Bijou Theater

Exchange Street,
Bangor, ME 04401

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This was a very popular movie theater with students like us at the University of Maine in the late 1950’s-early 1960’s. We were able to sit in the balcony on a section in the first row that jutted out of the balcony. I saw many first run movies during that time at the Bijou Theater. Later on, I visited Bangor and saw that it has fallen prey to “urban renewal”.

Contributed by SWFLguy

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 10, 2007 at 12:08 pm

The Bijou in Bangor is listed in the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac as being part of M&P Theatres (Mullin & Pinanski) of Boston. M&P was an affiliate of Paramount. Other Bangor theatres run by M&P in 1942 were the Graphic, Opera House and Park.

Cinemalover
Cinemalover on June 7, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I was looking around the local antique store and purchase an Old Bijou Playbill with local advertisements and if anyones interested i can posts pictures on flickr and link it to hear

DonLewis
DonLewis on July 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm

From 1920 a picture postcard view of the Bijou and Graphic Theaters which were across the street from each other in Bangor.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Thanks for picture ken mc.“DOCTOR ZHIVAGO” was playing there in 1971.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 11, 2011 at 3:22 am

The Bijou was “The Prettiest Playhouse in Maine” according to the text of their advertisement in the 1914 edition of the Maine Automobile Road Book. There is a photo of the Bijou’s reasonably pretty auditorium.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

Nice link Joe,did look pretty nice,also thanks Don, the Graphic Theatre would have a different meaning in those days,LOL.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm

An article in the July 25, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the Gem Theatre opened in 1909, though some other sources say 1908.

An article by Wayne E. Reilly in the March 27, 2010, issue of the Bangor Daily News said that the Gem, which seated about 600, was taken over by the B. F. Keith vaudeville circuit in early 1910 and, after being remodeled, was renamed the Bijou. Keith’s promised to build a new theater for Bangor if the Bijou was successful.

The Bijou was a success, and the circuit kept its promise. Another article by Reilly, from April 15, 2012, tells about the new, much larger Bijou that opened on the same site on April 18, 1912.

The Bijou was demolished in 1973, another victim of the destructive fad that went by the unintentionally ironic name urban renewal.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 25, 2013 at 10:04 pm

This web page says that the general plan for the rebuilt Bijou Theatre of 1912 was by architect Wilfred E. Mansur, and the theater interior was designed by Philadelphia theater architect Albert E. Westover.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm

A 1922 directory lists the Bijou Theatre at 164 Exchange Street.

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