The Everett Theatre in Middletown, Delaware
The Civil War was a fresh memory when Middletown’s first stage opened in 1868. Back then it was known as the Town Hall & Opera House and it flourished as a performing arts cultural center and community meeting place until falling in a spectacular fire in 1918. It wasn't long however, before a structure was erected on the site. It too was dedicated to the arts, but with a twist.... The focus would be on the recently introduced motion picture. But as fate would have it, that structure went the way of its predecessor, burning to the ground on April 6th, 1922 .
Determined that history would not repeat itself a third time, a shining structure built mostly of concrete and plaster was rebuilt on the site where the others had fallen. It was November 11th, 1922 when crowds were first treated to a glimpse inside the magnificent new Theatre. "Under Two Flags" was the first play performed in the new marvel. For decades, the Everett flourished. Those who stared wide-eyed at the movie screen as children were again with children of their own. But slowly, drive-ins, malls and television took their toll and the Everett dimmed lights and shut its doors in 1979. For the next four years, it sat silently on Middletown’s Main Street, its fine acoustics untested and its beautiful interior crumbling. Thankfully, a group of concerned citizens formed Associated Community Talents, Inc., a non-profit corporation which purchased the Everett Theatre in 1982, determined to restore Middletown and the Everett Theatre to once again become the center for the performing arts for the community. Renovation and fundraising began.