Whalley Theatre

379 Whalley Avenue,
New Haven, CT 06511

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DavidZornig on May 12, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Undated and 1960 newspaper photos added courtesy of Joe O'Conner.

bicyclereporter on March 21, 2014 at 2:49 pm

In 1980-1981 it was also known as the Whalley Avenue Theater.

writerman2255 on June 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

OMG! This brings back memories. I grew up on Stanley St. and went to the Whalley Theater many times. I have no idea why I looked this up today, but it’s interesting to see how things have changed. Wow. I had a friend who was an usher there, Peter Gemmell. I think he’s a fireman now.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm

March 24,1970 and Gregory Peck’s Sci-fi Classic “MAROONED” is playing to sell out crowds.

shoeshoe14 on August 28, 2007 at 10:22 am

I didn’t know the upstairs was ever open. I went upstairs and there’s a small food court sitting area by the projection booth which is the office. At the other end of the theater is another register (upstairs) and there’s some nice decoration – 2 Ionic columns, one on either end, the color scheme is pink, blue and white with a small arc leading from one column to the other, like a rainbow.

mortm on July 29, 2007 at 10:51 am

I was an usher at the Whalley while in high school (Hillhouse). I worked there until I went into the service (Jan. 1953). Mr. Ferguson was the manager and Mr. Tarren was the assistant manager. Mr. Ferguson’s father was the manager of the Whitney. Mr. Ferguson passed away some time ago.

Zweigbaum on May 13, 2006 at 9:49 am

Does anyone know the whereabouts or what happened to theatre manager Franklin Fergusson?

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio on March 30, 2006 at 3:21 am

Make that “1969 or 1970”, as in 1069, NO ONE had VCRS!!!

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio on March 29, 2006 at 9:28 am

Two memories of “The Whalley”: When “BEN HUR” premiered, it seemed to run here forever. Also, one night about 1069 or 70, I attended a special Halloween showing of “Frankenstein” and “Dracula”. (Ididn’t have a VCR then!)

Zweigbaum on December 17, 2005 at 3:24 pm

“Roadshow” events started in 1957 when the theatre, by virtue of ample street parking, was selected for the Southern Ct. engagement of “Around the World in 80 Days.” I think it ran for 26 weeks. We were all very impressed.

DamienB on December 3, 2005 at 10:30 am

In the 60s, the Whalley became a roadshow house. My parents took us here from New Milford to see Dr. Zhivago, Gone With The Wind and Oliver!

Zweigbaum on February 19, 2005 at 12:01 pm

The photo shown is not the theatre’s front, but an entrance on the side of the building which, I believe, was constructed to accommodate the sad transformation from movie theatre to club, to food market. In it’s heyday, the theatre had a traditional facade with a grand three sided marquee suspended over the sidewalk and centered box office kiosk. In the 50s the theatre was “modernized”; the marquee removed, the kiosk gone, and the tiny lobby expanded, ironically absorbing an A&P food market on the right. As a child of the 40s and early 50s the Whalley was my neighborhood theatre and my introduction to the movies. From a traumatized Christmas night in 1947, believing everything about Abbott and Costello meets Frankenstein, to the theatres first-run transformation with Around the World in 80 Days in 1957, I fondly remember countless “Hey Kids!” Saturday matinees, free seasonal showings of MGM’s A Christmas Carol, and of course theatre manager, Franklin Fergusson, entertaining us kids between features with various contests, games and lighting effects on the stage curtain. As noted, some of the theatre’s interior remains. You can find the stage, much smaller than I remembered, and proscenium arch behind the food display cases.

shoeshoe14 on January 4, 2005 at 3:36 am

i remember from old setlists of the ct band known as max creek, they played here regularly and everytime i’m there i try to figure out by the architecture. there’s a place further up on the left in the plaza whose facade looks like a marquee. this health food store is called Edge of the Woods.

i also remember a theater in new haven called the great american music hall, like the one in san francisco. i believe there was one in waterbury too.

William on November 19, 2003 at 4:39 pm

The Whalley Theatre seated 945 people.

AndyRossetti on February 28, 2003 at 9:59 pm

This theatre was never know as the Paramount. It was always the Whalley Theatre and was part of a local chain run by Maurice Bailey