Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts
Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, main entrance near camera, original entrance in distance (near car)
|Address||2 Southbridge Street
United States of America
|Owner||Worcester Center for Performing Arts|
|Current use||Touring acts|
Franklin Square Theatre 1904
|Architect||Thomas W. Lamb|
Poli's Palace Theater
|NRHP Reference #||10001122|
|Added to NRHP||January 10, 2011|
The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, Massachusetts, United States was originally built in 1904 as the Franklin Square Theatre regularly scheduling burlesque shows, Broadway touring shows and headline acts transitioning to showing silent films by 1912 when vaudeville magnate Sylvester Poli purchased the theatre from the estate of Pauline L. Taylor.
Poli remodeled the theatre, renamed it The Grand, and continued to show silent movies. In 1926 he hired renowned theatre designer Thomas W. Lamb, doubled the theatre's seating capacity to 3,500 and transformed the building into a palatial showcase, including a two story lobby with mirrored walls, marbleized columns, an ornate grand staircase, and an immense chandelier in the main auditorium, just in time for the beginning of sound film, or the talkies in 1927.
In 1928, Poli sold his theatre holdings to William Fox who then renamed it the Loew's Poli. After another change of ownership, Sumner Redstone and Redstone Theaters purchased the building in 1967 opening it as Showcase Cinemas and continued operations as a multiscreen movie house until 1998 when Redstone's National Amusements closed the theatre. In 2002, National Amusements transferred ownership to the non-profit Worcester Center for the Performing Arts, established by Ed Madaus and Paul Demoga.
After extensive fundraising efforts and building community support, the theatre opened in March 2008 and was named the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, after one of the theatre's corporate sponsors (Hanover Insurance) donated much of the seed money to make the opening become a reality.
Today, the theatre has seating capacity for 2300 patrons, and hosts nationally prominent entertainers, Broadway national touring companies, family touring companies, as well as providing a local outlet for community based artists and organizations. The Franklin Square Salon Gallery, located on the second floor, features art exhibits organized by ArtsWorcester.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in northwestern Worcester, Massachusetts
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Worcester County, Massachusetts