Warner Theatre

62 Front Street,
Worcester, MA 01608

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm

The Strand Theatre was built by Moe and Mitchel Mark. Their company’s intention to build at Worcester was noted in an item in the April 3, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World. The company had the Strand Theatre at Lynn, Massachusetts, under construction at the time, and the Worcester house was to be about the same size. The item noted that the Lynn Strand had been designed by Thomas Lamb, who was also the architect of the Mark Strand Theatre in Manhattan. Although the item didn’t say so, it is very likely that the Worcester Strand was also designed by Lamb.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Volume two of History of Worcester and its People, by Charles Nutt, published in 1919, says that the Strand Theatre was opened in 1916. It was devoted primarily to movies, but sometimes presented vaudeville acts as well.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Lobby becomes train station.

“Murray Howard, manager of the Warner, converted the lobby into a railroad station and had the doormen attired as conductors for "Strangers on the Train.”

(item in Boxoffice magazine, July 7, 1951)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 15, 2010 at 6:45 am

In the October 30, 1961 issue of Boxoffice Magazine, an ad was run showing how many mainstream theatres were showing Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, a subtitled Italian movie. This theatre was one of those. Link to ad, then expand:
View link

barrygoodkin
barrygoodkin on June 3, 2006 at 7:42 am

The Warner Theatre was part of the Mark Strand New England Circuit acquired by Warner Brothers in 1929. It was known as the Strand Theatre and after Warner Brothers took it over they closed it April 2, 1930 and made renovations and reopend it as the Warner on April 19, 1930. It closed in 1965 after Stanley Warner opened the White City in Shrewsbury. The White City was designed by Drew Eberson.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 25, 2006 at 11:44 am

More about the Warner Memorial Th. at Worcester Academy. It opened in April 1932, so it was in operation at the same time as the Warner Theatre downtown. It was designed by the noted theater architect Drew Eberson. It has 336 seats on the main floor and 40 in the balcony, total: 376. I have seen some additional color photos of it and, as Gerry DeLuca points out above, it is a real “treasure” – no wonder the staff at the school are so proud of it !

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 22, 2005 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Gerry DeLuca ! I had heard that the Warner at Worcester Academy was a little gem, and that the name had something to do with the Warner family of movie-studio fame. You have confirmed both stories. I wonder if it was in operation while the old Warner Th. downtown was still open ??

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on December 21, 2005 at 11:44 am

Ron Salters, you mentioned the “other” Warner Theatre on the campus of Worcester Academy. It was called that because it was originally presented to Worcester Academy as a gift from Harry Warner, then president of the Warner Brothers Studio in memory of his son Lewis (Worcester Academy, Class of 1928). It is the Lewis J. Warner Theatre, Ross Auditorium. I did visit this theatre a week or so ago for a Christmas show just to see the place, and it is a wonder to behold, a fantastic renaissance-style period piece inside with great ceiling frescoes, and a classic columned exterior front. It was built in the tradition of other early 20th century grand movie palaces. It has the original 35mm projection booth still in place. It must be one of the greatest “unknown” cinema treasures of New England if not the country and should be visited by theatre fans who come to Worcester.
EXTERIOR
INTERIOR

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 21, 2005 at 10:36 am

to: dwodeyla – I have reports only for the Gorman Th. in Framingham and the Colonial Th. in Natick, both filled out in 1941.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on December 17, 2005 at 7:35 pm

Does the group of theatres you have, show the theatres in Framingham Massachusetts?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 12, 2005 at 10:22 am

Back in 1941 MGM began a project to identify movie theatres and to note the ones which were presenting MGM product. Some lucky guy got the job of driving around with his camera, finding theatres and snapping a photo of their facades and interviewing the manager and filling out a very brief form. Apparently, the project covered the entire USA, but I’m not sure of that. About 20 years ago, someone, and I can’t remember who, gave me a big handful of Xerox copies of these cards, for theatres in eastern- Massachusetts. Then, Donald King, author of the recent book on Boston theatres, and now, sadly, deceased, gave me a bunch of them, too. I don’t know where he got his. I understand that there are a selection of these cards in the archives of the THSA in Elmhurst IL. Who knows, possibly the MGM company still has the originals on file. Anyway, there is a card for the Warner Th. in Worcester.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on November 10, 2005 at 12:30 pm

What’s the MGM Theatre Photograph and Report project? Are there photos of theatres all over New England?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 10, 2005 at 10:34 am

This theatre was included in the MGM Theatre Photograph and Report project. The photo (my copy is a washed-out Xerox) is dated May, 1941. There is a narrow entrance with a small square marquee above. Attraction is Betty Davis in “Great Lie”, along with “Strange Alibi”. In the street are trolley tracks. To the left is Brewer & Co. drug store, occupying the corner. To the right is what looks like Prudence Clothes. The report indicates that the Warner is not a MGM customer; that the house is in Fair condition; is over 15 years old, and has 700 seats on the main floor and 600 seats in the balcony. The address was listed as 62 Front St. in Worcester. Although this Warner is now gone from Worcester, there is still a Warner Th. there ! It’s on the campus of the Worcester Academy prep school, just south of downtown. I do not know why the school calls it the “Warner Theatre” .

DaveGrau
DaveGrau on August 6, 2004 at 7:26 pm

I am glad to hear that, in the 48 years i have been a Projectionist
Norelco AA II has been hands down my favorite Projector,and Warner was always my favorite Theatres. I worked the Warner in Pittsburgh for years.
Dave Grau (mungo)

dickdziadzio
dickdziadzio on August 6, 2004 at 2:44 pm

I am pretty certain that when Stanley Warner closed this Theatre
they moved all the relativly new Norelco 70mm equipment several
miles to the east to their new WHITE CITY Theatre on route 9
in Shrewsbury which was just torn several years ago.

William
William on April 15, 2004 at 6:00 pm

The Warner Theatre seated 1600 people.