Poli’s Palace Theater-Hanover Theatre/Worcester, MA

TELEGRAM & GAZETTE (Massachusetts)

Wednesday October 6, 2010


Fame is possible; Hanover Theatre nominated for National Register


The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts has been nominated by the Massachusetts Historical Commission for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

It’s now up to the National Park Service to decide whether the structure – the former Poli’s Palace Theater – will be placed on the registry.

"The Massachusetts Historical Commission is dedicated to preserving the commonwealth’s rich architectural, cultural, archaeological, and historic resources," said Secretary of State William F. Galvin, chairman of the commission. "Inclusion of Poli’s Palace Theater in the National Register will help to preserve an excellent example of a `palace’ theater and will ensure its prominent role in Worcester’s cultural life for generations to come."

The Hanover, at 2 Southbridge St. in downtown Worcester, is one of eight Bay State landmarks that were nominated for the register. The commission makes nominations four times a year.

The 2,300-seat facility was rehabilitated at a cost of about $31 million. Many of the building’s original architectural features were restored.

It opened in the spring of 2008 and has hosted a number of Broadway shows, theatrical productions, musicals, meetings, graduations and other events.

The facility originally threw open its doors in 1904 as the Franklin Square Theater and it was purchased eight years later by Sylvester A. Poli, who owned a successful chain of theaters.

Mr. Poli hired renowned architect Thomas W. Lamb to make over the structure.

For many years, National Amusements operated a movie house at the location.

It closed, however, when local film buffs began patronizing multi-screen complexes outside the downtown area.

The building remained vacant for years until the nonprofit Worcester Center for the Performing Arts took over and launched a successful funding drive to restore it.

The register includes a variety of buildings, structures, sites and objects significant in American history. There are several in Central Massachusetts, including Worcester City Hall.

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