Generations of residents from many North Shore towns have fond memories of growing up with the Warwick Theatre as a part of their lives: Saturday matinees, first dates, catching up with friends and neighbors while standing in that too-long line. It wasn’t just a movie theatre, but a hub of activity, a destination that brought people into town. We lost something special when the old theater shut down.

The Warwick Theatre Foundation is a non-profit initiative dedicated to preserving the history of the original Warwick Theatre and creating a new, community-based, state-of-the-art theater. Our hope is that in addition to providing first-rate entertainment, the new Warwick will become a community gathering place, enliven downtown foot traffic, and boost the economy of surrounding businesses.

Marblehead has long been a center of the arts—the Marblehead Arts Association was founded in 1922 with a mission to foster “the knowledge and love of the fine and applied arts and kindred subjects.” We are home to schools of art, music, and dance, as well as the historic Marblehead Festival of Arts and wonderful Marblehead Little Theater. A venue dedicated to film and digital arts, joining the history of classic movies with the newest entertainment technology, would make us complete as a cultural center.

The current owners of the property, Warwick Place LLC, are redeveloping the entire block, and while they will demolish the old theatre building, they will be restoring the original facade and vintage signage. The Warwick Theatre Foundation’s goal is to rent a portion of the building from the owner for a state-of-the-art community-run cinema, so that movies will once more be shown behind the historic marquee.