City Theatre

50 Main Street,
Brockton, MA 02302

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City Theatre

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In its early years, the City Theatre was the leading theatre in Brockton. It was built as a roadshow house and opened on October 24, 1884. It was one of many theatres whose electrical system was designed by Thomas Edison himself. Edison and his galpal were guests at the opening night performance of “The Bohemian Girl”. An interesting feature was a huge chandelier up in the dome which could be made to slowly rotate as the audience filed in.

After 1900, vaudeville came to the City Theatre and with it came short movies. Later, feature movies were shown. The City Theatre was the Brockton venue for the famous “Birth of a Nation” movie. In the 1920’s it was a “vaude-filmer” and vaudeville performers included many who became stars of network radio and TV in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s.

The City Theatre seems to have declined after 1930- I don’t know if it was wired for sound films. I found a reference to it during Worlds War II but wonder if this reference really was to World War I. It was demolished in 1954.

Contributed by Ron Salters

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 11, 2013 at 7:15 am

The City Theatre is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook as having 1600 seats and open 6 days per week. Brockton’s population in 1927 was 66,000.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 12, 2013 at 7:51 am

The City Theatre is the only entry under Brockton in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. W.B. Cross was Mgr. Ticket prices from 25 cents to $1. 1,736 seats. Electric illumination; 8 members of the house orchestra. Theater was on the ground floor. The proscenium opening was 36 feet square, and the stage was 45 feet deep. Newspapers were the Enterprise and the Times. Hotels for show folk were Belmont, Metropolitan and the Keswick. Railroad was the New Haven RR. The 1897 population of Brockton was 35,000.

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