Dixwell Theatre

824 Dixwell Avenue,
Hamden, CT 06517

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

The Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to reveals that the 1939 Dixwell Theatre was a rebuild of the 1916 theater, which had already been expanded from its original 400 seats in 1926, and then severely damaged by a fire in 1938. Parts of the original building were incorporated in the 1939 rebuild.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 31, 2012 at 9:51 am

A photo of the vertical sign of the Dixwell Theatre illustrated an ad for Flexlume Electric Displays on this page of Motion Picture News, December 1, 1928.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 2, 2011 at 4:54 am

A book published in 1918 titled “A Modern History of New Haven and Eastern New Haven County” says this about a Mr. William H. Wood: “In 1916 he, in partnership with his brother-inlaw, Wm. H. Whitman, erected a fine large modern building at No. 812 Dixwell avenue in Highwood for his drug store and the Dixwell Theater.”

Bing Maps locates 812 Dixwell Avenue across Cherry Ann Street from the Dixwell Theatre, and that lot is the site of some buildings that look to date from before 1916, so I suspect that a renumbering of the lots has taken place, and the 1916 Dixwell was on the same lot as the current Dixwell.

The question then is whether the current Dixwell Theatre is the 1916 house, and it was remodeled in 1938, of if some disaster befell the 1916 theater and it was replaced by an entirely new building in 1938. The bird’s eye view at Bing Maps shows that the bulk of the theater is a brick structure of a type that might have been built in either year, so it provides no answer.

sherriwinchester on November 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

I’m looking for a picture of the fish tank mural. !! I used to go to Hamden High School and I walked past the theatre after school to where my boyfriend worked at Radio Shack. I gratuated in 1973. I used to go by and talk to the painters about what they were painting that day. The theatre was painted on 3 sided of the building, so whereever you stood, it was like you were looking thru the tank. The same fish were in the tank, but depending on what side you stood on, you could see the same fish from different angles. I loved the place. I logged on here to see if anyone had a picture of it. If so please email it to me at Thanks Sher

kencmcintyre on March 19, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Here is the Putnam photo that was mentioned in a prior comment:

Jim Vecchio
Jim Vecchio on May 12, 2006 at 6:47 am

I lived in New Haven from 1969 to 1973, and, at one time during that period, probably 1970, I remember attending a movie at a theater on Dixwell Avenue. I could never remember whether it was the “Dixwell ” or “The Strand”. Now, thanks to LOST MEMORY and DJHARRYG, I can finally determind it was THE STRAND! Thanks-even the smallest bit of info can be important to someone!

Trekz on January 9, 2006 at 4:09 am


I can be reached at The building is a beatiful and has limitless possibilities for the people and this community but is out of my price range.

shoeshoe14 on January 7, 2006 at 9:29 am

Please send them to this page. Or better yet, create a link if possible.

dina on January 6, 2006 at 2:37 pm

If anyone is wanting current pictures of the building let me know. The top of the clamshell stage area is still in tact as well as stage, restrooms and projector room.

mazecreek on January 6, 2006 at 2:31 pm

Trekz – how does one get in touch with you?

Trekz on December 27, 2005 at 8:45 am

If I had the money I would buy it and try to ignite arts for people in the area. perhaps yale or southern CT could have done some plays.

If the owner gets this message please contact me to discuss the future of this possible catalyst for a community in need of something positive and different.

dharryg on December 24, 2005 at 4:40 am

The theatre located in the shopping plaza in Hamden was called the Cinemart. It had a huge mural of an aquarium on the sie of the building. Hand painted, it took months to complete. The shopping center called the Hamden Mart, also had a “Ghost parking lot”. it had old cars, half buried in the asphalt. It was directly across the street from the infamous Disco called, Daniels. I used to work there. The theatre, Cars, and Disco, have all been sadly demolished.

The Strand theatre was located on Dixwell Ave. I worked there too. It was situated near Putnam Ave. It too was sadly demolished so that Putnam ave could be literally “moved” over a few feet. One of the unique facts about the Strand, is that for a brief time in the early 80’s it actually had live plays. One was Man From La Moncha. I worked there when the Blues Brothers was in theatres until about 1983. It was indeed a 99 cent theatre.

The theatre on Whitney Ave. in Hamden was called the Whitney theatre. It actually had a second floor with a bar where you could order light snacks and cocktails. Vey unique at the time. It was demolished and replaced with condo’s and office space. Oddly enough, my wife works for a dentist on that exact spot.

The Dixwell Playhouse is one of the last pieces of history on Dixwell ave. It seems like any building over 30 years old is bing demolished and replaced on Dixwell Ave. It’s very sad. I remember walking by the theatre all the time and mainly seeing some sort of carpet warehouse/retail in it. My mom lives a couple of blocks south of it.

As you can tell, I love this stuff about the history of these theatres. I wish I had pictures. Or, could at least find some.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on September 26, 2005 at 1:53 pm

The theatre building is for sale on eBay at View link

dina on July 18, 2005 at 9:10 am

I have found another picture in the book Silent Screens of the building. It was taken in 1975 and there is a close up of the art deco front and the marquee is still up as well. The original stage area is in tact and has the original clamshell ceiling still there above the it.

dina on June 17, 2005 at 1:05 pm

My direct email about the property is:

dina on June 17, 2005 at 1:03 pm

They are at retirement time and the property should change hands to someone who will re-open it as a theater or use the property for a commercial venue of some sort.

Trekz on June 17, 2005 at 10:57 am

May I ask why have you/they decided to sell? And where your parents owners of the property when it was in operation?

dina on June 17, 2005 at 10:46 am

no not at the moment. I am actually waiting for the specs so I can post the listing on the internet. It was listed years ago by Beasley.

Trekz on June 17, 2005 at 10:33 am

thanks dina,
is there a MLS# listing for the dixwell playhouse listing?

dina on June 16, 2005 at 6:37 am

First off the theater with the asphalt cars buried was in the Plaza across from Daniells (THe Disco)I think it was just a Hamden Theater. Not sure though. Secondly, in reference to the Dixwell Playhouse my parents own it. I will be glad to answer any questions. The building and corner is for sale. The marquee was rotted and taken down in the early 80’s and the ‘whats playing’ windows are covered up with wood from the outside. There are two staircases to go upstairs on either side of the front of the building. Two restrooms on either side of front as well. The stage area is still there. All wood. I can find out more if you like. Just ask.

Trekz on April 28, 2005 at 7:09 am

Does anyone know who owns the theater?

hardbop on April 8, 2005 at 10:50 am

When I lived in New Haven I remember a first-run multi-plex on Dixwell Avenue. I never went, but one distinguishing aspect of the shopping center it was situated in was an asphalt sculpture of a car or several cars parked in a parking lot. There was a disco right across the street.

hardbop on April 8, 2005 at 10:38 am

It sounds like it was. Thanx! I have many good memories of this place. And that $1.00 admission fee really hit the spot.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on April 8, 2005 at 4:13 am

Was it the Whitney Cinema at http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=19026 which is now condos and retail?

hardbop on April 7, 2005 at 10:07 pm

When I lived in New Haven from ‘80 to '82 I used to go to a $1.00 theatre in Hamden all the time. It was mostly second run stuff, but occasionally they would open a film hear. I remember being blown away when I caught Louis Malle’s Atlantic City. I think the theatre was on a road that ran paralell to Dixwell. I would drive down Dixwell Avenue through a dingy part of New Haven and Hamden then would take a left coming from New Haven. This theatre was right next to a nice, neighborhood bar we would adjourn to after the film. I forget the name of this place, but have fond memories.