7 South Potomac Street,
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The Palace Theatre opened in 1908 in the lower level of the Elks Club #378. When the building was constructed, the area occupied by the theater was a furniture store. The Palace Theatre opened as a nickelodeon first and later sound was added.
The theater was operated by the Elks for a short period of time in the 1920’s when the original operators (presumably) were financially unable to meet their rent. In the early 1930’s the theater was taken over by Mr. Henry Weinberg of Frederick, MD and renamed Henry’s Theatre.
Mr. Weinberg and his sister Clara Wachter operated the theatre until 1948 when it was purchased by my dad. Dad ran the theatre from 1948 until it closed on December 5, 1979. The last film played was “Fiddler on the Roof”.
Some notable facts: the Henry’s was one of the first theaters in Maryland to have four track stereo sound. To its discredit, it was one of the last theaters to not allow black patrons.
The theater is currently owned by the City of Hagerstown as the result of a gift of the Groh Foundation. It is earmarked to become an arts center for students in the surrounding area. It is next door to the historic Maryland Theatre.
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