Loew's College Theatre

262 College Street,
New Haven, CT 06510

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Opened in 1880 and closed in the mid-1970s, Only the lobby seems to remain of the former Loew’s College Theatre. The auditorium may have been demolished as it is no longer visible.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on September 25, 2007 at 11:46 am

There’s a picture of the Hyperion in Images of America: New Haven on page 12.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 6, 2008 at 8:38 am

If you look at the map link in the introduction, Yale University is several blocks from the site of Loew’s College. In the map at least, Yale appears to be to the north of the theatre.

mhantholz
mhantholz on May 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm

In New Haven 1960s you only needed three theaters [four, if you include the POST DRIVE-IN] to get the best out of ‘60s movies: the CROWN, LAWRENCE and LOEW’S COLLEGE, so named because it was on [surprise !] College Street which itself was named for Yale, which was a half-block away. We lived on Lake Place, back of the Payne-Whitney Gym, so I could walk to the COLLEGE and did, often. LOEW’S COLLEGE was THE REAL DEAL for getting the goodness from '60s movies, here’s just a few that I can remember seeing in this biggest/best downtown theater [the Paramount, around the corner was bigger, but its bookings could NOT compare]:GOLDFINGER, TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE, A STRANGER IN TOWN, STRANGER RETURNS, DEVIL DOLL, BURN !, CROSS & THE SWITCHBLADE, WHERE’S POPPA ?—-the term “eclectic” does not do justice to the canyon-wide variety of the COLLEGE’S offerings. Now, I’m not a sentimental man: I never go back, it’s not healthy. But I had some family business which took me back to New Haven for the first time in decades. Not only had they closed the COLLEGE, they’d turned the lobby into an Organic Health Food store [hawk-ptoo]—-with lots of activist/advocate posters, flyers, etc. And hipsters ! In my theater lobby ! [ Question: Why do these health-food characters always look like they’re in the final stages of some fatal wasting disease ? ] I hadn’t carried a gun in years, but I thought, “Me and my M-16, oh yeah, this is worth jail.”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 28, 2010 at 8:59 am

Boxoffice magazine, August 7, 1961, has a photo of the interior.
View link

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on June 28, 2010 at 10:05 am

Thanks for the boxoffice photo Gerald.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

The Moving Picture World of October 4, 1912, reported that the Hyperion Theatre had begun its final season as a legitimate house. It was to be operated by the Shuberts until May 1, 1914, when the lease would expire, and then be taken over by S. Z. Poli, to be operated as a movie and vaudeville house (the new Shubert Theatre opened in 1914.) The Hyperion’s career as a stage house was not entirely over, though, as I’ve found references to a repertory season being presented there by Poli in 1920.

Here is a fresh link to the 1951 Boxoffice item with photo that Gerald DeLuca linked to earlier. The item says that the seating capacity of Loew’s recently-remodeled Poli-College Theatre had been reduced from 1,400 to 1,250.

barttjr
barttjr on January 15, 2014 at 1:21 pm

let’s not forget the Roger Sherman theater on College st.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Andrew Craig Morrison’s Theaters says that the Carll’s Opera House/Hyperion/College Theatre was at 1030-1032 Chapel Street. So does This plan of Carll’s. A 1921 New York Times article about the fire at the Rialto Theatre on College Street also says that the Hyperion Theatre was located “…around the corner from the Rialto, in Chapel Street….”

Sometime after 1921, the entrance was reoriented to College Street. This article (which Lost Memory linked to in an earlier comment) about the partial collapse of the Hyrperion Theatre in 1998 indicates that the theater had already been condemned and that preparations for demolition had been begun at the time of the collapse. The auditorium is gone, but the 1920s College Street entrance built for Loew’s is still there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm

The nomination form for the Chapel Street Historic District says that the entrance to the College Theatre was not moved to College Street until 1933:

“With the Shubert Theater and the Roger Sherman both fronting on College Street, this block became the core of the New Haven theater area. In 1929 the Crown Theater was constructed around the corner on Crown Street and in 1933 the entrance to the Hyperion was moved from Chapel to College Street so that it could compete more readily with the Roger Sherman. The interior remodelling of the Hyperion emphasized the screen over the stage. Part of the reason behind this costly renovation effort was the growing popularity of movies, but also it was the result of competition.”
The nomination form also notes that the building that became the new entrance to the theater was an existing structure built in 1915:
262-264 College St. (1880; facade 1915). Loews Theater (Carll’s Opera House/Hyperion Theater/College St. Theater). 3-story brick theater with early 20th-century Neoclassical Revival terra cotta facade. One bay wide. Theater marquee shelters a recessed entrance.“
The College Theatre was still standing when the nomination form was written in 1984.

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