Bank Street Theater
46 Bank Street,
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On June 20, 1997, the Bank Street Theater in New Milford reopened after eight weeks of renovations. The new theater reopened with four auditoriums seating approximately 120 people per room.
Over a half million dollars has been invested to transform the 70 year-old Art Deco style theater into a jewel of the community and a superior cinema presentation facility.
Every system, wall surface and fixture has been either replaced or dramatically upgraded to create a state-of- the -art theater environment. Auditoriums 2 and 3 have been equipped with Dolby Surround four-track stereo sound with subwoofers and the finest QSC amplification. Auditorium 1 now features both Dolby Surround four-track stereo plus DTS 6 track digital stereo equipped. The theaters have been acoustically tuned to give its patrons the most subtle or most thunderous realistic sound possible.
The lavish new auditoriums offer new Irwin Marquee high back chairs, cupholder armrests and new drapery, carpeting and paint throughout. The screen sizes have been increased in two auditoriums to stretch to 20 feet wide. Besides upgrading the auditoriums, the lobby has been expanded and remodeled to incorporate new concession offerings of freshly popped popcorn and drinks. An entire new game room has been added to the lobby to create an exciting video arcade and party room. The theater will expand its offerings special birthday party discounts and entertainment packages.
The exterior of the theater has undergone restoration and remodeling to enhance its Art Deco black and white Carrara glass façade. The building has been designated as a historical landmark by both the Connecticut and National Trusts for Historic Preservation. The renovations revealed two architectural features of the building not seen by the public in over 50 years. In the lobby, a previously covered, decorative terrazzo stone floor has been restored, and a pressed tin ceiling with soffit lights has been revealed underneath the old marquee.
The theater was created from the brick shell of the old Green Hotel, which was one of the very few building left standing after 80% of the commercial buildings in the historic village were devastated by the fire of 1902. The owner of the Star Theater, a silent movie house across the street from this building, moved his business into this specially designed cinema which opened in 1920. Known as the Twentieth Century New Milford Theater, this renovated structure was outfitted with a massive new steel skeleton. The theater was remodeled in 1937 and has been operating continuously since then, except for five years of darkness in the early-1970’s.
In 1976, Rocky Barry purchased the building when he was 21 years old, and after renovations, reopened the previously shuttered theater as the Bank Street Theater. He continues to operate the theater to this day. In 1998, Mr. Barry sold the theater building to Gene Rosen of New Milford, but Mr. Barry retained ownership and management of the theater business.
The Bank Street Theater continues to offer first run Hollywood movies opening on the national release dates.
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