieG1966 on September 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I recall seeing some classic movies at the Merritt Theater, including Jaws, and the original Star Wars movie when it was one large theater. After they made it a two screen theater, it was not the same. It was definitely one of those neighborhood theaters.

lewiswardell
lewiswardell on February 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I was manager of the Merritt from ‘77-79, including the run of Star Wars, which we screened seven times a day for months. We sold so much popcorn that the ushers had to pick up and stack the empty containers halfway through each day so people could get down the aisles. I also oversaw the twinning of the theatre, which though necessary economically, really ruined the theater. Even re-drilling the seats so they faced a little more towards each screen didn’t help much. RKO did install a Dolby sound system at the time, and when we re-opened with Grease and Heaven Can Wait (I think), the sound was pretty good. We also ran The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday and Saturday at midnight for a year. The folks from the Waverly Theater who developed a lot of the call/responses came one night by limousine in full costume to teach the locals how to do it. I came to bridgeport from running the White City Theater in Shrewsbury, MA and couldn’t believe the neighborhood support and size of the crowds.It was truly fun .

TheALAN
TheALAN on June 20, 2014 at 8:23 pm

“Located on Main Street, Bridgeport, at the intersection with Fern Street, …” is incorrect. (That would be the 3600 block). The Merritt Theater was located on Main Street, Bridgeport, at the intersection with Renzy Avenue (between Renzy Avenue and Goldenrod Avenue). The Merritt Theater was next to a single home at 3701-03 Main Street (at Renzy Ave.) that is still standing. A CVS/pharmacy now stands (in a strip center) where the theater once stood. (Please note: For anyone that needs to brush up on their geometry, summer classes are available at their local high school).

RELIGIOUS
RELIGIOUS on June 27, 2014 at 10:14 am

AS a youngster I went to the movies at the MERRITT THEATER.Great memories of a time period forgotten by most,I write history about BRIDGEPORT and you can enjoy my theater stories at the history center BPT LIBRARY WEBSITE at anytime. THANKS /RICH SATTANNI/AUTHOR/BPT.CT.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater