The Majestic Theater, located at 131 Elm Street, has been providing live entertainment to West Springfield and the surrounding areas since the 1990s. This year marked the theater’s 24th season of success and service to the community.
The theater opened its doors in 1997 with the help of director, actor, and playwright, Danny Eaton, alongside his troupe, The Theater Project. Their ensemble, originally established in 1993, founded the Theater Project, Inc., the nonprofit organization that runs the Majestic Theater. The troupe used to practice and perform in the Big E fairgrounds before moving to the Elm Street location, which had been a movie theater since 1922. It was most recently called Elm Cinema.
Back in the 1990s, Eaton knew West Springfield was the perfect place to open up a live theater. He believed it would provide convenient travel for audience members due to the city’s central location to a handful of different highways. It also provided a great opportunity for actors in the area, as it is close to many cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut.
The Majestic Theater has a notable presence in the community. In addition to their ability to display the distinguishable talent of local actors to theater lovers in the area, they also frequently donate show tickets to events around town, such as golf tournaments and raffles.
Another way the theater provides enrichment to the community is through an annual large-scale raffle. The Theater Project, Inc. held their 26th annual Classic Raffle in December. Participants purchased $10 tickets to be entered into the drawing for a 1959 Corvette, which has a value of $65,000 and a little over 90,000 miles, as the first prize. The second place winner received a 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle. All of the proceeds from the raffle go toward the future productions of the Majestic Theater.
The COVID-19 pandemic posed many challenges for the theater, but they are bouncing back. They had to close their doors for 17 months, reopening just six months ago in August. Now, all audience members must be fully vaccinated to enter the building and wear a mask during the performance. Actors are tested frequently as well, and they check in with COVID compliance officers regularly.
The Majestic Theater’s presence in West Springfield is extremely special, and it adds great value to the lives of those who call the community home. This month, the theater will be book-ending shows -- they are completing their showing of Betty & the Patch on February 13, and Blithe Spirit will be opening on February 24. The box office is open to purchase tickets between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 413.747.7797