Commodore Hull Theatre

65-67 Elizabeth Street,
Derby, CT 06418

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Elizabeth St., Derby, CT, showing the 'Commodore Hull Theater'

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Dating from the 1920’s, the lobby and stage area of the former Commodore Hull Theatre in Derby have been turned into office space. Even though the cinema has not shown movies in 40 years, though, remnants of the movie house remain in the auditorium, which is now a parking garage.

The projection booth still sits high atop the back wall, a mural of medieval times graces the left side wall, and the proscenium remains where the screen and stage used to be. The floor is still sloped, but instead of being covered with seats it is now covered with parking spaces.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

William
William on November 19, 2003 at 4:28 pm

The Commodore Hull Theatre seated 1270 people.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on February 5, 2004 at 9:01 am

This theatre closed around 1952 and was converted into a TV showroom sales facility. It is sad to see it in its current sta5te as a parking garage.

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on September 25, 2006 at 12:03 pm

Wow. I saw this place coming up the hill after seeing it on here and entered into the open garage door. (The rear of the building where the dressing rooms were, were small apartments and the storefront houses small retail shops). I parked my bike and immediately awed myself by staring wide-eyed. In the rear, under the projection booth was two wooden, trailer like shapes with doors, (offices). Someone came out and asked what I was doing and I told them I was an amateur theater buff and was a history major in college. He was immediately cordial and told me that he used to go here as a kid and that he knew the history and was a history major as well! He said I could look in any door (most were bricked up) and said that he would be cleaning up all the debris on the left side (facing the stage) and they would put a small riser in the front for their silk-screening work. There were about 5 cars in there at the time. He said he wanted to buy the building but the landlord wouldn’t budge. He told me to go to the Derby Historical Society for some great pics of the theater.

Gamewerks
Gamewerks on January 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Are there any pictures of this theater anywhere it opened as a Lowes/1927 and closed as a Warner/1958 I did find the organ but no help from the Derby Historical society Thanks Mick

LoewsPoli
LoewsPoli on March 5, 2009 at 7:05 am

I grew up in Shelton in the sixties, which is right across the river from Derby. At that time, the Shelton Show and the Ansonia Capital were the places to see movies. The Commodore Hull still stood and the marquee still graced the sidewalk. But inside was Mascolo’s Appliance Store, where just about everyone bought their appliances. I still have a Zenith AM-FM digital clock radio that came from there. By the time my grandmother and I were frequenting Vonete’s Palace of Sweets or buying school shoes from Hubbell Bros. (both just down the street), the theater was dark and cars sat where patrons once did. Old timers said that the Commodore Hull was the place to see a show out of all the theaters in the lower valley. Mascolo’s was an odd place to shop as part of the showroom still had a slope to it and felt very much like a theater. But there you were, in the lobby of a one-time theater, looking at big black and white Zenith console television to bring the big show right into you home. Now, in that part of the valley, all three local house have been dark for some time. Even the Valley Drive-in is gone, replaced by the golden arches. Several multi-plexes have come and gone in that area but we don’t count-or mourn-them.

But what memories of those big places with all those people…

Gamewerks
Gamewerks on March 26, 2010 at 12:32 am

Thank you Roxy our store was a cool place

PaperMemories
PaperMemories on June 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

I have just posted two post card views from the 1920’s showing this Theater.

The first is a distance shot, of, and looking up (northerly) Elizabeth St., Derby. The Commodore Hull Theater can be seen up on the right.

The 2nd is a closeup of the building showing the Marquee, and the entrance.

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