Paris Cinema

68 Franklin Street,
Worcester, MA 01608

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Paris Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Capitol Theatre opened on December 11, 1926, one of downtown Worcester’s movie palaces. In later years it became an adult cinema and the name changed to Paris Cinema. The original theatre auditorium seems still to be there.

It was closed down by the authorities in January 2006.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

MrDJDude on January 25, 2010 at 5:32 am

This is an excerpt from a November 30, 2009 Worcester Telegram and Gazette article. It answers the question about the red “X” and paints a dim future for this theater in the heart of the city.

“The former Paris Cinema on Franklin Street is branded with an "X” sign. The building, which most recently housed an adult theater, is owned by a holding company controlled by the principals of the Boston-based Mayo Group, which is renovating several buildings on the block.

The Mayo Group’s Edward O'Donnell, vice president of development, said the company bought the vacant theater as a “defensive investment” because it already had poured millions of dollars in neighboring buildings. As it stands, though, the company has no specific renovation plans for the deteriorating brick theater.

“At this point, it’s hard to say. It’s really hard to attach any type of timetable or to say what we think the reuse will be,” Mr. O'Donnell said.

In the meantime, he said, the Mayo Group has been cooperating with the Fire Department and doing its best to keep the building secure. Homeless people have managed to break into the building on several occasions, he said.

“We have had to resecure that building three or four times, but they find a way to get in,” Mr. O'Donnell said.

“We’ve worked with the Worcester Fire Department. They called us and wanted to go through the building, and we granted them entry,” he added. “Everybody who remembers that night 10 years ago knows how important it is to work with the Fire Department.”"

Also, this is a PDF of another T&G article notes that the parcel that includes the theater was purchased for 4.8 million, and that “preservationists and local theater buffs” would like to see the theater saved. Given the hurdles it faces(high renovation cost, too much competition for performing arts in the area, and questionable viability as a movie theater), I think this one might be at the end of the road. I’d like to be proven wrong….but I can’t see it.

nvargelis on March 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm

recent interior photos of the Paris Cinema:

View link

There was a lack of sufficient light to get good pictures, but at least here you can see some of the details of the auditorium. Some superficial water damage, but everything seems to be intact.

nvargelis on March 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

CORRECTION! I made a mistake in the above post, the URL for the Flickr set of the interior of the Paris Cinema is:

View link


Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Still sitting empty when I biked by it last night. Were all the theatres called ‘Paris’ (in Boston, Worcester, NYC, and elsewhere) once linked together in a chain?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Preservation Worcester provides this page about the Capitol Theatre, with four small photos of interior details and a few paragraphs of text. The Capitol was placed on the organization’s “most endangered” list in 2005.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm

The owners of the building recently offered to donate the huge “Paris” sign out front to a local preservation office to sell as a fund-raiser. Most collectors of theater memorabilia would not have room for it!

CSWalczak on April 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

The theater’s sign is up for auction, and a developer has plans to raze the theater and adjacent structures: View article

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 28, 2012 at 11:29 am

Is there another still-operating Paris Cinema (perhaps the one in NYC) who could use the sign?

RickB on May 8, 2012 at 1:52 am

“…the building behind it is due for replacement.” Ah, euphemism.

spectrum on January 29, 2016 at 11:27 pm

As of early 2016, the building is still there intact.

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