A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Resurrection of the Casino


This is a little bit out of the Sturbridge area, but close enough to be noted.

Do we need small town movie theaters? After all, if we are going to have a film industry in New England, the flicks will have to be seen all over the country and not just in a six state region. Still, a place where the home team can practice and get in shape is not to be despised.


The Casino Theater in Ware Massachusetts (not to be confused with the Casino Mohegan Sun is trying to build down the street in Palmer) may be the oldest movie house in the country. It started showing flicks in 1909.


I have an interest in seeing a resurrection. I used to take my kids to see movies there until it closed. Granted, we knew it was in trouble as the occassional piece of ceiling fell on one’s lap. I feel sorry for children who do not have the experience of a community cinema as opposed to the multiplex. It is one of my favorite memories of being a kid.


Fred McLennan of Holyoke, a veteran of the theater business, has purchased the place for a nominal fee. I do hope there is support not just in the area, the border of Western and Central Massachusetts. I dream of the Quabbin Film Festival.

For more info: The email address is warecasino@hotmail.com. The Ware Historical Society's page on the subject is here.

Some pictures below from back in the day of what is arguably the nation's oldest movie house.

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