U.S. Army Fort Devens Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Theatre
67 Buena Vista Street,
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Located at the now partly closed Fort Devens, the theatre was a nice depression era Colonial style, peaked roof, red brick building located near the Southeast corner of the Revere Hall complex. Usually in the 1960’s movies cost only 35-cents, but the biggies like “Doctor Zhivago” were higher, 50-cents. Some work has been done to the building. The added enclosed entrance has been removed and I seem to remember hearing something about perhaps the fort’s museum moving into the building when it is restored, but that has not happened.
The theatre is named after two tragic World War Two events in the Philippines.
The Bataan Death March which started 9 April 1942, in which 60,000-80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war were forced to do an 89 mile march in which somewhere between 2,600-10,650 died.
The Battle Of Corregidor on 5-6 May 1942 when 1,700 died and 2,200 were wounded.
A plaque was on the theatre, but it is now gone, it read:
“BATAAN & CORREGIDOR MEMORIAL THEATRE
DEDICATED TO THOSE DEPARTED MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED IN THE U.S. ARMED SERVICES IN THE FAR EAST FROM DECEMBER 7, 1941 TO MAY 10, 1942. THEIR COMMRADES MET ON THIS SITE IN DECEMBER 1945 TO PLAN AND ORGANIZE THE: AMERICAN DEFENDERS OF BATAAN & CORREGIDOR, INC.
DEDICATED ON THIS DAY JULY 10, 1987".
On January 26, 1946 80 ex-prisoners of war were present in the theatre.
The American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor, Inc. is still active and its official repository (more than 10,000 items) and museum is in the Brooke County Public Library in Wellsburg, West Virginia.
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