Fitchburg Theater

Fitchburg Theater

On Main Street in Fitchburg, Massachusetts can be found a section of mostly-vacant storefronts known simply as the “Fitchburg Theater Block”, a marquee with bold dark lettering plainly states as much. Though this theater was just outfitted with a new facade in recent years, the last film to play here let out some 30 years ago. Just beyond the old double-doors of the main entrance, within the cavernous dark which is now the auditorium can be found some 1,700 seats awaiting the next show, which will never come. The years of being sealed away have covered everything in a fine grit, primarily made up of debris from the high ceiling, and bits of the ornate plaster-work which has too long been subject to heat, humidity, leaks, and freezing temperatures. Still, even now, standing quietly in the grotto of filth-covered seats, rotting curtained walls, and crumbling plaster, one need not look hard to see the Fitchburg Theater as it must have looked in its prime.

This building has been a landmark of sorts for the city of Fitchburg since its opening in the winter of 1929. During its time it played host to many films, live acts, and musical numbers as the entertainment epicenter of the community. Even today, people pass by the sealed doors and openly recant their personal memories of the theater – Something we experienced first-hand while standing on the sidewalk out front.

There's no denying that cinemas carry an air of mystique to them which exists nowhere else. A strange kind of awe is always present when you first enter a darkened theater before the film begins, and no amount of time, neglect, or decay can ever truly dispel that.

In the upper levels some seats were covered in yellow bagging in an attempt to protect them for future use.

When the theater was redesigned, fabric wall coverings hid away much of the beautiful old design work, such as this massive piece above the front exits.