Academy Theatre

46 W. Washington Street,
Hagerstown, MD 21740

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Nixon-Nirdlinger Theaters, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Styles: Colonial Revival

Previous Names: Academy of Music, Nixon's Academy Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Academy Theatre (1936)

The Academy Theatre was one of several old movie theatres in Hagerstown. It was opened as the 1,070-seat Academy of Music prior to 1887. By 1914 it was screening movies. By 1918 it had been renamed Nixon’s Academy Theatre and was operated by the Nixon-Nirdlinger Theaters chain seating 1,168 which made it a good sized theatre.

The Academy Theatre closed in 1953. In 2022 the building was in use as offices for the Downtown Police Squad.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

gmorrison on February 21, 2005 at 8:52 pm

In response to the above, the Academy is NOT “still standing and boarded up.” I was born in Hagerstown in 1948 and grew up there.
While I was still a kid, the Academy was demolished and a shoe store took its place. Later, I believe, the shoe store also was demolished leaving a vacant lot of rubble. What’s become of the site in the last few years I don’t know.

Glenn M.
Washington, DC

Joebrining on August 29, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Still open in June 1953, just came across ad in newspaper archive for a western double feature Joe Hagerstown MD

SethG on January 13, 2023 at 1:42 pm

I don’t think this is demolished. There’s a park where the McCrory’s was, but the Academy was on the end of a large building that is now part of the University of MD system. Count the windows, and you’ll see it’s still there.

SethG on August 20, 2023 at 5:20 am

Dates are incorrect. This theater appears on the 1918 Sanborn as Nixon’s Academy Theatre, with a capacity of 1,070. The building itself is much older. It was built sometime before 1887 as the Baldwin Hotel, and contained from the beginning a theater space called the Academy of Music.

Sometime after 1910, the building was extensively remodeled into ‘The Arcade’. The 5th floor was added. The eastern portion got a more elaborate facade than the rest, and became a department store. The auditorium was extensively remodeled, becoming both wider and quite a bit deeper. It appears that a multi-layered set of balconies was replaced by a single, deeper balcony.

I have added both a 1910 and 1918 view, as a before/after.

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