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These are the Oldest Theaters Still Operating in Connecticut

Historic theaters are a beautifully entertaining part of our history. Make sure you read this list of the oldest theaters still operating in Connecticut.

Historic theaters are a beautifully entertaining part of our history. Make sure you read this list of the oldest theaters still operating in Connecticut.

Hearst Blogger Network

Connecticut is one of the oldest states in America. But the Constitution State doesn't only have war and ghost stories to offer. There is a lot of history to be found in Connecticut theaters. In fact, some Connecticut theaters are some of the oldest in the country. 

After renovations and investments, these theaters offer a glimpse into the elegance, opulence, and refinement of past decades. 

If you're looking for entertainment that Connecticut has to offer, these are the top 5 oldest theaters in Connecticut you should check out.

1. Bijou Theatre

The Bijou is not only one of the oldest theaters in Connecticut but one of the oldest theaters in the country. The Bijou opened in 1909 and was a silent film theater originally. There was a grand ballroom on the second floor.

Moviegoers would often go dancing after watching the latest film, which cost .05 cents. Though it hasn’t been operational all these years, it re-opened in 2009.

Now, The Bijou is a 200-seat performance hall. The Bijou offers a wide range of performances so there's truly something for everyone. You can find live music, film screenings, paranormal investigations, and drag shows there.

2. The Palace

Not far from New York City is The Palace in Stamford. The Palace opened its doors in 1927 and was a vaudevillian house. These were venues that hosted a number of short live acts as entertainment.

It closed in 1968 but reopened in 1983 after renovations. The Palace has been fully operational since then. You can watch movies or performances like live music, opera, dance, and plays.

3. The Bushnell

Located in Hartford, CT, The Bushnell has been in business and fully operational since 1930. It’s a landmark building at the state’s capital that has expanded greatly since its doors opened.

The original theater, Mortensen Hall, has a seating capacity of 2,800. It shares its design and style with Radio City Music Hall, and the two buildings share the same architect. The theater has the largest hand-painted ceiling mural in the United States.  

Performances at this venue range from musicals, Broadway plays, live music, stand-up comedy, book signings, and many others. The Bushnell truly offers something for everyone.  

4. Palace Theater

Not to be confused with The Palace in Stamford, Palace Theater in Danbury opened in September of 1928. It was originally a vaudeville house that sat 1,999 patrons.

It was converted in 1975 to a movie theater. In 2008 the historic theater was given new life after investments and renovations. Those that attend shows at the Palace Theater will be walking the same halls that Louis Armstrong and Jimmy Durante did when they performed there

Now, Palace Theater holds special showings of films, comedy acts, live music, and performing art pieces. Recently, America's Got Talent finalist Julia Scotti performed there.

5. Warner Theatre

In Torrington, there’s a movie theater that was designed to be the most beautiful movie theater in Connecticut. The Warner was built in 1931 by Tomas W. Lamb, the same designer for Madison Square Garden.

Though most of the theater was destroyed in 1955 by the Connecticut Flood, the theater was rebuilt after finding the original designs and drawings that were archived in the Smithsonian. Once inside you’re immediately transported to the world of elegance and glamour from yesteryear.

Explore CT Theaters

Not all history has to be consumed through books and museums. Some offer quality entertainment and a fun night out. Catching a performance in any of these 5 CT theaters is a guaranteed way to appreciate history and support their continued presence. 

Looking for a different kind of theater to check out? How about having an enchanting night out at a Connecticut drive-in?