Long after the credits of the last movie to play on its aging screen scrolled past in 1975, the remnants of the David W. Lamb-designed Loew’s Poli Theatre in Bridgeport, Connecticut, continues to offer a glimpse back to an entertainment and architectural age almost forgotten. When the theater opened its doors in 1922 (along with a sister theater located in the same building, the Majestic), it became an instant hit with the movie-going public. In 1939, the two theaters hosted a celebration welcoming their ten millionth patron.
By the mid-seventies, what was now known as the Loew’s Palace Theatre was an empty shell of its former self. Decades of slumping ticket sales resulted in the theater falling into disrepair. What was left of it had to endure the very unglamorous indignities of a playbill focused entirely on adult films. Efforts are underway now to restore this Loew’s theater to its former glory, similar to what has happened with another Loew’s location, the Waterbury Palace. Plans are currently in place for renovations on the Bridgeport theaters to begin, but in the meantime people are still willing to risk a run-in with the law to view the theatrical spectacle. in January, 2018, three men armed with cameras were arrested for trespassing in the Majestic Theatre. Patience, everyone — chances are good it’ll be more than worth the wait.
Story by Jay Moon