Portland Theater

11-13 Preble Street,
Portland, ME 04101

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 8, 2015 at 3:11 pm

The images Lou Rugani uploaded to this theater’s photo page do not depict the Portland Theatre which opened at 11-13 Preble Street in 1910, but its predecessor, a house at 477 Congress Street, at the corner of Preble, facing Monument Square. The earlier theater was built in 1853 and demolished in 1909, and during its last years was a movie house called The Nickel, which began operating in May, 1907. It’s Cinema Data Project page gives the additional aka Family Theatre, but doesn’t say when the house used that name.

The 1910 house, located next door to the site of the earlier theater, and opened as the New Portland Theatre (Cinema Data Project page,) has also been demolished, though I don’t know when. It was closed in the 1960s, but the building was still standing in the 1990s. This is a photo of the New Portland Theatre from the Maine Historical Society.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 8, 2015 at 11:33 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for this theater as the “New Portland Theatre”; it’s Card # 430. Address is Preble St. There is an exterior photo taken May 1941. Condition is Fair. The report says it’s over 15 years old, and was not showing MGM product. There were 500 seats on the main floor and 450 in the balcony. The 1940 population was 73,600.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 28, 2014 at 11:07 am

The Maine Historical Society has drawings of the New Portland Theatre by the architect, George Henri Desmond, of the Boston firm of Desmond & Lord. The drawings are not digitized, but the collection of which they are part is open for research according to Archive Grid.