The theater closed in the late 1980s and was run for a year by the town of Bridgton's recreation department. The following year the local Howell family purchased the building. The family business, Down East, Inc., had occupied the ground floor for many years while the theater occupied the 2nd floor. The family decided to reopen the single screen theater and to bring movies back to Bridgton.
In 1990, the theater was twinned to increase the number of movie choices. However, the condition of "The Brookside Building" as it was known by locals, had deteriorated due to poor soil conditions that existed on the site. Sloping floors, cracked foundations, freezing pipes and the physical sinking of the building sealed its fate.
On February 7, 2006 the theater was torn down. Down East, Inc. presented to the Town of Bridgton a plan to redevelop the entire site which included a new building for its operations on the site behind the old theater and a New Magic Lantern theater.
A theater bearing the name Magic Lantern is was also located in the former Czechoslovakia, and served as one of the principal meeting places during the Velvet Revolution in which the country overthrew their governing communist regime in favor of democracy. The Magic Lantern has been described as headquarters to the Czech part of the revolution.
'Messy Utopia' makes for neat evening; THEATER REVIEW: Entertaining Mixed Blood offering raises interesting questions about multi-racial heritages, but does not go too deep.(NEWS)
Apr 24, 2007; Byline: Rohan Preston; Staff Writer "What are you?" That question ripples uneasily through "Messy Utopia" like a snake, one that...