Théâtre Sans Frontières – The old Border Theatre
The Border Theatre was first built in 1912 as Her Majesty’s Theatre by the Haskell Family, renowned for their visionary Haskell Free Library and Opera House that they built to stride the border around the turn of the century. It was their son whom they put in charge of the project, which was beautifully designed in the art nouveau style of the period.
The cinema house, soon renamed the Border Theatre, was thriving in the then Town of Rock Island, the exceptionally successful commercial hub that united both sides of the border in its activity, so that Derby Line was aligned with Rock Island. The early years of cinema, with the silent movies and piano accompaniments were a great addition to the larger Stanstead and its environs. As cinema evolved and the cinema house’s ownership had changed, the cinema continued to flourish as a central venue that brought all the new movies that were coming out of Hollywood in the heyday of cinema as the popular art it had become. In 1948 the building burnt down, but it was soon resurrected in its present quonset structure and continued to delight the townspeople right until it was closed down in the 70’s.
We have heard many in the town reminisce about going to the movies and the movies they remember seeing there, and it would be most fulfilling for us to bring cinema back to where it belongs.