Harte Theatre

481 Main Street,
Bennington, VT 05201

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cinema North Corporation

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: New Harte Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Circa 1959 photo.

Located on Bennington’s Main Street, the Harte Theatre was one of two movie palaces on the same block. Earlier, the General Starke Theatre had burned down. The Harte Theatre was opened on September 15, 1915 with Norma Talmadge in “The Criminal”. It was closed in 1933.

It reopened on October 6, 1961 with Rock Hudson in “Come September”. It reopened under independent management on February 28, 1973 with Jon Voight in “Deliverance”. It was last operated by the Cinema North Corp. in conjunction with their Cinema 1 & 2 (later Cinema 1-2-3) on the other side of town. The theatre featured a balcony. It burned in the early-1990’s and was demolished.

Contributed by Joe Masher

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 19, 2006 at 7:35 am

The Harte Theatre opened in 1915 and was built for Drama,vaudeville and movies. It was re-modeled in the 1950’s

kencmcintyre on November 10, 2006 at 2:40 pm

Here is an article from a local paper on 7/19/61 re the conversion from theater to films:

“Bennington is going to have a movie theater”, John R. Harte,
attorney for Harte Realty Corp. announced yesterday. Projected
opening date is after Labor Day.
Harte said the Harte Theater at 481 Main St. has been leased to
Lloyd H. Bridgham of Dover, N.H., a theater-chain owner and operator who has theaters in the Vermont cities of Rutland and Barre.

Two weeks ago Bridgham stored 250 movie theater chairs inside the Harte Thealer in anticipation of completing negotiations with Harte.
“We are going to completely modernize the theater,” Harte said. He described renovating and refurbishing the theater as “a joint venture.”

Harte said he was happy to announce signing of the lease agreement and said it was a result of “the insistence of the public. We are going into this with our fingers crossed since we are opening a theater when people are still closing movie houses all around the country,” Harle said. Bridgham, as leasee of the theater, will have complete control, Harte said, “from the marquee straight on through."
"I am sure he desires to make every effort to supply people with
first-class entertainment,” Harte added.

Harte said his efforts to secure a lease for the theater were influenced “by an honest attempt to provide a place for young people
to have an entertainment outlet”. Picking up the current slogan
of movies, Harte added, “after all, TV leaves a lot to be desired.”

kencmcintyre on May 23, 2007 at 6:22 pm

The Bennington Evening Banner reported on 2/10/59 that the entire Harte Theater block had been leveled in a fire the night before. I assume the theater was rebuilt after that conflagration.

peanut on August 23, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Ken, the building that burned in 1959 was on the north side of Main Street, just east of the intersection with North Street; it was also known as the Opera Block.

Greg_Faris on February 4, 2018 at 6:37 pm

I worked there as a projectionist in the 1970s. I believe Ken is right – the theater actually burned down twice. We used to joke that this was Bennington’s form of urban renewal.

DavidZornig on April 7, 2018 at 12:27 am

Circa 1959 photo added. Marquee is blank and the blade sign is missing neon.

rivest266 on June 7, 2020 at 10:44 am

First ad: September 15th, 1915

Patsy on April 14, 2023 at 2:26 pm

Any interior photos?

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