Pickwick Theatre

48 W. Putnam Avenue,
Greenwich, CT 06830

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: RKO

Architects: W.J. MacEvoy

Functions: Office Space

Styles: Atmospheric, Spanish Renaissance

Previous Names: RKO Pickwick Theatre

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Pickwick Theatre

One can tell by looking at the domed roof that the Pickwick Theatre must have been an Atmospheric style theatre. Also still visible is the stage house. The RKO Pickwick Theatre opened on November 21, 1929 with Edward Buzzell in “Little Johnny Jones” and Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy in “Men O' War”. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 manual 8 Ranks theatre pipe organ. In 1934 RKO was dropped from the name.

After it closed in 1959, it was used for many years as a bowling alley. When the bowling alley eventually closed it was then converted to office space which is known as Pickwick Commons.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Patsy on March 11, 2005 at 7:54 pm

My goodness…this is a theatre in Greenwich CT that we’re talking about and it was atmospheric! The fine folks of Greenwich should be able to raise enough funds to restore THIS ONE in THIS TOWN even though it has been CONVERTED into office space! Wonderful idea, town fathers!

Patsy on September 14, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Would love to see some photos of this theatre!

Patsy on September 14, 2007 at 7:11 pm

Thanks as I just viewed them…not an older theatre as I thought might be the case. I was in Greenwich a few years ago and don’t recall seeing this, but then again I would have been looking for an old marquee, etc.

shoeshoe14 on November 1, 2007 at 2:51 pm

I meant to post this in the spring but forgot. I found this theater and it’s quite huge and angled away from the road. It was for sale through CBRE and you can see through the upstairs windows at the rafters. I doubt if I called them up, that I could get a tour of the place without honestly wanting to buy it, but maybe they can answer questions regarding any architectural imprints still left?

missmelbatoast on November 1, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Was this theatre operated by Pickwick (subsidiary of Greyhound) Bus Lines? In New York, Chicago, and San Francsico Pickwick operated bus station/hotel/theatre combos.
Shown here is an architectural drawing of a Pickwick complex that was never built in Tulsa-
View link

shoeshoe14 on November 2, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Don’t think so. But while perusing through the Greenwich City Directory, it was Pickwick Bowling Alley for about 25 or 28 years, way longer than it was a theatre!

shoeshoe14 on December 26, 2007 at 3:03 pm

From the latest Stamford Advocate – View link

“Pickwick Theatre, which opened in 1929 with 1,915 seats, a Wurlitzer organ and a Spanish courtyard-style interior, was closed by 1959 and turned into a bowling alley.”

shoeshoe14 on December 28, 2007 at 11:40 am

The Greenwich Historical Society emailed me this on it being an Atmospheric.

“Unfortunately we can neither confirm nor deny that this was an
Atmospheric Theatre. There may still be building permits in Greenwich’s Town Hall that may prove your point. Here is the link, and if you look to the right, you will see "archives”, but I suggest you try calling first. www.greenwichct.org/PublicWorks/PublicWorks.asp

Unfortunately, we have very little information on that wonderful
structure and information being as fragile as it is (and was) never was donated to the archives. You may want to try the local historian at Greenwich Library: www.greenwichlibrary.org

eastportco on July 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm

John Eberson, the foremost atmospheric Theater Palace designer, made the Pickwick seem like the Arabian Nights…..with mysterious back-lit side balconies,Persian carpeting,antique furnishings and a 75 ft. high, cloud-filled ceiling with twinkling stars…..(see Marion, Ohio Theater photo in links below)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_theatre https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eberson

My first memory of the Pickwick Theater, September ‘48 at age 6, was seeing a live Saturday afternoon presentation of Aladdin and His Magic Lantern – where I assumed they had decorated the whole theater for the performance. So, when during that era, I would go back to the movies, I thought it great that they had left standing all those wonderful sets that had been used for that special Aladdin Show…

I spent many wonderful times as a kid at the marvelous Pickwick Space – whether alone up front in the second row of that cavernous picture palace with most of the 1900 seats empty to our backs or with our gang during a full house on Saturdays when we could raise a ruckus with the rest of the whole crowd of kids….

An evening at the Pickwick would usually progress as the credits rolled up with me and my friends bolting out the side doors into the alleyway that led down and into Greenwich Avenue and across the street to Neilsen’s Ice Cream Parlor. There, Ray, the red-headed the fountain clerk, when he saw us coming would immediately start working on our favorite > their double thick chocolate malts ($ .45 cents and delivered with the spoon and the straw standing straight up). It could take the rest of the evening to get the last of those magnificent malts through that straw. WOW, what a treat!!….movies at the Pickwick chased with Neilsen’s own, chocolate double thicks…..those were certainly quieter and gentler days……

50sSNIPES on January 6, 2024 at 4:10 pm

This started life as the RKO Pickwick Theatre. The RKO name was dropped in 1934 and officially became known as the Pickwick Theatre.

The Pickwick Theatre closed in 1959.

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