Merritt Theater

3705 Main Street,
Bridgeport, CT 06606

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Stanley-Warner Theatres, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Drew Eberson, Toby Vece

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Nearby Theaters

It's finally here, an actual picture of the theater!

Located on Main Street, Bridgeport, at the intersection with Renzy Avenue, the Merritt Theater’s entrance was in a row of stores with a small, attractive marquee. It closed as a theater February 10, 1985. It was used as an appliance store until it was demolished for a strip mall in Fall of 1994.

Contributed by Joel McEachen

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

barrygoodkin on February 4, 2007 at 4:32 pm

The 977 seat Merritt Theatre was opened by Warner Bros. Theaters on April 15, 1942. The supervising architect is listed as Bridgeport architect Toby Vece but from observation it is likely that the plans were drawn by Drew Eberson who did much work for Warners' at the time. All seats were located on one floor. The theater was later twinned down the middle. It was the last RKO-Stanley Warner Theatre in Connecticut and closed on February 10, 1985.

kencmcintyre on September 8, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Here is a July 1951 ad from the Bridgeport Telegram:

shoeshoe14 on May 29, 2008 at 12:06 am

I found historic theatre attendance tallies for the Danbury Palace and this theatre among others while working for the CT Film Fest last week. On Sunday, during the last screening, I self-toured the stagehouse on both sides and found the info.

From 3/19-3/25/79, The Bridgeport Merritt 1 showed Breaking Away/Little Darlings and the Merritt 2 showed A Force of One.

Both theatres are listed as having 480 seats each.

RobbieG1966 on September 19, 2010 at 2:46 am

I recall seeing some classic movies at the Merritt Theater, including Jaws, and the original Star Wars movie when it was one large theater. After they made it a two screen theater, it was not the same. It was definitely one of those neighborhood theaters.

lewiswardell on February 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I was manager of the Merritt from ‘77-79, including the run of Star Wars, which we screened seven times a day for months. We sold so much popcorn that the ushers had to pick up and stack the empty containers halfway through each day so people could get down the aisles. I also oversaw the twinning of the theatre, which though necessary economically, really ruined the theater. Even re-drilling the seats so they faced a little more towards each screen didn’t help much. RKO did install a Dolby sound system at the time, and when we re-opened with Grease and Heaven Can Wait (I think), the sound was pretty good. We also ran The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday and Saturday at midnight for a year. The folks from the Waverly Theater who developed a lot of the call/responses came one night by limousine in full costume to teach the locals how to do it. I came to bridgeport from running the White City Theater in Shrewsbury, MA and couldn’t believe the neighborhood support and size of the crowds.It was truly fun .

TheALAN on June 21, 2014 at 1:23 am

“Located on Main Street, Bridgeport, at the intersection with Fern Street, …” is incorrect. (That would be the 3600 block). The Merritt Theater was located on Main Street, Bridgeport, at the intersection with Renzy Avenue (between Renzy Avenue and Goldenrod Avenue). The Merritt Theater was next to a single home at 3701-03 Main Street (at Renzy Ave.) that is still standing. A CVS/pharmacy now stands (in a strip center) where the theater once stood. (Please note: For anyone that needs to brush up on their geometry, summer classes are available at their local high school).

Anorak on November 5, 2016 at 3:38 pm

This was my neighborhood theater growing up. I saw Star Wars here more times than I can count. Like others have said, after it was twinned, it just wasn’t the same.

It was demolished in the fall of 1994. I vividly remember slamming on the brakes of my car when I drove past a pile of rubble that used to be the Merritt.

Dplomin on August 29, 2023 at 5:15 am

Imagine living in that house next to the theater! Lucky kids!

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