90 Pine Street,
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Previously operated by: Esquire Theatres of America, Paramount Pictures Inc.
Previous Names: Priscilla Theatre, Paris Theatre, Belview Theatre
The Priscilla Theatre in Lewiston-Auburn opened on May 26, 1919 with Fanny Ward in “Common Clay & "By Indian Post”. It had been converted from a former church building. It featured films and occasional local live performances. By 1941 it was operated by Paramount Pictures through their subsidiary John Ford.
It was taken over by Maine & New Hampshire Theatres. It closed on August 6, 1954, but reopened on November 22, 1957 still named Priscilla Theatre, with Alan Ladd in “The McConnell Story” & Clayton Moore in “The Lone Ranger”. On March 22, 1968 it was taken over by Esquire Theatres of America and renamed Paris Theatre, reopening with Dustin Hoffan in “The Graduate”. It later became the Belview Theatre (later, the Parkview Theatre), closing for good around 1984. By 1988, the building had been altered inside and converted into apartments.
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There is a history of this theater at the Cinema Data Project website which has detailed histories of certain movie theaters in Maine. The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for this theater when it was the Priscilla. It’s Card # 392. Address is Pine Street, Auburn. There is an exterior photo dated May 1941, The condition is Fair. The Priscilla was over 15 years old and was showing MGM product. There were 494 seats on the main floor and 234 in the balcony, total 728 seats.
In a long list of theater circuits in the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac, this theater, as the Priscilla, is listed in Lewiston Maine as part of John Ford Theatres, a Paramount affiliate, along with the Empire,Music Hall and Strand. All 4 theaters are also listed as being run by Maine and New Hampshire Theatres of Boston.
Opened on May 26, 1919 with Fannie Ward in the 7-Part reel “Common Clay” along with a drama reel “By Indian Post”, a comedy reel “Looney Lions And Monkey Business”, a Kinogram newsreel, and a performance by the theater’s own orchestra named after the theater itself.
Closed August 8th, 1954 by Maine & New Hampshire theatres Priscilla theatre closed 06 Aug 1954, Fri Sun-Journal (Lewiston, Maine) Newspapers.com
and reopened on November 22nd, 1957. Grand opening ad posted.
Reopened by Esquire Theatres of America as Paris Cinema on March 22nd, 1968 with “The Graduate”
Paris Cinema opening 22 Mar 1968, Fri Sun-Journal (Lewiston, Maine) Newspapers.com
Paris switched over to adult movies on July 24th, 1974, after the new cinemas opened and closed in 1975. It reopened as the Belview on May 21st, 1975. Another ad posted.
Reopened again as the In-Town on January 2nd, 1981. Grand opening ad posted.
Reopened again as the Parkview Cinema on June 12th, 1981 with “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with the management outbidding Cinema Centers. Another ad posted.