The Grand in Ellsworth Celebrates 75 Years

Updated 2 years ago

Five letters stand out along Main Street in Ellsworth. There, the word “grand” is a place, not an adjective.”It has a history and a real meaning in the community,” said Zoe Alexis Scott, Executive Director of The Grand.In 1938, The Grand opened.”The city fathers, the town council commissioned what at the time was a state of the art movie theatre,” said Charles Alexander, Chairman of the Board at The Grand.It showed all of the classics from The Wizard of Oz to Gone with the Wind.”People remember coming here and seeing movies on Saturday mornings as kids, with free popcorn and 35 cents for a movie,” said Scott.It went through some changes over the years. A boxing ring was installed at one point, and the place even closed for a period during the 70’s.But in 1975, new owners brought The Grand back to life.Alexander said, “This stage thrust that you see there out in front of the movie theatre was built, then it turned into a sort of community performance space.”Since then, the community has embraced it. “Full families come in here not only to watch performances, but to be in them,” said Alexander.Nowadays, the theatre is home to everything from a children’s performing arts program to simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. Come July, there’s a whole week of 75th anniversary events planned.”We’ve got the same film that was shown in 1938, Holiday, starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn,” said Scott.Until then, The Grand has a packed calendar filled with live theatre, live music and film screenings.Scott said, “People come in here and are so grateful that it’s still here.”To them, this building and what it adds to the community is pretty grand, indeed.


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