Newtown Theatre, Newtown

The Newtown Theatre has an extensive history dating back to 1831. Originally built as a hall for town gatherings and a non-sectarian church for traveling ministers, it soon became a center of entertainment in Newtown.

By the early 1850’s “Newtown Hall” (as it was then called) was used regularly for performances. These ranged from social dances and concerts to theatrical productions and magic lantern shows. In 1883, the building was reconstructed, larger than the first, and designed with stage performances in mind.

In 1906 the first movie was shown, making it the oldest movie theater in the United States. In 1936, the interior of the building was redone and new equipment was purchased to enhance the movie-going experience. With the coming of television and modern movies, Newtown Hall movies were becoming outdated. Rescued in 1953 by the Newtown Community Welfare Council, which now serves as the theatre’s trustee, the beloved landmark survives complete with the flavor of a bygone era.

In 1972, Amos Farruggio, a movie buff and licensed projectionist, rented the hall from the Community Welfare Council, spruced it up and kept the theatre alive until his death. The theatre was then ably run by his wife until her death in 2005.

The theatre had air conditioning installed in 2002 for the premier of M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs,” which was partially filmed in Newtown. In 2014, the theatre installed a new digital projection system, which will allow it to keep showing movies far into the future.
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Newtown Theatre Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
27 reviews
  • I saw a comedy show here with my wife and friends. The venue is small and great for live performances. They even sell wine and beer and snacks before the show.  more »
  • Great time at this historic theater. The play was good and it had air conditioning as well The quartet playing music was exceptionally good Every seat in the house is a good seat. Will go...  more »
  • I wish I could give this beautiful historic theater five stars but they couldn't show a ten minute film without cutting out halfway through. They had less than amateur control over what appeared on the screen or when the lights went on/off. The popcorn and candy were way overpriced (could be overlooked it the rest of the experience was magical). They tried to give me warm bottled water. I think for stars is generous.
  • Beautiful theater in an awesome part of town. Saw Lion King walked to the ice cream shop. Awesome night!!

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