Bank Street Theater was created from the brick shell of The New England House, which was one of the very few buildings left standing after 80% of the commercial buildings in the historic village were devastated by the fire of 1902. The “Great Fire” actually started in the New England House stable, once located at the rear of this building.
The owner of the Star Theater, a silent movie house across the street from this building, hired the design firm Buckingham & Taylor to create a new, state of the art cinema which opened in 1920. Known as the Twentieth Century New Milford Theater, this renovated structure was outfitted with a massive new steel skeleton.
In 1937 the theater was remodeled to add much of the art deco facade that is still seen today. The theater operated continuously until the early 1970’s when it’s doors shut for about 5 years.
The theater was purchased in 1976 by Steven Barry who reopened the business as the Bank Street Theatre. In 1982 Barry reconfigured the single auditorium into two, one seating 126 and the other 260.
In 1997, the theater was again renovated, this time to three auditoriums seating approximately 120 in each. Wall surfaces and fixtures were replaced and audio systems were upgraded. The exterior had also been restored to show off its black and white Carrara glass facade. A pressed tin ceiling with soffet lights has been revealed under the marquee, most likely not seen since the 1937 renovation. Also uncovered during this round of renovations was the original terrazzo lobby floor featuring a 4-pointed star.
In 2005, after nearly 30 years in the business, Barry sold the Bank Street Theatre to Stamford based Garden Homes Cinemas.
In mid-2007 a local Sherman resident purchased the building and established a new business, The Bank Street Theater (-er at the end!). Within months of the new business being open the interior of the theater was again renovated. New restrooms were installed in the locations of the old video arcade room and old concession stand. A new, larger concession stand was built in the center of the lobby. The lobby also received new paint, tile & carpeting.
By mid-2008 it became clear that digital projection would eventually replace 35mm film. Theater 1 was outfitted with a new Christie digital projector and MasterImage 3D machine. The first digital feature to play at the Bank Street Theater was “Fly Me To The Moon 3D”. Theaters 2 & 3 were soon after outfitted with new digital projectors as well. The last 35mm film to play at the Bank Street Theater was “Gran Torino” on January 26, 2009.
In April 2010 a fourth screen was added in the space that originally housed a theater stage.