Premier Theatre

20 Rock Street,
Fall River, MA 02720

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Premier Theater, (formerly the Central Congregational Church)

The Premier Theatre was located on Rock Street, across from District Court. It was opened prior to 1912. It was badly damaged by a fire December 2, 1912. It was reopened and continued until 1920 when it was closed. It remained shuttered until 1926, when it was rebuilt. Writer John McAvoy reported in the Fall River Herald that he had seen a Jackie Coogan movie from the theatre’s balcony and that the theatre was destroyed in the great fire of 1928.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 28, 2006 at 1:32 am

“The Premier Theatre (capacity 800) was located on Rock Street, right across from District Court. However, I have just a very vague memory of its front and watching a Jackie Coogan movie in its balcony. It was destroyed in the great fire of 1928, when I was eight.

“The Rialto Theatre was located in the spot where the Durfee Theatre later stood. I have only one memory of the Rialto – of seeing a Rin Tin Tin movie there. The Rialto was also destroyed in the 1928 fire."
~~~John McAvoy, "Under the Marquee,” Fall River Herald, February 11, 1990.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 28, 2006 at 3:24 am

In a 1976 Fall River Herald feature, Women’s Page editor Jean Judge wrote:
“The old Premier on Rock Street was typical of the movie houses here in those early days. At least one movie patron of old remembers going to that theatre, also owned by W. J. Dunn, and getting a box of bonbons with his ticket to the silent movie, all for the price of a dime.”

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on December 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

address was 20 Rock St.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 19, 2013 at 3:05 am

The Premier Theatre in Fall River was in operation in 1912, when the December 6 issue of The Player reported that it had been badly damaged by a fire on December 2.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm

In the 1913-1914 Cahn guide, the Premier Theatre is listed as a 933-seat, ground floor house playing Loew’s vaudeville.

ghpetrin on August 29, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Originally, the Premier began as a church located on the northwest corner of Bedford and Rock Street. When that property was purchased by the Metacomet Bank, the church building was moved to the Rock Street location and converted to a theatre. Oddly enough, both the bank and the theatre suffered the same fate when they were destroyed in the conflagration of February 2, 1928. I will further research the name of the church and when the Premier originally opened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 6, 2014 at 8:53 pm

In 1926, the May 2 issue of The Moving Picture World reported the rebuilding of the long-closed Premier Theatre:

“The Premier Theatre in Fall River, Mass., rebuilt by William J. Dunn at a cost of $100,000, opened recently. It had been closed for over six years. There are approximately 1,000 seats. The policy will be first-run photoplays.”

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