Newport Cinema

Park Street and Sunapee Street,
Newport, NH 03773

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Latchis

Previous Names: Latchis Theatre

Nearby Theaters

The Old Newport House after the fire

The Latchis Theatre was opened on September 10, 1949. Its entrance was created through the Newport House hotel. This was a summertime cinema I attended as a child with my family in the 1950’s in Newport, NH. The Latchis Theatre ran the standard bill of entertainment which meant cartoons, newsreels, and feature films. Memory tells me prints were always in good shape so properly it was first run. I can’t state much about the interior design, maybe someone from Newport can help. The Latchis Theatre, one of several theatres in a chain owned by Peter Latchis, was damaged in a fire on December 25, 1965.

Renovations were carried out and it was reopened as the Newport Cinema on July 14, 1966 with Paul Newman in “Lady”. It was closed in 1980. It was demolished in 1984.

Contributed by Hank Sykes

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Thus theater in Newport does not appear on a list of Latchis theaters as of 1942-43. At that time Peter Latchis ran theaters in Claremont, Keene (2) and Milford NH (2); plus 6 in Vermont and 3 in Massachusetts.

50sSNIPES on September 17, 2023 at 1:34 pm

The Latchis Theatre opened its doors on September 10, 1949.

Information about the Latchis Theatre goes as follows: First constructed in June 1948, the 60x108ft theater took 15 months for the theater to build. The Latchis was named after the owner’s last name, Peter D. Latchis. What’s unique about the construction of the theater is that it was built without the usage of blueprints. The main foyer features very unique designs including paintings of a double rainbow, the sun’s rays, the moon, Atlas carrying an angel on his shoulder, the earth with a five pointed star, a design of Centaur, a design of Apollo with his chariots, among others. The auditorium features an original capacity of 900 seats, a sky blue ceiling with a blue and gold stage font, an original stage measurement of 17x32ft, and doubledecker dressing rooms built on either side of the stage for both genders.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 19, 2023 at 12:21 am

The January 10, 1966 issue of Boxoffice contradicts the claim that the Latchis Theatre was destroyed by the fire that struck the Newport House hotel on Christmas eve in 1965. It notes that the auditorium suffered only slight damage and the projection room none at all, so even the print of “Von Ryan’s Express” that was playing when the fire began must have been saved.

The 1949 theater had been in a new structure built behind the historic hotel building. The lobby had been cut through the hotel’s ground floor, and that was the only part of the theater that was destroyed. After the fire a new entrance was built and the auditorium renovated and the house operated until 1980 as the Newport Cinema. A historic timeline of Newport says that the vacant building was sold to a new owner in 1982 and the remains demolished in 1984. The new owner had plans to build a new hotel on the site, but these never came to fruition. The property now serves as a parking lot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 23, 2023 at 1:52 am

This rather large PDF contains the official annual report for the Town of Newport for 1998, but it includes a large section devoted to the history of the Newport Fire Department. The story of the fire that destroyed the Newport House Hotel on Christmas Day, 1965, is on pages 47 and 48 (digital pages 49 and 50.) The lines relevant to the fate of the Latchis Theatre are: “The theater sustained little damage, and for the next decade or so, the movie theater continued operating. On a rainy night, patrons could still smell the fire.”

This page can be renamed Newport Cinema, and the redundant newer page deleted after any relevant information it provides (reopening date, etc.) is replicated here.

Rainbow Angels Ensemble
Rainbow Angels Ensemble on September 23, 2023 at 6:13 pm

The film they were screening on Christmas Eve 1965 was Von Ryan’s Express.

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