Designed by architect Oscar Beauchemin, the Bijou opened in 1913 and was enlarged three years later.
“Theatre in workers’ section at Holyoke, Massachusetts”
Photographer: John Collier
Excerpts from Lost New England:
“Located on Main Street in the Flats neighborhood, it primarily catered to the city’s large population of factory workers, and it had one screen, with a seating capacity of 1,300.”
“…the Bijou was, at least by this point , a second run theater. One sign under the marquee promises ‘Big Shows at Small Prices’, while another sign indicates that the theater offered ‘Entire New Show Every Sun. Tues. Fri.'”
The Springfield Republican, January 28, 1958:
“The Bijou property at the east side of Main St., north of Cabot St., which may be the site of a new parking facility for the South Holyoke area if the Board of Aldermen votes favorably on the order for the purchase of the property at a price of $51,500 plus the 1958 taxes, when the order is considered again at the meeting of Tuesday night next week.”
The Bjou was demolished in 1959 with a gas station now occupying the site.
Since 1997 theatre historian, Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of theatre talks and walks, available for historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition