Shea Theater opening day program, February 14, 1927, Courtesy Montague Historical Society
Established in February, 1927 by Denis Shea, this up-to-date movie theater was designed in the "Spanish" style so popular in the Hollywood of the twenties. "California Stucco" walls were tinted in appropriate shades, the ceiling was graced by wooden beams (three of which remain today), the lobby boasted a lantern imported from Madrid and Spanish style wrought iron wall fixtures. The screen and projection booth were the best available and the stage could accommodate live productions.
Denis Shea opened his theater on Valentines Day 1927. The program for the event lists;
The program for the rest of the week listed a different show for each day, including "It" starring Clara Bow.
That time is still vivid in the minds of some Turners Falls residents as a time of five cent matinees, movie serials and (in the thirties) dish nights, when you could see a movie and add a piece of "Depression-era Glass" or china to your table setting. The Royal Rose Collection is currently displayed in the Shea lobby. The set, purchased in the late 1930's - early 40's was donated by Debra Marini.
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Special thanks to the Mass Cultural Council for their vital support this year in the form of a Cultural Sector Recovery Grant for Organizations, as well as a Festivals & Projects Grant. We'd also like to thank the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts for their support in the form of a Flexible Funding grant. We couldn't do this work without you!