422 Mill Street,
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The Grand Theatre opened on January 7, 1928 with the film "Pajamas", four acts of vaudeville and Blanche Washburn at the console of the 3/8 Kimball organ. This theatre was architecturally interesting since it was but a handful done in the Mayan style. It opened a few months before the Fisher Theatre in Detroit, making it possibly the first movie house to employ this style.
The theatre featured first run films and vaudeville on Saturdays and holidays from its opening until June, 1934. Afterwards the theatre ran top film fare from MGM, WB, Fox, RKO through the 1930’s and 1940’s. During the early-1950’s, time became tough for the Grand Theatre and it struggled through the decade until finally closing for good as a theatre in early 1960. During 1957-1958, the theatre became the Bristol Playhouse at which time many famous stars appeared on its stage including Edward Everet Horton.
After closing as a theatre, several fires destroyed the interior. It was finally gutted and the auditorium space used as a warehouse for office furniture. Recently, it has been converted to an apartment house.
I attended this theatre as a child and afterwards until I was in my early 20’s. The auditorium was large and the ceiling high as the floor had a very steep decline towards the stage. The ceiling sported a huge circular dome that pictured Mayan indian figures in head dress and Mayan temples. I have several vintage photos of the theatre that I will try to post on this site.
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