Hathaway's Theatre

141 Main Street,
Brockton, MA 02302

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Hathaway's Theatre

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The theatre was opened in 1908 as part of Andrew Hathaway’s circuit of vaudeville theaters. It presented Keith-Proctor vaudeville, plus short movies on screen. It was a very beautiful theater with striking stained-glass panels and windows in the lobby.

Vaudeville was discontinued after only two years (I suspect that Keith vaudeville went elsewhere because of the Hathaway’s small seating capacity.) It began presenting touring stock companies, with films during the off-season. Its own resident stock company, the Hathaway Players, began appearing in 1916, with movies in the off-season. The theater closed on May 31, 1919, and was converted to retail.

Contributed by Ron Salters

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 19, 2013 at 11:57 am

There was a 2-page article about Hathaway’s Theatre in Brockton in Marquee Magazine, 4th Quarter 1978. The article was written by Harry L. Lichtenbaum. While visiting Cape Cod, he went to a local flea market and found there a 6-panel promotional folder published by the theater when it was new. There was one exterior photo, and 4 interior. The author then did some research thru the Brockton Enterprise newspaper. From the photos, I estimate that the theater had about 770 seats, so, although very attractive inside, it was not very large.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 20, 2013 at 11:03 am

When it opened ticket prices ranged from 10 cents to 75 cents. There was one balcony, with a row of 4 boxes along each side wall, plus orchestra boxes directly below them. There were 13 rows of seats in the balcony, the last 5 rows being wood benches. It was very common in 19th Century American theaters to have backless hard wood benches in the top balcony.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 2, 2013 at 10:46 am

When it opened the theater had a vertical sign out front which spelled out “Hathaway’s”. There was no marquee or even a rain canopy over the sidewalk. Over the entrance there was a flat lighted sign which said “Hathaway’s” and above that a huge flat lighted sign which said “Keith’s”. The latter was much larger than the other signs which indicates the importance and prestige of being able to say that they presented Keith vaudeville.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm

In the later 1910s, this house sported an enormous “M&C” logo on it, for McCue & Cahill. There’s a photo at Card Cow. As of 1916, Joseph Cahill controlled three of Brockton’s five theaters, including the City and the Brockton Strand. I found a couple of references to a vaudeville comedy team called McCue & Cahill from around 1904-1905. I wonder if it was the same pair? It was not unusual for vaudeville performers to “cross the footlights” and become theater operators.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 3, 2013 at 10:52 am

In the CardCow photo of the front of the theater which Joe Vogel has found, the appearance of all of the signage is the same as when the theater opened, except that the huge oval “M&C” sign has replaced the huge oval “KEITH’S” sign. Joe is correct: in these old days, it was not uncommon for a performer to later become a theater operator.

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