Loew's Poli Theatre

23 Church Street,
New Haven, CT 06510

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Circuit, Loew's Inc., Poli

Architects: Thomas White Lamb, E.W. Maynard

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Poli's New Theatre, Fox Poli Theatre

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News About This Theater

Fox Poli Theatre, New Haven, CT - 1929

Located at the corner of George Street and Church Street, Poli’s New Theatre was built in 1905 to the plans of architect E.W. Maynard. In 1917 it was remodelled to the plans of architect Thomas Lamb and reopened as Loew’s Poli Theatre on November 19, 1917. It had a Moller organ.

Razed in 1960, and was #102 on the THS’s list of largest American movie palaces.

Contributed by Dave Litterer

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

fairytalefun on July 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm

a great theatre—they don’t make em like that anymore..

TLSLOEWS on June 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Any Photos anyone.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Click here for an exterior view of the Fox Poli Theatre in 1929.

marybeth on January 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I have a letter written to my husband’s grandfather by his brother-in-law, Clement Doran, and he was in a show at the Poli’s Byon Theather in New Haven Ct., April 22, 1909. Does anyone have any ideas about where I might find out the name of the show or any write-up/pictures?

Joyclyn on August 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm

My great grandfather, John J. Gentile managed this theater back in 1917 according to my family history. Also, his daughter, Madeline-Gentile Ortello, who is my grandmother played the piano for the silent movies. I believe the theater was originally called Comique.

barttjr on January 14, 2014 at 8:38 am

My father Bartolomeo Tammaro Sr. Was a projectionest in the Poli
For a number of years and did the closing show. I was was an usher at The Poll and the Biju. I would like to hear from anyone

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 11, 2015 at 9:55 pm

The June 10, 1916, issue of The American Contractor had this item about the Poli Theatre in New Haven:

“Theater (alts. & add.): $100,000. 3 sty. 150x125. Church St., New Haven, Conn. Archt. Thomas W. Lamb, 644 8th av., New York City, & 112 Water st.,. Boston. Owner Sylvester Z. Poli, 23 Church St., New Haven. Plans to be revised. Brick (fireproof constr.), struct. & orn. iron, gravel rfg.”
The alterations and additions were to a theater that had been built in 1905. This notice appeared in the February 18, 1905, issue of The American Architect and Building News:
“NEW HAVEN, CONN.—J. O. Loughlin, Hartford, has received the contract for the erection of new theater at 23 Church St. New Haven. E. W. Maynard, Arch., 226 Tremont St., Boston. Cost, $90,000.”
Another item in another issue of the same magazine said that the theater was being built behind 23 Church Street, so the office building probably predated the theater. Page 94 of Legendary Locals of New Haven, by Colin M. Caplan, has a c.1905 photo of Poli’s Theatre (Google Books preview.) The house was advertised as Poli’s New Theatre to differentiate it from an earlier Poli’s Theatre in New Haven.

The theater was virtually gutted for Thomas Lamb’s rebuilding in 1917. The only photo I can find depicting any of E. W. Maynard’s original 1905 design is on a postcard that is displayed on this page of a stamp collecting web site. As the card is for sale I don’t know how long the link will last.

lucap on March 31, 2016 at 8:52 am

hello we are making a documentary on Poli and Poli’s theater, and we are looking for anyone who worked there or used to go to Poli’s theaters often. Please email me () we want to hear from you. Luca

Jason Vanderhill
Jason Vanderhill on May 21, 2016 at 2:23 pm

I have added the photo that ‘inspired’ the postcard image seen here. The ‘1905’ photo that Joe Vogel references is actually the same photo, and as it appears to feature a Model T Ford, it is probably closer to 1910 after all.

I am curious about Poli’s earlier theatre across the street, known as Poli’s Wonderland Theatre, a vaudeville venue and wax museum which he started in 1893. I’ve gleaned from the web that the structure was previously St. Mary’s Hall, and had apparently been used as a church up until 1878. If anyone finds out anything further, please post it!

CosmicBraxton on October 12, 2023 at 12:02 pm

Vincent Price went to many a show there while a student at Yale per his biography

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