Chatham Orpheum Theatre

637 Main Street,
Chatham, MA 02633

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

bobtomgrim on February 1, 2018 at 2:28 am

I spent a holiday in Chatham a few years ago and visited a retail store in the main street. The lady serving at the checkout told me that the building was previously a cinema…can you verify this?

JimMitchell on July 28, 2014 at 11:24 am

The New York Times, in a story today about Chatham and sharks, indicates that the theatre is open. It shows “Jaws” twice a day during summer vacation season and other movies, too.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

The business news of the Quincy Patriot Ledger of Sat Nov. 26, 2011 carried a long article about this theater “Group Seeks reprise of Orpheum Theater – Nonprofit plans to restore Chatham movie house”.This group has energy, ideas, plans, drawings, specs, etc. Missing is $2.7M needed for the project. They would restore the facade to something like original. There would be a 30-seat cafe in front and 2 screens, one with 50 seats and one with 160 seats; the latter would have a stage. (the article points out that live performances were given here in the few years leading up to the 1990 take-over by CVS.) They give the dates of movie operation as 1915-1988. CVS moved out in Oct to a new store down the street. At the same time, according to the article, Regal cinemas closed their operation in Harwich. The group wants to buy the Orpheum building. The Patriot Ledger article is by Doreen Leggett, Wicked Local Cape Cod.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on November 9, 2011 at 11:00 am

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 14, 2010 at 11:24 am

The 1927 Film Daily Yearbook lists one movie venue for Chatham, Mass., the Orpheum Theatre with 600 seats, open 6 days per week. There is a posting above by Richard D which says that the original name for the Chatham Th. was “Orpheum”.

crownx on July 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm

ken mc

Nice photos….I was manager and projectionist for many years.(More that I like to remember.)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 4, 2009 at 11:32 am

ken mc’s CVS store photo shows the facade looking something like it did in the Chatham Theatre’s May 1941 photo on the MGM Theatre Report, complete with the row of large “X” shapes along the upper part of the facade. In the 1983 theater photo, the facade is much modernized compared to its more traditonal appearance in 1941. The theatre had a peaked roof and shingled sides, fronted by a big rectangular false front.

kencmcintyre on May 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Address should be 637 Main Street.

kencmcintyre on May 1, 2009 at 5:50 pm

The CVS store/former theater can be seen in this photo:

MrFLXYZPTLK on September 10, 2008 at 10:46 pm

“the 1940 population of Chatham was 2,100”

I can remember nights in the 1980’s when it seemed like there were more than 2,100 people drinking in The Chatham Squire!

MrFLXYZPTLK on September 10, 2008 at 10:44 pm

In May or June 1980, I saw “The Empire Strikes Back” there (with my date, the delightful Heidi Leugers).

Forrest136 on November 26, 2006 at 4:36 am

Thanks for the info!

crownx on November 26, 2006 at 3:22 am

This was one of the many Cape Cod theaters that had their own booking “plan” during the summer months in the 40’s.50’s,60’s.
The exchanges would send X amount of prints to the Cape and they would play for one – two days and then sent on to another theater. The management would be responsible for moving the prints from one location to another. Each theater would play a picture 10-15 times during a summer season. Worked well as the mostly tourist audience turned over all the time.The print would leave the exchange in June and they would never see it until October.

Forrest136 on November 25, 2006 at 9:42 am

Where do you get this information? Its great!

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 25, 2006 at 9:06 am

There is a MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Chatham Theatre on Main St. It has an exterior photo taken in May, 1941. There was a center entrance with 3 pairs of double doors with poster cases on each side and a canopy with the theatre name on it above. The Report states that the Chatham was been a MGM customer for over 10 years; that it was over 15 years old; that it was in Fair condition, and had 564 seats, all on one floor. The Report indicates that there were no competing theatres in Chatham; the 1940 population of Chatham was 2,100.

Forrest136 on November 25, 2006 at 8:34 am

When did this theatre officially close?>

Forrest136 on October 21, 2005 at 12:36 pm

Very interesting! I loved going to movies there even the musty smell was ok! Now I am in New York City and there are only megaplexes only a few single screens left!

crownx on October 21, 2005 at 12:30 pm

In the silent days the screen was on the back wall. When sound arrived they added a small addition to house the speakers, which of course were real large in those days. The accompaniment was piano and drums.
A small building in the rear of the theater housed a generator for electricity. A generator operator was on the payroll.

Forrest136 on September 1, 2005 at 2:30 pm

Yes we are! Your my cousin.

crownx on September 1, 2005 at 2:00 pm

Forrest136 I think we are related.

crownx on September 1, 2005 at 1:53 pm

I was manager and projectionist at the Chatham for a total of almost 30 years. It was built in 1920 and locally owned It was bought by Interstate Theaters Corp. Boston until sold to Hoyts. Hoyt sold it almost immediately to a local promoter that operated it for live entertainment. I remember seeing an ad for Ray Charles. It only lasted for a couple of years.It was then sold to CVS and is presently a CVS drugstore.

Chatham Theater for many years was the only auditorium large enough to hold local events such as Town Meeting, H.S. Graduation, Plays, some vaudeville and local charity events.
Until Interstate took over it was known as the Orpheum.
Chatham Theater had 500 seats. Single screen.

Forrest136 on August 31, 2005 at 12:46 am

The Monomoy Theatre is a Playhouse located a few blocks from the Chatham Cinema.

Forrest136 on August 30, 2005 at 10:52 pm

The theatre was operational into the 1980’s, it is now a CVS!

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on August 30, 2005 at 3:45 pm

I believe it WAS the Monomoy.