Churchill Theatre

Churchill Theatre Community Building, Walnut Street, Church Hill, Maryland

Churchill Theatre Community Building, Walnut Street, Church Hill, Maryland

– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –

Churchill Theatre

The Churchill Theatre is located in Church Hill, Maryland in Queen Anne’s County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. You will see the name of the theater spelt two ways: Churchill and Church Hill. I will use the Churchill spelling as this is the name emblazoned on the awning and written above the doors. The company which now operates the theater, however, prefers the spelling based on the town name.

Originally built as a Community Hall by the town council in 1929, the building was used for dances, graduations and town meetings. During these early days silent films were also shown using a pianist as accompaniment. It was converted into a full time movie theater in 1935.

The distinctive Art Deco entrance and interior features were added in 1944 after the Churchill Theatre was severely damaged by fire.

Churchill Theatre Community Building, Walnut Street, Church Hill, Maryland

Churchill Theatre Community Building, Walnut Street, Church Hill, Maryland

– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –

In the 1970’s, throughout America, the small-town movie house was superseded by the larger multiplexes. The Churchill Theatre tried to compete but by 1982 it suffered the fate of many local movie houses and closed its doors.

A year after the lights went out in the Churchill Theatre, the Friends of Church Hill Preservation, Inc was formed. This group’s plan was to acquire the building from the Town of Church Hill and, after restoration, start a community theater. The first season of films, benefit events, music concerts and live theater under the banner “Culture Entertainment Series” took place in 1984-85.

Over the ensuing 30 years the building has undergone continued improvements returning the building to the original multi-purpose and useful public meeting space as well as being a movie house and live theater destination.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Summary
Churchill Theatre
Article Name
Churchill Theatre
Description
Churchill Theatre is a historic Art Deco movie house and live theater located in Church Hill on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Author
Publisher Name
Mark Summerfield
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