Majestic Theater

84 Cottage Street,
Easthampton, MA 01027

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The Majestic Theater Before Renovations in 2001

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Stefan Rapalus built the Majestic Theater in 1923 to replace the earlier 1910 Majestic Theater which burned down.

The theater switched to adult films in the early-1960’s and a memory of its days as a porn theater can be found in John Margolies & Emily Gwathmey’s “Ticket To Paradise” on page 136.

In the 1980’s, competition from the video industry took business from the adult theater and it closed in 1986. The 9,000 square-foot theater had been on the real estate market for years after it closed, with a brief stint in the early-1990’s as a dance hall.

The theater was later sold to a local furniture maker who converted the theater into a workshop for Nojo Design in 2001.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures, Ted Rapalus

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

William
William on November 20, 2003 at 1:28 pm

The Majestic Theatre was located on Cottage Street and it seated 800 people.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 25, 2004 at 4:34 pm

There is an awesome Quicktime Virtual Tour of this theatre at View link

sdoerr
sdoerr on January 25, 2004 at 5:04 pm

Thanks Roger, very highly renovate-able, this is in great condition and they should have kept it. I wonder what it will look like when it is finished. They seem happy to poke fun at the poor theater the marquee read “Coming Soon: A Paint Job”. I find it unique how the projection booth was out of the way to the side.

ryan0290
ryan0290 on January 26, 2004 at 11:34 am

Wow, the theater is very much intact except for the auditorium floor and plaster walls.

tjjh
tjjh on May 5, 2004 at 10:48 am

my wife’s grandfather was the projectionist for the Majestic in the early 1920s. His brother was an early, if not the original, owner. Both were Polish immigransts. Family members worked selling tickets, resulting in my wife’s father seeing some free movies. I have a photo (poor quality) of the lobby from early 1950s. is there any other early history available?

TedRapalus
TedRapalus on May 5, 2004 at 1:23 pm

This is my third attempt to tell you that the theatre was owned by my Uncle Stefan Rapalus. He built the Majestic in the early 20’s to replace one which burned down. My father Ignatius Rapalus and MY Uncle Wallace were occasional projectionists. Stefan’s family ran the theatre. Cousin Joe, manager; cousins Helen and Emma ticket sellers; cousin Mitch wa all around handy man and projectionist. I managed to get a lot of free passes if I had a note from my father. Lots of nostalgia there. I lived on Cottage Street across the street from the majestic. I must be related to the person whose grandfather was a projectionist. Ted Rapalus

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 21, 2007 at 5:02 am

The 1942-43 edition of the Motion Picture Almanac has a very long list of movie theatre circuits in US and Canada which consist of at least 5 theatres. Among them is Rapalus Theatres whose address is this theatre, the Majestic in Easthampton. Joseph S. Rapalus is listed as General Manager and Film Buyer. The 4 other theatres in the circuit are the Opera House in Bondsville, the Bijou in Holyoke, the Burr in Ludlow, and the Capitol in Monson.

scooper47
scooper47 on September 4, 2007 at 9:06 am

Our grandfather, Henry Walz, built the original Majestic in 1910 at 73 Cottage Street, at the site of the current building. Eventually it had six bowling lanes and a shuffleboard court in the basement. The theater itself had box seats, a balcony, a stage, and a capacity of over 800. The theater was run by William Friel, who paid Henry a rent of $75/week according to ledgers from the first half of 1912. In today’s dollars, that works out to $72,000 per year in rental fees, a hefty sum. In addition to movies, the Majestic featured vaudeville acts. Henry sold the Majestic in 1917 for $30,000 ($482K in today’s dollars), and it burned down on Feb. 4, 1922. We own a stage backdrop of one of the incarnations of this theatre, and it will be donated to the Easthampton (MA) Historical Society, which already has interior photographs donated by our father. We also have a postcard showing the 1910 Majestic; we will send a scan to this site when it becomes possible again.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 9, 2010 at 9:41 am

The Majestic is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook with 845 seats and open daily. They also list 2 other movie venues in Easthampton: “Mfg. Co.” with 918 seats, open 4 days/week; and “W. Boylston”. I guess that “Mfg. Co.” may have been a company auditorium.

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