Grand Theatre

106 West Street,
Rutland, VT 05701

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Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre was already operating in 1915. The proprietor at that time was Frank J. Tighe. By 1941 it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Mullins & Pinanski. The Grand Theatre is listed in the 1956 Film Daily Yearbook with 845 seats.

Contributed by Ridgewood Ken

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

The Grand was the smaller of two theaters listed for Rutland in the 1913-1914 edition of the Cahn-Leighton guide. It was a ground-floor house with 1,221 seats; 519 on the main floor, 402 in the balcony, and 300 in the gallery. Roger Flint was the resident manager of the Grand and of the 1,400-seat Shrine Theatre.

The Grand was not listed in the 1909-1910 Cahn guide, so it must have been built between 1910 and 1913. I think the top of the auditorium has been removed, though. The building as it is now isn’t tall enough to have housed a 400-seat balcony, let alone a gallery above that. There’s no stage house, either, though the Cahn guide described the Grand as having a large stage. In short, the front of the theater is still there, and the lower walls of the auditorium might still exist, but everything else is gone.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2013 at 3:54 pm

The auction ended months ago, but for now the listing is still on display for this vintage postcard showing the Grand Theatre in Rutland, which the seller dated 1911 (if you scroll down you might see a larger version- you might have to click “view original listing” first.) The building is easily recognizable, despite the alterations which have been made to it since then.

Around 1915, the Samuel Lewis Store next door to the Grand became the location of an early nickelodeon, the Colonial Theatre. There used to be a photo of it available, too, but it has vanished from the Internet.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 1, 2015 at 10:44 am

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre REport for the Grand; it’s Card # 587. Address is “West & Edison”. There is an exterior photo made in May 1941. The condition is not given. The Grand is over 15 years old and was showing MGM movies. There were 726 seats on the main floor and 120 balcony, total: 846 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 1, 2015 at 1:39 pm

The 1941 description is quite different from that in the 1913-1914 Cahn guide. The larger ground floor capacity listed in the MGM report was probably achieved by removing the stage house and extending seating into the space it had occupied. The upper part of the building was probably removed at the same time, accounting for the disappearance of the gallery and the reduction of balcony seating from 402 to 120.

That amounts to an almost complete rebuilding of all but the front of the theater sometime between 1913 and 1941. It makes me wonder if maybe there was a fire or other disaster that forced the rebuilding, but I’ve been unable to find anything about such an event.

robboehm
robboehm on June 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

Oddly enough the postcard image referred to by Ed was still visible on eBay even though the item has been sold. Accordingly, I uploaded it.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

The facade in 1941 looks similar to the old postcard but there is a nice 1940s-era movie marquee attached to the center part. The building on the right was still there in 1941.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm

The building on the right, part of which housed the Colonial Theatre around 1915, is still standing. It’s called the Gryphon Building. The building adjoining it at the corner of Merchant’s Row is the New Gryphon Building. All three structures are part of the NRHP-listed Rutland Downtown Historic District.

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