Criterion Theatre

35 Cottage Street,
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

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Related Websites

Criterion Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Firms: Bunker & Savage

Functions: Live Performances, Movies (First Run)

Styles: Art Deco

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 207.288.0829

Nearby Theaters

Criteron Theatre

The Criterion Theatre is a glorious, well-preserved Art Deco style theatre, located in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor.

Opening in 1932, it has served the town of Bar Harbor as a movie palace ever since, accomodating such prominent families as the Rockefellers on their vacations to nearby Mount Desert Island.

Kept in fantastic condition over the years, the theatre still has most of its original interior: seats, curtains, and even the original lighting board for stage performances. The Criterion Theatre also contains a floating balcony, which is rare for most movie palaces.

A true gem!!

Sadly closed in early-summer of 2011, it was reopened May 28, 2015.

Contributed by David

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

RJT70mm on October 11, 2010 at 11:27 am

Robert A. Mitchell was a noted authority on motion picture projection. He was the technical editor of International Projectionist magazine as well as the author of Mitchell’s Manual of Practical Projection. I believe he was from Bar Harbor, Maine and died in 1965.
I was wondering if you know of this man?
Thank you,
Bob Throop

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 11, 2011 at 9:35 am

From the photos above, it appears that the theatre’s marquee was nicely refurbished sometime between 2006 and 2009. I imagine it was done for the 2007 season, which marked the 75th Anniversary of the Criterion’s opening. This would explain the addition of the “1932” at the crown of the marquee’s main facing.

TLSLOEWS on May 11, 2011 at 9:48 am

Very Very Nice,Thanks Ed.

maleman on May 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Sad news i had friends that where in Bar Harbor two weeks ago they told me the Criterion has closed.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 8, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Ugh! That is awful! And with the summer tourist season coming up? I always hoped to get back up there and actually catch a flick. As long as it’s still standing, I suppose there is hope.

mhvbear on May 8, 2012 at 10:33 pm

The theater actually closed early last summer.

RichardD on October 16, 2012 at 11:38 am

It was open the first week of September 2012 anyways! I was so disappointed it had been closed last time I was there. A little searching on Maine websites says it re-opened in July 2012 .. but still in some dispute to story:

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 26, 2015 at 1:36 pm

The Theatre Historical Society on-line archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the Criterion; it’s Card # 338. Address is Cottage St. There is an exterior photo dated Jan. 31, 1941. Condition is Excellent. The report says the theater opened in 1932 and was showing MGM movies. There were 813 seats on the main floor and 125 seats in the loges, total 938.The 1940 population was 4,300.

1932_Criterion_Theatre on June 6, 2018 at 1:58 pm

The 1932 Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor, Maine is still in full swing, with movies and live shows presented year-round. We are open 7 days a week between Memorial Day and Columbus Day, and 4 days a week during the off-season (Thurs-Sun). Stop by from 9am-5pm M-F for a free tour!

DavidZornig on April 26, 2020 at 4:44 pm

George C. McKay at one time owned both the Criterion & Star Theatres in Bar Harbor. 1934 program added courtesy Ed Dillon.

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