It was only when the lights flickered and the newsreel began that we kids started to quiet down.
As I looked at some of the newsreels we watched on You Tube, I wondered if
that is where our love of history started.
Here we were, little kids, getting a good dose of world events...
The newsreel was not enough to assure total quiet, I can still hear the chatter and shuffling of little feet back and forth from the refreshment counter and or the elegant rest rooms
(at least the Ladies, done in pastels)If you are a movie theatre historian check this website:
Here are a few facts I found about our theaters:
The Park Theatre was listed in theatre publications as early as 1927.
On August 26, 1927 a Wurlitzer Theatre organ Opus 1712
was installed there,
Interestingly, the first talkie movie: Al Jolson in the Jazz Singer
came out that year. Prior to that only silent films prevailed.
An online movie buff from the Taunton area remembers a tiny blue patch on the screen
at the Park...and as soon as I read that, I remembered it, too. Do you?
This is a photo of an old 40's movie theatre....not one of ours, but you
"get the picture"
sorry, could not resist that....
The aisles slopped down, so we all did
that aisle stoop walk back up and ran back down.
Elegant light fixtures, red carpeting for the aisles,
seats whose bottoms came up and back, and the satisfying drop of your bottom
as you settled in to the seat, even before the seat finally touched down.
The ornate rococo decor along the side faux balconies. The swish of the wine colored
velvet drapes swinging open to start the show. The smell of popcorn.
Graduations and special
events were often held in local theaters as did my 1957 high school graduation.
Works of art, my fellow memoirists....works of art.
Now back to the facts, just the facts...
The Park was known for having one of the largest stages in New England.
Mrs. Bentley, Mrs. Margaret Lawson, and Mrs. Rosemary O'Neill.
it was demolished April of 1971 along with the Strand.
According to some, the last film
shown at either one was
Children of the Dammed.
Some cities and towns have saved their beautiful old theaters using them for art
centers and the like or even to continue showing old films.
Another interesting face is that at one time there were more theatres in Taunton.
* The Star at 107 Main St. (above Goldstein and Antine...remember them?)
The Star had 600 seats and did not survive The Talkies. The Star was built
in 1897! it is 140 years old....still hanging in there, but too far gone to be saved.
*The Whittenton theatre had 1200 seats.
*The Biltmore...well, no information about that one. Anyone?
Also, a reader has reminded us of the State Theatre on Court St.
Could find no info on that one....can anyone help with that?
Graduations and special events were held in local theaters. Mine high school
graduation in 1957 was held at the Strand.