Casino Theater

121 Main Street,
Ware, MA 01082

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CASINO Theatre; Ware, Massachusetts.

The Casino Theater opened in 1909. This theater was operated by Western Mass Theaters at its closing in 1997. Originally a one screen neighborhood house, it was divided into a twin during the 1980’s. One would assume that it dates back to the vaudeville days because of its old structure and stage fly house.

Like most of the other remaining theaters in the WMT chain, it fell victim to video sales, bypassing second run movie theaters after first run showings.

Contributed by AlLarkin

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 13, 2009 at 6:20 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 November 17, 2009 at 7:22 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

jrhine on January 31, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Update on new owner of the Casino and plans:

View link

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 29, 2010 at 7:24 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.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 15, 2010 at 6:54 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.

eclipsedeluna on February 24, 2011 at 7:55 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 February 24, 2011 at 8:13 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.

CSWalczak on May 31, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Demolition has occurred:

mark edmunds
mark edmunds on June 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

Watching the demo video, very sad

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 15, 2011 at 8:15 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.

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