Make a Tax-Deductible Donation  |    Contact Us    |    Milbridge Blooms    |           Home



Please Donate

Please Donate

How You Can Help

Sign Up to Receive Updates

Please Donate Please Donate How You Can Help Sign Up For Updates

Gus La Casse Concert

Acadian Fiddle Playing
at its best!
Friday, May 17th 7:00pm

$10 General Admission

A Brief History of the Milbridge Theatre

(Information derived from an article written by Phil Duggan for the Downeast Coastal Press, June 25-July 1, 2013 - charlie-murch-the-milbridge-theatre)

1937- Charlie Murch bought the land from Fred C. Gay for $400 and built the theatre. The original seats were built with his own hands.

1956 - Murch sold the building in to Bob Whitten, who took ownership for a brief 30 days, then sold it to country and western entertainers Ray and Ann Little, who, when not on the road performing, lived in Milbridge, first above the theatre, then on Rays Point. Harold and Ramona West ran the Milbridge Theatre for a 5-year period in the 1960s for owners Ray and Ann Little.

1958 - One of the original Keystone Cops, Al St. John, who later became a sidekick in many B western movies, performed live in the Milbridge Theatre.

1971 - The Littles sold the theatre to Tom and Linda Weingart, who added the front section of the theatre, where refreshments and tickets are sold now.

1978 - Tom and Linda sold the theatre to Dave Parsons, who spent many hours visiting and getting to know Charlie Murch because of their mutual interest in cinema. For the first three years he owned the theatre, Dave never showed an "R" rated movie because he needed to keep running shows that the kids would come in to see.

2014 - The theatre closed when Dave Parsons passed away in December.

Dave Parson's believed that the Milbridge Theatre is part of the town's identity.

"This has been part of what has helped the town be cohesive as a town, and been attractive to people." Compared to other small, single screen movie theatres, Parsons said, "It is a simple country theatre, but it has longevity for a theatre that isn't being operated by a committee or a non-profit group."

Generational changes in families' entertainment habits and even some social problems contribute to low turnout at movies, said Dave Parsons. People stay at home and watch movies on their large screen television sets. "Part of it goes back to that generation that they called the Greatest Generation, that had it out on behalf of this country in World War II. And these people had to pull together and live together and work together. I mean, you couldn't get sugar, you couldn't get eggs, you couldn't get milk, and people sacrificed together. And that togetherness stayed through that generation and some of the others in terms of that societal going to the movies together. People want to sit at home now and put their feet up and drink a beer and make wisecracks back and forth and watch on a large TV screen that electronics is trying to sell to them."

2015 - A downtown redevelopment organization, Gateway Milbridge, begins raising funds to purchase the theatre and restore it as a community theatre and performing arts center.

2017- The original theatre building was deemed unsalvageable and removed.  A new outdoor performance stage was constructed on the site, and outdoor music performances and movies, free of charge to the public, began taking place every Friday night during the summer months.

2020- The outdoor stage was moved to a new waterfront location at the Town of Milbridge Marina.  Design plans for a new theatre and community arts center were completed and approved by the state.

2021- Ground was broken for the new theatre and community arts center building on the site of the original theatre in downtown Milbridge.

2023-  The new Milbridge Theatre & Community Arts Center (MTCAC) opened to the public.

Theatre History

1964- Ann's mom Lucy DeStefano (bkgd), with Joan and Michael DeStefano. Photo courtesy of Ann's brother Edward DeStefano, Sr.

1950s- Ann and Ray Little, courtesy of Ann's brother Edward DeStefano, Sr.