Arcade Theatre, Springfield

The Arcade Theatre on State Street in Springfield, around 1933. Photo courtesy of Cinema Treasures.

1930s

The same scene in 2012:

113_2012

The building in the foreground of the 1933 photo is the Arcade Theatre, which opened two years earlier.  The marquee advertises the film College Humor, a Bing Crosby comedy that was released in July of 1933, hence giving the approximate date of the photo.  The theater closed in 1971, and was demolished a year later to allow for Dwight Street to be extended up the hill to Maple Street.  This enabled Dwight Street and Maple/Chestnut Streets to function as a one-way pair to help with traffic around the newly-built Civic Center (now the MassMutual Center, barely visible on the far right of the 2012 photo).  The building in the center of the photo is the Epiphany Tower, which is being renovated to become a Holiday Inn Express.  Several other buildings that still exist are the c.1893 old Masonic Building at the corner of State and Main (with the green tower) and 1200 Main Street just beyond it, which was built in 1908.

Notice also the road itself – 1933 seems like a rather late date for a major road in Springfield – at the time it was part of Route 20 – to be paved with cobblestone, but apparently that was the case.  Notice the trolley tracks as well, and the trolley in the distance – very different from the PVTA buses that now navigate the streets of Springfield.

Court Square Theater, Springfield

Springfield’s Court Square Theater, as it appeared between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

112_1900-1910-2Bloc

The building in 2015:

 

The Court Square Theater was built in 1892, and substantially expanded in 1900.  Originally, the building was symmetrical, but the 1900 addition gave the building an extra five rows of windows on the front facade, and also extended the right-hand side of the building all the way back to State Street.  A photo on this blog shows a rare glimpse of the building prior to the expansion.  The other two buildings visible along Court Square are the the 1835 Byers Block, and the 1889 Chicopee Bank Building.  Neither buildings have changed much in appearance since the first photo was taken.

Right now, the Court Square Theater building stands vacant.  The theater section itself (not visible) was demolished in 1957, and there have been various proposals for restoring the building, but so far none have begun.