Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lincoln Theater

The history of the Lincoln Theater dates back to 1931, when it was opened as a live performance theater.

Much smaller than the nearby Royal theater, and across town from the Savoy, the Lincoln theater was somewhat unique in that the fire escapes for the balcony were on the front facade of the building. Usually you find them on the sides of the auditorium. There were two doors on the front, which led to two ornate exterior staircases built into the marquis.

Unfortunately, the only remnant of the original facade is the beige tile work around the projector room window above the marquis.

The inside hasn't fared much better. Over the years, the theater has changed hands more than a half a dozen times. In the process, almost the entire inside of the auditorium has been lost.

The proscenium and decorative frame around the stage are nowhere to be found. All of the original seating is gone, and the only real pieces of the building's past are the pieces of plaster that began falling to my feet as I tried to remove the curtains that were put up along the walls.

The building was twinned, with the balcony being converted into a 99 seat second theater. The theater began showing movies, as it went on to do for a few more decades before once again being used as a live performance venue.

From what I could tell, there wasn't anything dating back to 1931 in the lobby either. It is possibly the marble lining on the wall is original, but that is about it.

Its name wasn't even the Lincoln Theater for very long. It was also known as The Center Theater, The Robert's Lost Picture Show, The 12 Miles West Theater Co., and the Multi Media Arts Center.

 It also apparently spent some time as a Ralph & Ruden theater, as well as a part of the Triangle Theater Service.

The building is being sold as a "shell", and due to the fact that the entire section of Bloomfield is being redeveloped, I cant imagine it will be very long until the building is demolished. Though there is very little of this theater that remains original to the time of construction, it is still sad to see another place that served so many local people fond memories for so many years forgotten and inevitably demolished.


  1. Hi,

    I have an image of a movie poster from this theater dating 1923.The address and name matches the location. Yet it says here built in 1931. Can you clarify? Thanks.

    1. I got the date from Cinema Treasures, it's possible the theater is older than is mentioned there.