111 South Street,
111 South Street,Pittsfield, MA 01201
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Not sure why this is listed as showing movies. The theater appears to feature everything but movies.
The NRHP listing for the Park Square Historic District (boundary increase) has a 1990 picture of the theater before the removal of the addition to the front, which I guess dates from sometime between 1930 and 1940.
Opened September 28th, 1903. Colonial theatre opening Mon, Sep 28, 1903 – 8 · The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.com
Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer’s Travel section has an article “The Berkshires' show goes on” from New York Times News Service, but I can’t find online link. There’s a gorgeous photo of auditorium facing stage. We have it listed here as still showing movies. Does it show movies, perhaps classics, at all?
Here is a recent article from the Berkshire Eagle:
The latest issue of Theatre Historical Society’s MARQUEE MAGAZINE features a photo and short bio of this theater in a travel feature spotlighting the Berkshires.
Go to www.historictheatres.org to join THS or order back issues.
Status of this theatre should be changed to Open, Function = performing arts.
The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Colonial has an exterior photo dated May 1941. At that time the entrance to the theatre was on the left side of the facade, with a large marquee above. There was a one-story addition on the right side of the facade with a store in it. There is a notation on the Report that the theatre is “Closed”, but that can’t be— there is something (unreadable) posted on the marquee; there are posters in the poster cases and there are 4 lines of pennant streamers flying from the top of the marquee to the roof. The theatre hardly looks closed in the photo. Another error is that the Report says the Colonial is on “North St.” instead of South St. The Report states that the theatre has been a MGM customer for over 10 years; that it’s over 15 years old; that it’s in Fair condition and has 800 seats. Other movie theatres in Pittsfield are listed as: Capitol, Kameo, Palace, Tyler, Union Square, and Strand. The 1940 population of Pittsfield was 49,600.
Thanks for archiving those pictures, Ed. They’re magnificent.
I captured the images from the Times article, in case the link to the full article expires:
Carved Cherub detail
Before and After detail work
A nice article appears in today’s NY Times about the Colonial. Here’s a link to the online version (which includes several expandable photos), though I’m not sure how long it will last.
Here is another link:
I also took the $15.00 tour (with optional tee-shirt) during July, 2004. They have a long way to go in order to meet the 2006 deadline. I was amazed that several flyhouse cables were still there along with one visible catwalk on stage right. The tour guides referred to the projection booth as “The Box.” The projectionists must have felt that this was some sort of confinement. I also suggest that an annual audit be made public as to the accountability of Federal funds provided for portions of this project. It is amazing how full or partially subsidized projects of this type seem to be forgotten.
Here’s a nice old postcard of the Colonial, mailed in 1914.
McElfatrick designed the interior while Vance designed the exterior.
I took one of the free tours today that they offer on Saturdays (10:30 and 11:00) and Sundays (12 noon and 12:30.) The theatre is a marvel but they really haven’t begun to do any real restoration yet, and there’s an enormous amount to be done. With funds originally vetoed by Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, work had come to a standstill. Now that state funds and other moneys are available again, we were told that work is about to recommence and that the theatre will be open to the public in the spring of 2006. Let’s cross our fingers.
When the Colonial reopens seating capacity will actually be about 950 since they are removing the wooden benches from the balcony and putting in real theatre seats.
I’m not sure who runs the website listed above, but it is not the official one. The official one is at http://thecolonialtheatre.org/ .