Paris Cinema

68 Franklin Street,
Worcester, MA 01608

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Showing 1 - 25 of 42 comments

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on June 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm

I photographed the theater before demolition started. Check out some images and a short history at After the Final Curtain

megze on August 3, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Recent photos of the inside of the theater:

spectrum on January 29, 2016 at 11:27 pm

As of early 2016, the building is still there intact.

RickB on May 8, 2012 at 1:52 am

“…the building behind it is due for replacement.” Ah, euphemism.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 28, 2012 at 11:29 am

Is there another still-operating Paris Cinema (perhaps the one in NYC) who could use the sign?

CSWalczak on April 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

The theater’s sign is up for auction, and a developer has plans to raze the theater and adjacent structures: View article

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm

The owners of the building recently offered to donate the huge “Paris” sign out front to a local preservation office to sell as a fund-raiser. Most collectors of theater memorabilia would not have room for it!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Preservation Worcester provides this page about the Capitol Theatre, with four small photos of interior details and a few paragraphs of text. The Capitol was placed on the organization’s “most endangered” list in 2005.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Still sitting empty when I biked by it last night. Were all the theatres called ‘Paris’ (in Boston, Worcester, NYC, and elsewhere) once linked together in a chain?

nvargelis on March 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

CORRECTION! I made a mistake in the above post, the URL for the Flickr set of the interior of the Paris Cinema is:

View link


nvargelis on March 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm

recent interior photos of the Paris Cinema:

View link

There was a lack of sufficient light to get good pictures, but at least here you can see some of the details of the auditorium. Some superficial water damage, but everything seems to be intact.

MrDJDude on January 25, 2010 at 5:32 am

This is an excerpt from a November 30, 2009 Worcester Telegram and Gazette article. It answers the question about the red “X” and paints a dim future for this theater in the heart of the city.

“The former Paris Cinema on Franklin Street is branded with an "X” sign. The building, which most recently housed an adult theater, is owned by a holding company controlled by the principals of the Boston-based Mayo Group, which is renovating several buildings on the block.

The Mayo Group’s Edward O'Donnell, vice president of development, said the company bought the vacant theater as a “defensive investment” because it already had poured millions of dollars in neighboring buildings. As it stands, though, the company has no specific renovation plans for the deteriorating brick theater.

“At this point, it’s hard to say. It’s really hard to attach any type of timetable or to say what we think the reuse will be,” Mr. O'Donnell said.

In the meantime, he said, the Mayo Group has been cooperating with the Fire Department and doing its best to keep the building secure. Homeless people have managed to break into the building on several occasions, he said.

“We have had to resecure that building three or four times, but they find a way to get in,” Mr. O'Donnell said.

“We’ve worked with the Worcester Fire Department. They called us and wanted to go through the building, and we granted them entry,” he added. “Everybody who remembers that night 10 years ago knows how important it is to work with the Fire Department.”"

Also, this is a PDF of another T&G article notes that the parcel that includes the theater was purchased for 4.8 million, and that “preservationists and local theater buffs” would like to see the theater saved. Given the hurdles it faces(high renovation cost, too much competition for performing arts in the area, and questionable viability as a movie theater), I think this one might be at the end of the road. I’d like to be proven wrong….but I can’t see it.

Athelstan on January 3, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I was walking by the Paris a couple of weeks ago and I noticed a big red X sign taped to the signboard, where it used to read “Adult Movies for Sale or Rent.” What does a red X mean – is the building unsafe for occupancy, or they didn’t pay their taxes?

deleted user
[Deleted] on October 27, 2009 at 8:44 pm

The Wurlitzer organ from this theater is now located in the Rochester Museum and Science Center in Rochester, N.Y. The Rochester Theater Organ Society( maintains this organ.

MrDJDude on July 31, 2009 at 3:19 am

True, MPol, but supposedly the CitySquare project will revive downtown Worcester.

The problem I see for this theateris this: if no one does anything with it before CitySqaure starts really moving, it has a target painted on it. And once it’s marked for demolition, it’s unlikely anyone would step up to save it, given it’s recent history. Seems such a waste..but what can you do?

MPol on July 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm

This is exactly what I was referring to when I said that Worcester’s downtown area looked like a ghost town. When I was in downtown Worcester just this last spring, I noticed that not only was the Paris Cinema closed up and empty, but a good many of the storefronts, etc., were boarded up. Not a good sign overall, imho.

MrDJDude on July 30, 2009 at 9:56 am

I drove by this theater a week ago. If you look at the 2007 picture, the store front on the left is empty and boarded up, and the sign is gone. The storefront on the right still has it’s sign, and is boarded up.

The place looks sad. I wonder if some minimal TLC could give it a new lease on life? Worcester doesn’t have any movie theater’s in the downtown area, so it would likely do reasonably well. Shaking the stigma of it’s previous incarnation would be difficult though….

jeepcj85 on February 19, 2008 at 5:50 am

Worcester is not a small suburb, it is a city of almost 180,000. Boston…with 3 times the population, has 15 times the murders. Providence (equal in population) and Springfield (which has 30000 people less than worcester), have 3 and 4 times the murders. Im not candycoating anything here, just stating pure facts. I was previously speaking in crame RATES, not total numbers. New york has high crime NUMBERS because of its population, but not a high crime RATE. There is a difference. Also, yes another theater is opening around the corner, and hosting 100 shows this year including many Broadway productions.

PS there are dozens of XXX theaters and shops in North Beach in San Francisco….does that mean its a bad area?? Hmmmm talk to the people spending $1 million on homes there. Its a CITY!!!!

jukingeo on February 19, 2008 at 3:43 am

Gould Says,

“The area around the Worcester Common is not a bad area, just a ghosttown at night, as there is not much housing, and very safe during the day. The theater is on the same block as the Worcester Public Libray and right around the corner from the newly renovated Havover Theatre!!”

Oh really? Crime aside, would a ghost-town be any better? A theatre like any other business thrives off what is around it. Since theatres operate at night a good nightlife is important. If you are saying another theatre is open in that area, what evidence is there that the town could support another one?

The Worcester downtown area suffers from the same problems as other New England / Pennsylvania towns after most of the people leave in the area due to changes in the area, or changes in the workforce.

Also given the fact that the Paris last life was a XXX theatre, that should tell enough about the area it is in. Are the local police cleaning up things. Sure, of course, but it will take time before the downtown area gets revitalized.

It is just a high risk situation to reopen that theatre at this point in time. So I stand by what I say above.

As per your head count for murders, if you noticed, the larger the area the higher the number. Seriously you can’t compare a large city such as Boston to a small suburb as Worcester. Of course the figure is going to be higher in an urban area. The more people you have, the more trouble you have. Springfield is also attempting a bounce back from a poor economic state…plus it is a larger area as well.

Try comparing Boston’s Crime rate with that of New York, LA and Detroit. It wouldn’t even place because Boston is much smaller in comparison to those larger cities. Yet, even though New York may seem like it has a high rate, the fact is that the city has 8 million people in it and it has a pretty good crime rate for it’s size, but still it is a lot in comparison to the average suburb.

jeepcj85 on February 19, 2008 at 3:16 am

Its funny how Lost memory posted the Worcester crime stats in a negative light and Geo1 agreed with them. Worcester’s crime is extremely low when compared to other cities of its size. In fact most of the stats listed on that website were in line with or BELOW national averages per 100000 people, which includes ALL areas, urban, suburban and rural!! Look up how many other cities with nearly 200,000 people only log 6 murders per year!! Last year Worcester had 5 murders, Springfield logged 20, Providence 14, and Boston 66!!

The area around the Worcester Common is not a bad area, just a ghosttown at night, as there is not much housing, and very safe during the day. The theater is on the same block as the Worcester Public Libray and right around the corner from the newly renovated Havover Theatre!!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 3, 2006 at 11:18 am

The Paris was used in the early 1980s by Cinema 320, a group dedicated to showing art-house fare in the city. This article in the Worcester Telegram tells of the group’s experiences before the place was leased to others for a higher-rent porno operation.

jukingeo on April 12, 2006 at 12:04 pm


LOST MEMORY—Thank you for providing that information for me. That was something I had to look into for myself and you did it for me. While it may be discouraging…it is still very important information. It is showing me that even though the town does intend to make good on this area (as I read elsewhere). These facts are showing where the town is at now…and that is very important. From the looks of it, it isn’t promising. You did save me alot of time and webwork. I made the mistake of buying a house here on Long Island without thoroughly checking out the neighborhood, but that was because I was living in an apartment initially and HAD to move out as the landlord was selling. I mostly based my purchase on the type of house and cost. It was a mistake. I will NOT make that mistake again. This time it is different and I have TIME to check this stuff out. I also have learned not to put all my eggs in one basket. This theatre is just one of a few that I am currently looking into. But with the knowledge I have gathered on this theatre and the information you just provided…sad to say, I will be chalking this theatre off my list. Perhaps in the future the Paris will be waiting for someone to revitalize it when the town conditions improve, but I don’t think it will not be anytime soon.

Thank You again…