Wakefield Theatre

  • Wakefield Theatre
  • "For over 50 years, the Wakefield Theatre provided hours and hours of entertainment to Wakefield area residents and their family members, long before VCRs were ever imagined. Nestled in the Appleton Building (named for the builder H.A. Appleton of Boston) at the corner of Main and West Water Streets, the Wakefield Theatre was the principal feature when the block was built in 1915 and became the second movie house in the town. The building itself was owned by Samuel Singer of Boston and Brookline, one of the town's largest real estate holders. Throughout the years, the Wakefield Theatre Block, as it became known, was the home to many businesses and stores: W.T. Grant, Schreider's Apparel Shop, Crystal Market, Princess Beauty Shop, Thom McAns, Cataldo Pharmacy, Diskay Department Store, the offices of James J. Curley, Nute's Dry Goods Store, the Shoe Horn and was the headquarters of the Corp. Harry Nelson American Legion Post. Several others came and went over the years. The Wakefield Theatre was the only enterprise to stay in business from the time it was built in 1915 until the building was razed in 1972. The theatre did, however, change to the Wakefield Cinema when it was sold in 1967 by longtime owner Charles W. Hodgdon. Hodgdon was Wakefield's 'movie man', having owned both the Wakefield and Princess Theatres. The Wakefield Cinema was officially closed in August 1972 and 'The Concert for Bangladesh' had the honor of being the last film to be played at the theatre." -- Text from calendar.;Captions: 1. 1931 movie goers were treated to a Silvia Sidney and Robert Cogan movie, while the bottom marquee heralds an upcoming Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. movie. -- 2. In 1940 the trolley tracks were gone and the cars were a little sportier, but the Wakefield Theatre still remained. -- 3. This pre-1930 photo of the Wakefield Theatre shows the building without the marquee. -- 4. Today the Appleton Building is long gone but the Wakefield Theatre has been memorialized in the name 'The Olde Theatre Block.'
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 1988
  • Photos courtesy of Bourdon Studios and the Wakefield Daily Item.
  • Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Wakefield Theatre,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed September 27, 2020, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/noble/items/show/7160.


Please let us know if you have any corrections, additional information or questions about this item.