SoNo Cinema

15 Washington Street,
(South) Norwalk, CT 06851

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First listed in the City Directory in 1972 as Horace McMahon Theatre. It could have been live theatre with this name. Most names like this occurred in the beginning of talkies. Not listed in 1977 but reappears in 1979 as the Penthouse Cinema (porn?). Name changes to SoNo Cinema in 1980 and in 1990 changes to SoNo Cinema and Video.

It’s now Nagoya Japanese Restaurant and the triangular marquee on one side says the establishment’s name, the other has a New York phone number and says "For Sale Large Night Club or Bar" and the flat front of the triangle still says "SoNo Cinema in rear". In the back there’s a large vacant store with drop ceiling and you can make out the cinema. The club was Gasoline which still has awnings and posters in the windows. It could have been two or three screens.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 6, 2007 at 7:59 pm

This was a porn theater at one time. This is a cached page for a NY Times story dated October 11, 1987.

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on December 7, 2007 at 11:41 am

This theater had 350 seats.

br91975
br91975 on December 7, 2007 at 12:42 pm

The SoNo Cinema received some coverage in a June 1987 Newsweek article, discussing the struggles of revival cinemas across the U.S. in the face of the then-VCR boom.

boerumhill1849
boerumhill1849 on July 16, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Here is the link to a pay NY Times article about the SoNo in 1980 trying to stay in business while showing various films.
View link

KennethJacowitz
KennethJacowitz on August 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Great theatre. The Sono would have great double bills, like the one I saw in late 1982, “Cutter and Bone” and “Winter Kills”, foreign films like “Hail Mary” which played for weeks despite the protests, smoke and stink bombs, bomb threats, etc. I spent an even with Kevin, one of the employees, drinking beers and listening to threat after threat as they were left on the answering machine, hours after hours.
And of course midnight movies like “Rocky Horror,” “Liquid Sky” (particularly popular in Connecticut), “The Forbidden Zone” and many, many others I am so lucky to have seen.
Kudos to the owner/programmer Brian Fox, and his great staff starting with Kevin!

Ken Jacowitz

WilliamBeran
WilliamBeran on October 1, 2010 at 5:58 am

Brian was cool…really hands-on owner. I believe he relocated to North Carolina. They rented videos in their lobby, and this was the only video outlet I was ever able to find a copy of “Antonio das Mortes” in.

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