Richmond Theatre

36 Main Street,
North Adams, MA 01247

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: E.M. Loew's Theaters Inc.

Previous Names: New Richmond Theatre

Nearby Theaters

RICHMOND Theatre; North Adams, Massachusetts.

Down the street from the Paramount Theatre and Mohawk Theatre. The New Richmond Theatre was opened prior to 1900. In 1909 it began screening movies. By 1914 it had reverted back to live theatre use. In the early-1930’s it became a movie theatre operated by the E.M. Loews Theaters circuit. It was closed in the mid-1940’s and was converted into a fraternal hall. It was demolished in the 1970’s.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 16, 2007 at 10:12 am

The Richmond Theatre on Main St. in North Adams was included in the MGM Theatre Photograph and Report project. There is a facade photo taken in May 1941. The entrance was in the middle of an ornate business building. The theatre had a boxy marquee with “Richmond” in huge letters on the front, with 2 lines below of white letters on a dark background. Attractions were Gary Cooper in “The Westerner” and “Slightly Honorable”. To the left of the entrance was the Hotel Richmond; to the right was a jeweler’s shop. The Report states that the Richmond had been playing MGM product for over 10 years, that it was over 15 years old; in Fair condition, and had 740 seats.

kencmcintyre on February 23, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Here is part of an article dated 5/31/50 from the North Adams Transcript:

The lights went out today in the Richmond theater. That motion picture house, owned and operated for the past 12 years by the Western Massachusetts Theaters corporation, will close its doors tonight and will be idle indefinitely. Francis J. Faille, chief local representative for the Western Massachusetts Theaters corporation and manager of the Paramount theater which it also operates here, said today that the theater was being closed “simply for lack of business.”

Mr. Faille said his concern hoped that a pick-up in the fall might warrant a re-opening of the house as it did once before, in 1943, when the Richmond closed during the summer season. But the future operation of the house will depend on conditions which cannot now be forecast, Mr. Faille indicated.

The Richmond Theater, built just before the turn of the century along with the Richmond hotel to which it is attached, has had a long history as a legitimate theater, a vaudeville and finally a motion picture house. Then under lease to the E.M. Loew, Inc. interests which now operate the Mohawk theater here, it was purchased in 1938 by the Western Massachusetts Theaters corporation, headed by Samuel Goldstein of Springfield, and was taken over by that corporation on July 31, 1938. For the past several years it has operated as what the industry calls a “Family theater,” showing second-run features, while the Paramount has operated on a first-run policy. And for some months past it has been on a four-day week basis, operating Thursdays through Sundays only.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm

The Richmond is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook as having 740 seats and open 6 days per week.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 4, 2021 at 11:42 pm

This web pagehas a history of theaters in North Adams, including some information about the Richmond and a nice cross-sectional drawing. I’ve found the house mentioned as the New Richmond Theatre a early as 1900, and in its early years it was a vaudeville and stage theater, sometimes presenting tryouts of plays destined for New York City.

The Richmond began showing movies in 1909, according to an item in the August 1, 1910 issue of The Nickelodeon, which noted that its operator had taken a five year leas on the house. However, it must have reverted to live performances by 1914, as it was not among the three movie houses listed in North Adams in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory.

It did return to being a movie house later, though, and in the early 1930s was being operated under a lease by E. M. Loew chain. The imminent loss of the lease led Loew to build the Mohawk Theatre in 1937. The Richmond was thereafter operated by Western Massachusetts Theatres until closing in the mid-1940s, after which it was remodeled to serve as a lodge hall for the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Like the nearby Empire/Paramount Theatre, it was demolished in the 1970s as part of a municipal redevelopment scheme.

robboehm on March 6, 2021 at 11:23 am

Joe, link isn’t working.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 7, 2021 at 9:27 pm

Repaired link here. (Sorry for the delay. For some reason I’m not getting email notifications of new comments anymore.)

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