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Hawthorne Theatre Makes History

Theater facadeThe Hawthorne Theatre (old timers pronounce it “the-ate-er”) was built between 1927 and 1928, and was originally intended to be a vaudeville house. However, vaudeville was on the way out, so it was made into a movie house.

The original building had a full stage and orchestra pit. Dressing rooms had been planned for under the stage, but were never finished because plans to make it a vaudeville theater were abandoned.

The theater was converted into a duplex in the late 1970s, when the former owner is reported to have made every effort to preserve the stage during renovations. A second expansion took place in the late 1980s.

The current owners recently began a renovation of the exterior, and the Historical Society was contacted by a longtime resident, whose fond childhood memories of the building facade’s ship medallion turned to fear that it would be covered over. The medallion is believed to be either original or added in the 1930s.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. A quick call to the theater owner to report that the Historical Society had become aware and was very concerned that this historic architectural element was at risk of being removed, was immediately met with assurances that the medallion would be saved – a small symbol of Hawthorne’s history kept intact.