207 Bank Street
Looking west
Date taken unknown
Photographer: Louis L. McAllister
Geographic Position: UTM 18T0642256 4926543

A view looking west along Bank Street shows the spatial organization of the street, buildings, sidewalks, and other small-scale landscape features.  Bank Street in downtown Burlington is characterized by a wide expanse of pavement, bordered by two narrow concrete sidewalks which are flanked by commercial buildings to the north and south.  The business district of downtown Burlington is quite dense with several two to three story buildings edging both sides of the street.  Several buildings are seen in this photograph, including 190-194 Bank Street, 196 Bank Street, 191-195 Bank Street, and 207 Bank Street.


190-194 Bank Street is a four story, three bay brick building with numerous windows on the main façade.  The lower level of the building has a central entrance flanked by two large display windows with drawn back striped awnings.  The windows on the second, third, and fourth stories appear to be arranged symmetrically in groups of three.  Three windows with arched lintels appear on the east façade on the fourth floor.  A simple cornice caps the building.  In 1901, the Burlington city directory lacks information about the building, suggesting it was not built yet.  By 1931, occupants of the building included the G. S. Blodgett Co, wholesale plumbing, George Hunt, dentist, H. Glenn Hunt, Chiropractor, and the Underwood Typewriter Company.  A decade later in 1942, the G. S. Blodgett Co, wholesale plumbing, William H. Morrison, dentist, and H. Glenn Hunt, Chiropractor were the only remaining occupants of the building. 


The building located at 196 Bank Street was constructed between 1830 and 1853 and is a two-story, three bay frame dwelling with gable roof, central chimney and porch to the east.  The house is clad in narrow clapboards and the 2-over-2 windows are symmetrically spaced.  The far left window on the second story appears to be a 6-over-6 window.  In 1869, the house ad property belonged to F. Woodworth.  By 1901, the small building was occupied by the Dwyer Hack Company and Mrs. Margaret Dwyer.  In 1931, the building was a single family residence occupied by Albert T. Wright.  Approximately a decade later in 1942, the building was divided into apartments and Arthur G Boss and Hector J Remillard occupied the building. 


191-195 Bank is a two story frame building whose east façade is punctuated by three doors and a block of windows on the first floor and four evenly spaced 1-over-1 windows on the second floor.  A striped awning is drawn back over the door closest to Bankd Street.  Likely constructed during the late 19th century, the building was occupied by the  H.W. Steadman, V.S.; Gregory Grain Co. and the O.K. Steam laundry in 1901.  Later in 1931, the Patten, Irwin & White Hardware Store and the W.E. Greene Co were tenants of the building.  However, by 1935 the building was destroyed, marked on the 1935 Sanborn map as a stone foundation labelled “H.W. Abraham.”  By 1942, the foundation remained, labeled, “Old foundation.  Plank Floor Level with Ground.”


207 Bank Street is the Majestic Theater located at the southeast (right) corner of the intersection of Bank and Center Streets.  The theater is a large brick building with plastered exterior walls with protruding piers and elaborate, oversized-cornice.  One globe light fixture and a white door are also seen on the west façade of the building. 

The movie theatre was constructed in 1911 by the, the W. Shelton Company, and opened on May 16, 1912(1).  As Burlington’s first movie theater to show motion pictures, the opening performance sold out with tickets priced at 5 cents each(2).  After opening day, ticket prices rose to 10 cents for adults and 5 cents for children. The popularity of the Majestic Theater grew and by the 1925, the theater had installed a large pipe organ, a new air system, and had played the first talking movie in the city of Burlington(3). 

The popularity of the Majestic continued throughout World War II as movies offered a way to escape the pressures and stress war.  New Year’s Day quickly became a popular event at the theater for local city newsboys, as local businessman John Flynn handed out free tickets to the Majestic on the first of the year(4).   An annecdotal account of the New Years Day event, recalled, “If you missed the free tickets, you could always sneak into the Majestic. The side door was infamously easy and William Castle, the long-time doorman, smiled on children who lacked the money to pay their way in”(5).  During the 1940s, the Majestic Theater burned and sustained $30,000 in damage, but the theater was remodeled afterwards, featuring better acoustics and faux-brown leather seats(6). 

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(1) “Majestic Played the Silents” Burlington Citizen, July 1980.

(2) “Majestic Played the Silents” Burlington Citizen, July 1980.

(3) Hapner, Chris. “It’s 15 Years Since We Welcomed the New Year at the Majestic” Burlington Free Press,  1969.

(4) Hapner, Chris. “It’s 15 Years Since We Welcomed the New Year at the Majestic” Burlington Free Press,  1969.

(5) Hapner, Chris. “It’s 15 Years Since We Welcomed the New Year at the Majestic” Burlington Free Press,  1969.

(6) Hapner, Chris. “It’s 15 Years Since We Welcomed the New Year at the Majestic” Burlington Free Press,  1969.

93 S. Winooski Avenue
Looking west down Bank Street
Taken October 14, 2006
Photographer:  Carrie A. Mardorf
Geographic Position: UTM 18T0642256 4926543

Today Bank Street has a different appearance than previously seen during the mid 20th century. The street continues to lack vegetation, and buildings are the predominant feature of the landscape.  The Majestic Theater no longer stands along Bank Street, instead it is replaced by a Mobil gas station. Throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, the Majestic continued to show movies.  However, competition from the Flynn Theater which was constructed in the 1930s and declining audiences forced the theater to close in 1954(1).  Ironically, the two theaters were owned by the same corporation.  After 42 years of playing movies in downtown Burlinton, the Majestic Theater was sold in 1954.   Two years later in February 1956, the “best theater in Vermont” was demolished to construct a gas station on the former site(2).  The gas station remains today. 

The building located at 191 Bank Street was rebuilt in the mid 20th century years after the demolition of the old structure.  The new 191 Bank Street building appears to have been constructed on the old foundation, as it is similar in size and massing as the old building.  Today the two story brick building houses Climb High and the Champlain Clothing Company. 

The building at 196 Bank Street remained a residence until 1972, when James Hair Styling and Empire Launderers & Cleaners occupied the building(3).  Some time between 1972 and 2006, the building was demolished.  Today a tall brick columnar structure and an adjacent gas station (not shown) stand on the site of the former building. 

190-194 Bank Street was occupied throughout the mid 20th century.  In 1972, the building was listed as the Lash Building in the Burlington City Directory.  The building contained one vacancy, James hair styling, and Empire Launderers & Cleaners(4).  Between 1972 and 2006, the building was demolished, and a modern concrete parking ramp was constructed. 

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(1) “Majestic Played the Silents” Burlington Citizen, July 1980.

(2) “Majestic Played the Silents” Burlington Citizen, July 1980.

(3) Burlington City Directory, 1972 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986).

(4) Burlington City Directory, 1972 (Burlington: H. A. Manning Co., 1916-1986)

Historic Burlington Project
Depression Era Streetscapes: Old North End | Burlington 1890 | Burlington 1877 | Burlington 1869 | Burlington 1853 | Burlington 1830
Produced by University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program graduate students in HP 206 Researching Historic Structures and Sites - Prof. Thomas Visser - in collaboration with UVM Landscape Change Program
Historic images courtesy of University of Vermont Library Special Collections, Louis L. McAllister Photograph Collection