277 Brightman Street,
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The Pastime Theatre was located in a section of the city known as the “Village”. It was opened in 1896. By 1932 it had been renamed Royal Theatre. There were kiddie matinees on Saturday and Sunday afternoons; evenings were for adults. First-run movies that had run their course in the bigger movie houses now could be seen for less at the Royal Theatre. Monday evening was “Ladies Night” where either dishes or towels were given out.
The theatre was owned by the Moniz Family. On Saturday afternoon for 12 cents a kid could see a serial, cartoon and two full feature films, one of which was always a western. With so many kids it got so noisy you could hardly hear what the actors were saying. On many an occasion, Mr. Moniz would turn up the lights, shut off the movie and walk to the front of the theatre to proclaim, “If you kids don’t keep quiet, I’ll shut the movie off and send you all home”. He never did! Ah, what great times.
The Royal Theatre was still open in 1952, but had closed by 1955. The building was purchased by St. Joseph’s church and downstairs converted to a banquet hall and the upstairs theatre into a basketball court. It was then sold by the church to a company that made caskets.
The Royal Theatre was planned to be restored as the home of the Youth Musical Theater. But this never happened.
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