Loew’s Majestic Theatre
December 15, 2011
The Loew’s Majestic Theatre opened on November 4, 1922 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb (who also designed the other theater in the complex, the Loew’s Palace Theatre, and many other theaters at the time) for theater mogul Sylvester Z. Poli, who also owned the nearby Palace Theatre in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Lamb designed the theater in the Neo-Renaissance style, with frescoes of Italian formal gardens in the auditorium. The mezzanine in the lobby area is decorated with a large stained glass mural, which is currently covered with plywood to protect it from damage. The Majestic’s lobby was decorated with real marble, as opposed to its sister theater which used imitation marble. This extravagance in the lobby may have been due to its small size; since the lobby was smaller than the Palace’s it was possible to use more expensive materials and a more ornate style without breaking the budget.
The Majestic celebrated its opening with a special event. Eddie Cantor, a Broadway actor turned movie star headlined the show with a Parisian review titled “Make It Snappy.” Like most theaters of its day the Majestic used gimmicks to generate buzz about its films. During a 1935 screening of “Mark of the Vampire,” a woman was hired to scream and faint during the screening. She was then taken to a waiting ambulance (all part of the act).
The Majestic was sold, along with the Palace, to Loew’s Theatres Incorporated in 1934. Loew’s Theatre Inc. closed the Majestic theater in 1967, eventually selling the building in the early 1970s. Both theaters in the complex were reopened and closed several times before closing permanently in 1975. Today, the Majestic theater auditorium is used as a storage space for a local cabaret theater company. The city of Bridgeport is seeking proposals to restore the theater to use.