Smalley's Theater

23 E. Main Street,
Norwich, NY 13815

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Smalley’s Theater was built and opened around 1932/33 to replace an earlier Smalley’s Theater. It continued until at least 1950.

Contributed by Billy Holcomb / Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on July 8, 2010 at 5:29 am

Don, Gene Autry shows up twice, Roy Rogers not at all.

Open 1935-1969?

Owned by Smalley’s Theaters, Inc.?

Sure could use an address, more info, more photos!

millsbranch on July 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

I am a bit confused on your comment, Autry showing up twice Rogers none.
Smalley’s ran the Autry’s & Rogers feature as they came out for years
a number of times.
As far as the address, I will try and dig it out, but most of the
time, these old flyers & newspapers did not add an address since they were local events.
thanks billy holcomb

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on July 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Click on both Jul 5 entries, they both come up with the Gene Autry ad.

TLSLOEWS on July 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Nice vintage photo Don Lewis.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Oops! Here is the Smalley’s ad from 1950 for Roy Rogers' Sunset in the West movie.

TLSLOEWS on July 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Nice ad for Sunset in the West,Thanks Don.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 29, 2012 at 5:37 am

There were two houses called the Smalley Theatre on this site. Something apparently happened to the first one in the early 1930s, and it was replaced by a new building. Here’s an item from the May 16, 1932, issue of The Film Daily:

:“Norwich, N. Y. — A 900-seat house on the site of the former Smalley theater here is planned by William C. Smalley, head of the Smalley Chain Theaters, Inc. Victor A. Rigaumont is the architect and the house, designed in the French Riviera style of architecture, will have a stage and orchestra pit.”
Don’t ask me what the “French Riviera style of architecture” is. I have no idea.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Judging from the photos in the Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to it looks like “French Riviera Style of architecture” means atmospheric with a bit of Mediterranean tile and some potted plants.

adamghost on February 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I did a lot of research on central New York theatres in the late ‘70s. I was a kid then, so I can’t vouch for this information, but I will tell you what I remember about this theatre:

  1. I was told then that the theatre building was still standing, but had been “gutted” and completely remodeled so that it had little resemblance to its former self. I had the building pointed out to me. I don’t remember my source but one of the people I was talking to at the time had worked for the Smalley chain in a management capacity, so that might have been the person.

  2. Looking at google maps, the building that most closely reflects that recollection is the one housing Preferred Mutual at 23 West Main Street, which has been further remodeled since that time (though it didn’t look much like a theatre then, either).

  3. I did find an article in the Evening Sun (with photos) about the remodeling/partial demolition of the building, that did seem to back up the source’s contention. If I recall correctly, this took place in 1957.

  4. A/B'ing the google maps photo to the one in the Boxoffice article above, the two do match to some degree, assuming a top half-floor was added to the front awning. Both buildings are segmented in thirds in the front and the dimenstions (minus the top half-floor seem about the same). The building is deep enough to have been a theatre building.

adamghost on February 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Correction to the above: 23 EAST Main Street, not West. And looking at it again from a different angle on google maps, I’m pretty sure this was the extensively remodeled building I was told once housed the theatre.

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