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Worcester,Mass - Places of the Past, Franklin Square Theater
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Description
Originally the Franklin Square Theater, what you see in the picture is now the exit doorways located under the marquee. The stained glass windows on the upper floor are still there, although hidden behind the faux front of the cinema. To the right of the picture was a vacant lot, until an expaned lobby was added in the early days of film. The theater was used as a legitimate playhouse and later as a vaudeville venue. Old dressing rooms are still in existence in the rear portions of the building. The area behind the stained glass windows was the managers office...a suite of rooms consisting of a receptionists area, lounge with built in settee and fireplace and the manager's office at the front of the building. In the days of the cinemas operation, this area was a storage room for pre-popped corn and supplies. The Franklin Theatre later became called the Grand Theatre and then Poli's. Mr. Poli also bought the whole Crompton Block in the Spring of 1905 after a devastating fire and turned it into a vaudeville theater. It opened up onto Front Street.
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Doug Ingalls - Report this comment
This picture is what is now the closed Showcase Cinemas on 4 Southbridge St. in Worcester. I managed the building for 18 years, so I know a bit about it. Originally the Franklin Square Theater, what you see in the picture is now the exit doorways located under the marquee. The stained glass windows on the upper floor are still there, although hidden behind the faux front of the cinema. To the right of the picture was a vacant lot, until an expaned lobby was added in the early days of film. The theater was used as a legitimate playhouse and later as a vaudeville venue. Old dressing rooms are still in existence in the rear portions of the building. The area behind the stained glass windows was the managers office...a suite of rooms consisting of a receptionists area, lounge with built in settee and fireplace and the manager's office at the front of the building. In the days of the cinemas operation, this area was a storage room for pre-popped corn and supplies.
The Franklin Theatre later became called the Grand Theatre and then Poli's. Mr. Poli also bought the whole Crompton Block in the Spring of 1905 after a devastating fire and turned it into a vaudeville theatre. It opened up onto Front Street.
Meghan Patrick- August 08, 2007 - Report this comment
This beautiful, historic theatre has gone from being the Franklin Theatre (built in 1904) to the Poli Palace Theatre (1925), to the Showcase Cinemas (1967). Showcase Cinemas closed in the 1990s and the building sat vacant for nearly a decade. Currently, this historic gem is being restored to its original glory. In early 2008, the theatre will re-open as "The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts" and will host major broadway tours, and world class performers right in downtown Worcester! Every audience member in the 2300 seat theatre will benefit from the latest state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, as well as new comfortable seats, and best of all...FREE PARKING!!! For more information on the restoration and the progress of The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, visit www.thehanovertheatre.org
Dylan Kellet- January 08, 2008 - Report this comment
The original stained glass window was removed and spirited away shortly before the cinema closed. I heard that the plan is to replace it with a reproduction.
jim sadowski- March 08, 2009 - Report this comment
Was Worcesters best movie theatre in the 1950's. The T&G newspaper put on a show there once a year for their paperboys, loved them shows. Thanks T&G.
Glee Noble- July 15, 2010 - Report this comment
I just came across a reference to "Poli's Palace" in my Mom's diary. She saw Wallace Beery and Lionel Barrymore in "Ah, Wilderness" by Eugene O'Neill on December 12, 1935!

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