Princess Theatre, 1938

  • Princess Theatre, 1938
  • "The Princess Theatre on Mechanic Street, now Princess Street, opened in 1912 in a building previously used for storage, and, at one time, had housed the Thomas E. Stapleton mattress factory. The theatre was owned and managed by Charles W. Hodgdon, who was also the manager-owner of the Wakefield Theatre on Main Street. The Princess Theatre underwent a major renovation in 1938, with the addition of a 'modernistic' main entrance (the previous entrance became the exit), a spacious circular-shaped lobby (with a 'light, airy dome slightly over 20' high'), lounging smoking and reception rooms for men and women (the men's and ladies' rooms were similar although the ladies' room was furnished more 'luxuriously'), wider seats, built-in aisle lights with dimmers in every second row of seats (which ended the ushers' need for flashlights), a spacious room for ushers, a ticket booth, an 'attractive' candy counter, an electrically-cooled drinking fountain at the foot of the balcony stairs, and wider, larger balcony staircases to make the accent [i.e. ascent] easier for older patrons. The theater was closed during World War II for lack of employees, but reopened in 1945. The Princess Theatre continued to operate until the 1950s. The building was later used for storage by Parke Snows, and was sold to C. Harry Olson, as part of a three-property deal, for nearly $50,000 in 1958. The building was occupied by various businesses, including the Nearly New Thrift Shop, until 1971 when it was razed."
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2012
  • Photo courtesy of JC Marketing Associates
  • 1938
  • Wakefield, Mass. : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Princess Theatre, 1938,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed August 8, 2022,


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