Cumberland Theatre

4 Cumberland Street,
Brunswick, ME 04011

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The Cumberland Theatre was owned by Maine and New Hampshire Theatre Company located in Boston.

The Cumberland Theatre was opened in 1910. By 1941 it was listed as being operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Mullins & Pinanski. It continued until at least 1950.

Contributed by MikeRogers

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

spectrum on November 15, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Street address was Cumberland Street but I don’t know the number. I checked the entire length of Cumberland St from Google aeriel views and saw nothing that resembled a theatre building so it must be demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2011 at 3:16 am

There is a web page an index of articles from the The Cumberland Theatre that are available on microfilm at a local library. It lists an article about the Cumberland Theatre published in 1949. The abstract indicates that the house was built in 1910, and remodeled in 1949.

The Cumberland Theatre is mentioned frequently in various 1920 issues of Bowdoin College’s student newspaper, The Bowdoin Orient. Some of its ads were for live theater performances. The newspaper also carried ads for a movie house called the Pastime Theatre, but no addresses were given for either house.

The Cumberland and the Pastime were both mentioned in the November 22, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World The postcard book Brunswick and Bowdoin College, by Elizabeth Huntoon Coursen, has photos of both the Cumberland and the Pastime (search using the spelling theater.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2011 at 5:10 am

I totally screwed up the first sentence of my previous comment with sloppy cut-and-paste editing. It should say this: Here is a web page with an index of articles from Brunswick newspapers that are available on microfilm from the local library.

CGGunner on September 18, 2011 at 7:35 am

The Theater was torn down. I want to say around 1972 or so. I remember going to it a lot when I was a kid. I grew up in Brunswick and remember the theater well. My Grandfather was in a Minstrel Band that used to practice in the boiler room of the theater in the early 20’s.

psychlops on February 12, 2013 at 8:24 am

I found a photo of the Cumberland on an old postcard at (not promoting the site – just providing a link for reference).

CGGunner could probably verify, but my thinking is that the Cumberland must have been less than a block from Maine St. Most downtown theaters were on or very close to the main drag. Also, half a block up from Maine St. it gets residential.

By the way, the street view image on the overview page is off by a couple blocks – it shows a church on Pleasant St., not Cumberland St.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 12, 2013 at 11:45 am

In the 1942-43 edition of the Motion Picture Almanac, the Cumberland Theatre in Brunswick is listed as part of John Ford Theatres, an affiliate of Paramount. John Ford also controlled the Pastime Theatre in Brunswick at that time.

Rsimard on January 5, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Growing up in Brunswick Maine I too attended the Cumberland Theatre as a youngster during the sixties. Waiting in line against the Maine National Bank fence was a common sight on any Saturday or Sunday afternoon. We would purchase candy at Day’s Variety, or F.W. Woolworths and sneak it in. Still to this day I am reminded of the Cumberland whenever I smell theatre popcorn. Saddened to see it demolished for a parking lot for Senters. I do have a two seat section from the theatre that my brother carried home during it’s demo that we still use today. I am trying to track down some photographs and hopefully can post later.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 25, 2015 at 11:25 am

The Theatre Historical Society on-line archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the Cumberland; it’s Card # 351. Address is Cumberland St. There is an exterior photo dated May 1941. Condition is Fair. The report says it’s over 15 years old, shows MGM movies, and had 431 seats on the main floor and 223 balcony seats; total: 655. Competing is the Pastime Theatre. College student patronage. 1940 population 8,500.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 25, 2015 at 1:42 pm

The link to the index of newspaper articles I posted in an earlier comment is dead and unfindable, but the information in it might have been inaccurate anyway. The page for the Cumberland Theatre at The Cinema Data Project cites the July 20, 1912, issue of Motography as saying: “‘Cumberland’ is the name of a new motion picture theater opened at Brunswick.” It’s possible that the Motography item was mistaken about the house being new and it was merely reopening, perhaps under a new name.

The rather small entrance to the Cumberland can be seen in the background of this photo from the Maine Memory Network. I’m unable to be positive about the name of the movie on the first poster on the theater’s wall, even using the zoom feature, but I suspect that it might be the 1927 feature Broadway Nights.

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