Gorman Theatre

29 Kendall Street,
Framingham, MA 01702

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The Gorman in the mid 1940s

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1902 by the Gorman Brothers, this was Framingham’s first theater. Variety acts, stage shows, as well as movies were on the bill. The Gorman Brothers on occasion would bring their famous diving horses, which competed, in carnivals and circuses around the country to their Framingham theatre until their retirement years when they moved the horses to the Benson Animal Farm in Nashua NH.

An Esty Organ was installed in 1925. Sound was installed in 1929. In 1947 it was closed for renovation, reopening nine months later by General Cinema which also had aquired the St. George Theatre around the corner, and were in the process of building the first shopping center theater in the country, the Cinema at Shoppers World.

The Gorman Theatre closed April 30, 1970.

Contributed by David Wodeyla

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on December 21, 2005 at 1:03 pm

Ron, if you check my photo in this link, http://natickmass.info/Gorman.htm is it the same as your photo? I’ve been searching for a view that shows the marquee, with no luck yet. My email is

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 22, 2005 at 10:51 am

To dwodeyla: Your photo is different and much better- clearer, sharper and showing much more. The MGM photo has the cornice above “1902” at the top; the large poster case on the left edge; the other large poster case on the right edge, and the gutter and sidewalk at the bottom. The marquee is the same. There is even a similar black sedan parked in front of the right poster case. The arrangement of photos in that case are different. The MGM photo was taken probably about the same time-frame as your photo. The MGM photographer was standing at the same place as your photographer only he moved closer to the building.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm

As “Gorman’s” this theater is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook as having 1800 seats and open 6 days per week. The seat count is too high.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on June 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm

A Sanborn map from 1922 lists 850 seats with 2 balconys. The building was modernized in 1948.

screenlover
screenlover on July 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I saw wait until dark here.By this time it was in real bad shape.I can remember huge holes in the seats sticky floors.I am not sure when it was torn down but i am sure it was not long after i was there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 6, 2012 at 7:32 am

According to his listing in the AIA’s American Architects Directory, the architect for the 1947-1948 renovation of the Gorman Theatre was Harry J. Korslund, of Norwood, Massachusetts.

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on April 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I do not think that the Gorman was purchased by GCC in 1947. They were not in existance till the early 50’s when they opened the first Cinemas at AShoppers World. Richard Smith the Pres. of GCC was manager of the Scituate Playhouse in Scituate in 1947 to at least 1951-52. That was a Lockwood Gordon theatre. I may be wrong but I don’t think so.

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on April 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Sorry but I must eat crow because after further research I have discovered that GCC was in existence from 1935-2002. I apologize.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

One thing interesting about the old b&w photo of the Gorman posted above is that the marquee only displays down the sidewalk to the right and not in the other direction. Odd! I have encountered this oddity at just one other theater here in MA.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on July 25, 2014 at 9:08 am

Ron, I think that’s because Concord St (main thoroughfare downtown) was to the right about a block, and to the left down Kendall St. there are only some houses. Funny how it only took me 2 years to notice the comment. Time flies.

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