Empire Theatre

12 Elliot Street,
Brattleboro, VT 05301

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Functions: Retail

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Empire Theatre

This theatre appears on the 1912 Sanborn, in the Leonard Block, which was built in 1882 for DeWitt Leonard’s printing business. The 1906 map shows the YMCA located there. In 1914 there was an Empire Theatre operating on Elliot Street and this one could be it.

This theatre would have been a small storefront operation, likely unable to compete with larger entries to the market, and the 1919 map shows this building vacant.

The building today is fairly well preserved, with a rather unsightly post-war storefront. It serves as retail, with offices located above.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 23, 2023 at 4:03 am

The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists only the Princess, the Empire and the Island Park theaters at Brattleboro. The Princess was the only house other than the Empire on Elliot Street. The location of the Island Park was in its name.

Island Park was an amusement park on a small island that existed in the Connecticut River until a major flood washed it entirely away in 1927. The Island Park Theatre was one of the park’s original attractions when it opened in 1911, and presented a wide array of entertainments, including movies, for the next several years, though the park was only open during the summer season.

As we know that Princess was an earlier name for the Capitol Theatre, which is accounted for, and we now know that the Island Park was not on Elliot Street, I’d say that that increases the likelihood that the house at 12 Elliot was the Empire.

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