Comments from chpaton

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chpaton commented about Bates Theatre on May 5, 2005 at 9:26 pm


Your information is about the same “Bates” as mine. The locations are “identical” and your comment jogged my old doddering memory. My grandmother refered to it as the “Bates Opera Hous” not the Bates Theater.

chpaton commented about Bates Theatre on Apr 27, 2005 at 10:51 pm

I grew up in Attlebore in the 50’s & 60’s and the Bates was already gone by then. However my parents and grandparents recalled it and passed on a smidgen of information to me.

This is what I know:

The Bates was located right in the middle of the major downtown street intersection. Located in a building on the corner of North Main St and Park St. directly across N. Main from the “Bronson Building” and in close proximity to County St. and South Main St. My parents indicated that the Bates was somewhat more upscale than its nearest competitor the Union.

After the theater was closed the building was converted to retail use. When I lived in Attleboro during the 50s' and 60’s the building housed a bank, a ladies clothier “Milady’s”, a tobaconist – news stand – soda fountain “Coopers”, and several other retail shops.

chpaton commented about Union Theater on Apr 27, 2005 at 10:36 pm

I grew up in the Attleboros during the 50’s and 60’s. The Union was/is located at the intersection of Dunham and Union Sts. Just across Union St. from the Rail Station.

It was a plain theater, no decorations, no frills – the only option was a balcony, which by the way was very easy to sneak in to. It’s plainness probably played a part in its surviving longer than the other “big” theaters in Attleboro and North Attleboro as it was cheaper to maintain and keep up.

If you look at the picture via the link posted above you might notice the store front to the right of the theater entrance. When I was a kid that was a soda fountain / ice cream shop that also functioned as a teen hang out (late 1950s)

chpaton commented about Community Theatre on Apr 27, 2005 at 10:21 pm

I grew up in the Attleboros during the 50’s and 60’s. As a kid and a teen there were only two functioning theaters – the Community in North Attleborough, and the Union in Attleboro.

The Community was the older, larger and more ornate of the two. As I recall there was a lot of ornate detail, a large chandelier, guilded railings and mouldings, a very large balcony, private boxes stage left and right, an orchestra pit, and stage with scenery tower.

I’d guess that the Community was contructed circa 1900 and was in use as a vaudeville theater and for stage productions prior to the advent of movies.

The Community was located on North Washington St. south of the town center – I recall it being faily close to the intersection of Elm St. and N. Washington and near the old high school (now a middle school I think).

By the late 50’s and early 60’s when I had occasion to see a movie at the Community it had definitly seen better times. It was a big theater and they had trouble filling the seates. I’m guessing but I believe it could seat around 1500.

It stopped functioning as a movie house sometime in the late 60’s, but was still used for Town Meeting as it was the largest auditorium in town until the building was sold and converted into office space sometime in the 70’s.

I do not know if the building still stands.