Loew's Poli Theatre

591 Main Street,
Hartford, CT 06103

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Additional Info

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

Architects: Thomas White Lamb

Styles: Adam

Previous Names: Poli's Capitol Theatre, Fox-Poli Capitol Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Loew's Poli Theatre

The Poli’s Capitol Theatre was opened on August 28, 1920 with George M. Cohan heading a vaudeville bill which also included Eddie Foy & his family. Built on the site of the Coliseum Theatre and later 1903 built Poli Theatre, it was designed by Thomas W. Lamb. It was equipped with an organ (make unknown). It was later known as the Fox-Poli Theatre before finally becoming the Loew’s Poli Theatre. Located on Main Street, this was perhaps the most elegant theatre in Hartford. Loew’s Poli Theatre was closed on September 6, 1964.

It was demolished, together with its near neighbor Loew’s Poli Palace Theatre. The site is now occupied by Bushnell Plaza.

Contributed by Al Larkin

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

khollywood on June 21, 2006 at 5:35 am

I’ve been told that my great-grandfather was the stage manager of this theater, I think when the vaudeville circut was still passing through.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 12, 2010 at 4:39 am

An interesting item in the November 8, 1913, issue of the trade journal The Moving Picture World says that construction of the foundations for a new Poli theater at Main and Gold streets in Hartford had begun. If that was not the exact location of the Loew’s Poli then it must have been very close. The item said that construction was being rushed on the project, in hope that the house could be opened in January, 1914. Architect for the project was Ferdinand Von Beren of the New Haven firm Brown & Von Beren, who did other work for the Poli chain.

I’ve found no later references to this project in the trade publications. I’m wondering if Loew’s Poli was later built on the foundations begun in 1913? Or did something else get built there, or nothing at all? Maybe the city decided it needed part of the site for a street widening project or something of that sort, and the theater project was halted? Perhaps Mr. Poli ran into financial difficulties and the project had to be delayed? A mystery, anyway. Does anybody know the answer?

TLSLOEWS on February 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Nice photo posted by ken mc,of the Loews Poli.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

This photograph of the Fox-Poli Capitol Theatre was taken in 1929 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

TLSLOEWS on April 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Thanks again for the photo Brad.

TheALAN on June 14, 2014 at 9:26 pm

In September of 2010, Joe Vogel referred to an interesting item in the November 8, 1913 issue of the trade journal The Moving Picture World. After 3yrs.8mos., I thought someone would have an answer. I guess not?

lucap on March 31, 2016 at 10:17 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

DavidZornig on July 12, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Link with a 1945 photo of Loew’s Poli.


Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 22, 2018 at 11:36 am

The Capitol was a replacement for Poli’s Theatre, which opened in 1903 with about 2,200 seats and used portions of the Coliseum, a bankrupted indoor arena built in 1899. S.Z. Poli purchased adjacent land to create a Main Street entrance for his first Hartford outlet. Vaudeville was the main attraction, but movies were gradually added as the medium developed. Poli’s profits were enough to build the nearby Palace Theatre, which opened in 1914 and made the showman dominant on Main Street. By the end of the decade, the older theatre was becoming obsolete, so Poli decided to replace it with the larger and grander Capitol Theatre, which opened in August, 1920, at the same location. Poli’s Theatre was almost totally demolished, except for part of a side wall and brickwork that dated back to the original Coliseum.

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