General Stark Theatre

400 Main Street,
Bennington, VT 05201

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Bennington Opera house

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Late `50's image via the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

The Bennington Opera House was opened December 10, 1892. It had 1,194-seats. On May 31, 1915 it began screening movies. On December 15, 1928 it was renamed General Stark Theatre. It was destroyed by a fire on February 10, 1959.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

joemasher on October 11, 2005 at 1:57 am

The theater burned down years ago and its remains were demolished.

kencmcintyre on November 10, 2006 at 12:04 pm

The theater burned in 1959, according to this 1963 article:

A large downtown lot, its emptiness partially hidden from view by a rough fence which bears a sign proclaiming “Paradise”, would serve a variety of uses if Benningtonians had their way.

The roughly graded lot is all that remains of a busy downtown corner which once accommodated a portion of the General Stark theater as well as the Vermont Savings Bank building. The theater block was destroyed by fire in 1959 and the bank building was demolished last spring when it proved unadaptable to modern business uses. The current owner, John B. Harte, has no prospective tenants or future plans.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on February 19, 2015 at 8:38 pm

Correct address was 400 Main St

DavidZornig on October 18, 2018 at 6:26 pm

Opened as Bennington Opera House by Henry W. Putnam on December 10, 1892. Began showing films under same name May 31, 1915 (notice in Photos section) Became General Stark Theatre before 1940. Fire was February 10, 1959. History in two links below.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

As the Bennington Opera House, this theater is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. The theater was on the ground floor and had 1,194 seats. F.M. Tiffany was Mgr. Ticket prices 25 cents to $1. The proscenium opening was 36 feet wide X 38 feet high, and the stage was 40 feet deep. There were 7 musicians in the pit band. Newspapers were the Troy Press, Banner and Democrat. Hotels for show folk: American, Putnam, Burgess and Columbia. The 1897 population of Bennington was 10,000.

rivest266 on June 7, 2020 at 8:11 am

The first ad as General Starke from December 15th, 1928 posted.

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