Carpenter Memorial Library Auditorium

405 Pine Street,
Manchester, NH 03104

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The auditorium at the Manchester City Library has a stage for live performances and lectures, and also a screen for movies. The auditorium currently (July 2013) hosts two distinct film series: weekday showings of assorted recent popular films, and a monthly series of silent films with live music accompaniment.

Contributed by formermovieguy

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on February 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Not sure I’d consider this a movie theatre. Hundreds, if not thousands, of libraries across the country periodically show older movies for free or a small admission charge. To me that doesn’t qualify it as a movie theatre.

formermovieguy
formermovieguy on February 27, 2014 at 12:50 am

Maybe you and I have different ideas about what constitutes a “movie theater,” but I don’t think that we are necessarily too far apart. So, I am going to give you two reasons that I posted this venue for movies (but haven’t included any other library auditoriums).

First, is the nature of this particular auditorium. When it was constructed, just over 100 years ago, movies were one of the anticipated uses. Like most auditoriums built in that era, it has a stage as well as a screen, and for 100+ years, it has hosted lectures, music performances, stage plays, political meetings, etc. and, yes, also movies. This is consistent with other auditoriums listed on the site that were built to host mixed content, to include movies. I contrast this with a common sort of library showing of movies, where they set up a reading room with rows of chairs, and run what is basically a home-video system. I wouldn’t call that a movie theater, either.

Second, there is really no hard and fast rule about exactly what makes one venue eligible for inclusion here and excludes another. Some local libraries that do have a small admission fee charge more than the lowest cost commercial houses. Is one a theater, and the other not?

Even modern multiplex theaters, built without stages, much less dressing rooms, etc., still rent out auditoriums for non-movie functions. And some theaters have been used for both movie and non-movie purposes at different points in their lives. A good example of this lies just two blocks away from the Carpenter. The Palace Theatre was built as a live stage and music house, then was converted to movies only for more than 30 years, closed, and later was restored as a gorgeous little performing arts venue. I haven’t heard of films being screened there in quite some time, but they could be running again next month for all I know. Despite the current lack of movies, the Palace has a nice section here on Cinema Treasures.

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