Penobscot Theatre

131 Main Street,
Bangor, ME 04401

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Penobscot Theatre

The Opera House, opened in 1920. There is not to much known exactly about it being cinema but that it had balcony, a single screen because looking back at old movie showtimes it only had one movie listed and mostly played Disney like/family films.

I don’t know the exact years of operation as a cinema but it was operating as the Opera House as a movie theatre from at least 1941 until 1950, and beyond.

If you could please fill in with some of the remembering of its history please do share.

Contributed by Kirk

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on June 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm





Your geography lesson for today. The name of the theater is the name of the river that runs through Bangor. “Join the Navy and see the world”.

Opened in 1920.

Saw something about it once being a church?

Some rough dates that need to checked out?

Opera House 1920-1964

Bangor Cinema 1969-1980


1920 Alfred S. Black Circuit

1930-1945 Mullins and Pinanski Theaters (Publix)

1950-1964 New England Theaters Incorpated (Paramount) of Boston

1975-1980 Graphic Theater Circuit of Boston

1985 Cinema Centers Corporation

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

In the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac, the Opera House in Bangor is listed as part of Mullins & Pinanski circuit of Boston, which was affiliated with Paramount. M&P also ran the Bijou and Park theaters in Bangor at that time. Regarding the info in the introduction above, it should be pointed out to younger CT members that all of these movie theaters were single-screen years ago. The concept of having two or more screens did not start until the 1960s and 1970s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

This article from a Bangor newspaper says that the Opera House was designed by architect Edward J. Bolen.

I don’t know if the opera house it replaced, which burned down in 1914, ever ran movies, but it had been built in 1881 and had been designed by architect Arthur H. Vinal.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 7, 2010 at 10:43 am

The original Bangor Opera House, which Joe Vogel mentions above, was listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. The seating was 1,100; the theater was on the ground floor (there are no street addresses in this Guide, unfortunately),Frank and David Owen ran it. The proscenium opening was 31 feet square, and the stage was 38 feet deep. The theater had gas illumination, and 5 musicians in the house orchestra. The 1897 population of Bangor was 25,000.

spectrum on November 15, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Webpage mentions that restoration is underway; theatre is remaining open during restoration.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 26, 2015 at 10:58 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre report for this theater when it was the Opera House; it’s Card # 335. Address is 127 Main St. There is an exterior photo taken April 1941. Condition is Good. The report says it was over 15 years old and was showing MGM films. There were 758 orchestra seats and 630 balcony, total 1,388.

DavidZornig on February 6, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Circa 1960 photo as the Bangor Opera House added, courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

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