Casino Theater

121 Main Street,
Ware, MA 01082

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 15, 2011 at 3:15 pm

It’s very difficult to preserve a theater like the Casino when the town administration wants to construct a municipal parking lot on the site! Or otherwise has no interest in the structure.

mark edmunds
mark edmunds on May 31, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Watching the demo video, very sad

CSWalczak on May 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Demolition has occurred:

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm

That’s bad news. It’s thought that it is one of the oldest purpose-built movie theaters in the US. (“purpose-built” for movies as opposed to conversion from a live theater). Someone purchased it in mid-2009 to save it, then sold it a year later to someone who was hot to re-open and operate it. I guess there were too many hurdles in the way.

eclipsedeluna on February 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm

The theater is now slated to be torn down due to politics, funding, etc. If anyone has any ideas to try to save it… !? – it supposedly is THE oldest theater left in the country, but leave it to good ‘ol Ware to tear it down – just what Main Street needs – another parking lot.

My mom worked there in the 50’s I worked there in the late 80’s early 90’s … the old dressing rooms were still in tact down in the basement when I worked there. The seats, when it re-opened in the 80’s, had been the ones from the 50’s just painted and re-upholstered…

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

In the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac, the Casino in Ware is listed as part of Ralph E. Snider theaters of Boston. Ralph Snider also operated the Bijou Theatre in Ware at that time.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm

The Casino is now in the process of being sold. The new owner has been operating a twin-cinema. He plans some refurbishments for the Casino and would like a partner or two to assist him.

jrhine on January 31, 2010 at 11:07 am

Update on new owner of the Casino and plans:

View link

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 17, 2009 at 2:22 pm

The new owner of the Casino is considering selling it. It’s in good condition. The wood flooring in the auditoriums needs to be replaced to conply with code. Also it needs new roofing. Inquiries to

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 13, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Lost- I heard that the asking price was set so low because the owner was eager to sell it and leave the area. The building is apparently in fairly good condition. By the way, in my post above of July 28, the sentence “…one of the oldest surviving…” should be changed to “one of the oldest surviving purpose-built movie theaters”. It was built in 1909 with movies foremost in mind, with the emphasis not on live performances.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm

The LoopNet ad was posted as of Aug. 11th; the Casino must have been sold right after that. The new owner is/was an Independent movie exhibitor, who does not view this property as a “tear-down”. He wants to preserve it.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 11, 2009 at 1:33 pm

The Casino was recently sold to someone who is a long-time cinema operator.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 28, 2009 at 1:42 pm

“Someone Who Was There” tells me that he found the plans for the Casino in an archive and that they were dated “1909”, and that the theater was open all through the 1910’s showing films. He believes that it is one of the oldest surviving movie theaters in the USA.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 20, 2007 at 11:16 am

The Casino in Ware is listed in the 1927 edition of the Film Daily Yearbook. It was open daily and the seating was listed as “800”. There was also a Bijou Theatre in Ware, with 750 seats, open daily.

kustom69 on January 14, 2007 at 2:30 pm

i am intersted in trying to buy this theater, and bring it back to its original..does anyone have any information leading to a possinle sale of this please contact me at

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 22, 2006 at 11:10 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Casino in Ware has a facade photo taken in March 1941. The entrance was centered in the building and there was a small 2-sided marquee with the theatre name and the legend “Today Two Features” below. Above the marquee was an arch. The Report states that the Casino is on Main St. in Ware and that it has been a MGM customer for over 10 years; that it was built about 1925 and is in Good condition. The seating was shown as 570 on the main floor and 36 in the balcony, total: 606 seats, but someone crossed out those figures and wrote in a total of 618 seats. The Report lists no competing theatres; the 1940 population of Ware was 7,557.

helgafan on September 15, 2006 at 12:19 pm

I Remember when I first moved here in the early 70s. this theatre had chasing lights that was replaced with a backlit sign. I hope if this theatre is restored they should fix it the way it looked before with the chasing lights. It wasn’t open when I moved here so I never got the real feel of the theatre in the 90s. Also it should be converted to one screen only the way it was before. I truly miss going on Main street to see a movie now I have to go to Sprigfield or Hadley to see one.

William on November 20, 2003 at 5:15 pm

The Casino Theatre was loctaed at 121 Main Street and it seated 750 people.