Garde Arts Center

325 State Street,
New London, CT 06320

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Garde Arts Center

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Garde Arts Center is one of the few remaining movie palaces in Connecticut.

Opened on September 22, 1926 as the 1,603-seat Garde Theatre, when the building was nearing completion, architect Benjamin Schlanger was consulted on the ‘stencil on plaster’ decorations in the auditorium. This former movie and vaudeville palace has been carefully and completely restored.

Now a performing arts center that still occasionally shows classic films, the Garde Arts Center is one of the most lavishly decorated theaters in the country.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Ziggy on September 29, 2004 at 10:29 pm

The website is worth a visit for the photos of the lovely auditorium, which is not atmospheric even though the theatre’s site describes it as such.

qing on December 1, 2004 at 3:44 am

I watched the director’s cut of Blade Runner there several years back. The sound system is commendable.

ZARDOZ on January 2, 2005 at 12:49 am

I understand that this theater is home to the largest remaining movie theater screen in Connecticut. Prior to the renovation, I saw restored prints of Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, and Bridge on the River Kwai there. These widescreen epics deserve to be seen on the big screen… a REALLY big screen. Unfortunately, the Garde doesn’t run a classic film schedule. Bummer!

kateymac01 on August 8, 2005 at 6:10 pm

The marquee reminds me of the one that was on the late, great Coliseum Theatre in Seattle.

SpikeSpiegel6262044 on February 1, 2006 at 1:44 am

I’ve been past this place a few times, next time, I’m going in to see a show.

shoeshoe14 on September 15, 2007 at 3:19 am

Listed in the New Haven Advocate’s Annual Manual. “A bonafide 1930s movie palace restored in the 1990s to its former magnificence and now serving as a multi-media performing arts center, with a Broadway subscription series…not to mention skads of children’s shows and a summertime film series. A major venue in an out-of-the-way seaside city, you never know if a show will be sold out or desolate; just go with the flow.

MPol on February 25, 2009 at 3:04 am

I second that, SNWEB.ORG.

CSWalczak on January 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

This New York Times article mentions the Garde (toward the bottom) – it has been struggling as a performing arts center in the face of competition from newer venues though the news has improved recently: View link

TLSLOEWS on February 3, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Nice looking theatre I like the two verticals very old scholl looking.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Wurlitzer installed their pipe organ opus 1302 here in 1926, a very modest Style E, 2 manuals 7 ranks in one chamber. The organ was later moved to the Crystal Palace in West Goshen CT.

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