On Friday, May 24, 2013 at 2:30 pm the Pittsfield Community Theatre Projector Room will be dedicated to long-time resident Glen H. Wheaton. This dedication will honor Mr. Wheaton for his many years of service to the community through his commitment and love of the Theatre. Mr. Wheaton owned and operated the community theatre from 1962 to 1975. He was respected for his theatre operations and commitment to the community and region for showing quality movies. Mr. Wheaton will be present at the ceremony. The dedication is open to the public. The Town cordially extends an invitation to individuals, businesses and organizations that would like to drop by to personally thank Mr. Wheaton for his service to the Pittsfield Community Theatre and the community.
The Pittsfield Community Theatre Restoration Campaign continues. On April 5, 2013, the Theatre was fully converted to digital films. We were very fortunate to be able to do this due to the cost of the conversion. The Town was able to convert to digital due to the hard work and dedication of the Theatre Fundraising Group headed by Dena Hall over the last several years to raise over $52,000 toward this project. Dena was joined on the fundraising team by Kelli Frost, Susie Furrow, Lori Glidden, Terri Hall, Jason Judd and Nicole Steeves. Hundreds of donations were made while hundreds of citizens from the community supported the group’s efforts to fundraise to upgrade the Pittsfield Community. The efforts of the Theatre Fundraising Committee continue and new fundraisers will be announced in the future.
The Pittsfield Community Theatre is a wonderful asset for the region and certainly a unique community service. The Theatre first opened with silent movies in 1915. Talking movies were installed in 1929. In 1956, J.R. Cianchette purchased the theatre and closed it for remodeling, spending between $80,000 – $100,000 on items such as the State’s first cushioned swing back seats and carbon rod projectors. In April of 1957, the completely renovated and modernized Bijou Theatre reopened. It was one of the most modern and beautiful small town theatres in New England. Mr. Wheaton purchased the Bijou in 1962 and operated it until 1975. In 1977, the Town of Pittsfield bought the Theatre for $24,000. Mr. Wheaton served as Operations Manager for the Town until December 28, 1978.
Over the last 37 years, hundreds of thousands of children have attended the Pittsfield Community Theatre. It has been a great opportunity to see movies at a low price and an experience that children remember all of their lives – going to the theatre for the first time on your own or seeing your first scary movie.
At this time, the Pittsfield Community Theatre is the only municipally owned and operated theater in the State of Maine. It remains one of very few town owned facilities across the nation. Today, the theatre shows first-run and second-run movies while retaining a small-town flavor in both operation and attitude. Drop by the Theatre to take “a walk down memory lane” and see the displays of some of the highlights of Pittsfield’s favorite shows. We invite everyone to come experience our little treasure on Main Street.
For more information, please contact Kathryn Ruth, Town Manager at 487-3136.