Eames Building and Jax Jr. Cinemas: Littleton, New Hampshire

Picture of Eames Building and Jax Jr. Cinemas in Littleton, New Hampshire

Eames Building and Jax Jr. Cinemas in Littleton, New Hampshire

Today we take a look at the Eames Building and Jax Jr. Cinemas which refer to the same building located in Littleton, New Hampshire:

“Eames Building”

“John B. ‘Jack’ Eames (1891 – 1951), born in Groveton, NH came to Littleton in 1920 and purchased the Premiere Theatre in the Northern Hotel block on this site.  After fire destroyed the block in 1924, Jack rebuilt it to house the 800-seat Premiere Theatre, an eight-lane bowling alley, offices, and five retail spaces.  Fire again destroyed the building on November 6, 1949, a devastating blow to the town, but while firemen were still pouring water on the smoking rubble, Mr. Eames was having signs erected that read: “Watch this corner grow! New Hampshire’s finest theatre to be built here.” in 1951, this building opened amid a March 16th ‘John B. Eames Appreaciation Day’ that drew throngs and included a torchlight parade.  Jack Eames died in December of 1951.  His wife, Blanche ‘Meader’ Eames (1913 – 2000) admirably carried on his legacy until retiring in 1997.  Her warm, welcoming smile will be remembered by legions of movie goers as will the dedicated presence of her mother Lillian P. Foss (1885 – 1973) and her sister, Mary E. Campbell (1908 – 1991), who each worked side by side with her for nearly two decades.  The ownership and management of this building remains with the Eames family.”

“Jax Jr. Cinemas”

“The Jax Jr. had two distinguished predecessors at this location.  The first was teh Premiere Theatre which John B. ‘Jack’ Eames, ‘The Dean of New England Motion Picture Exhibitors,’ purchased in 1920.  It was destroyed by fire in 1924.  Jack rebuilt the block and a new 800-seat Premiere Theatre.  In 1941, this theatre hosted the World Premiere of ‘The Great Lie’ starring legendary actress Bette Davis.  The April 5 event coincided with Bette’s birthday so it was a twofold celebration that drew the nation’s spotlight and 10,000 enthusiastic spectators to Littleton.  After the block was again leveled by fire in 1949, Jack vowed that he would not only build a fireproof structure, but that it would contain the finest theatre in New Hampshire.  True to his word, the award-winning Jax Jr. opened on March 17, 1951 with a screening of ‘Royal Wedding’ starring June Powell and Fred Astaire.  Congratulatory messages were received from a host of Hollywood greats including Bob Hope, Betty Hutton, Bing Crosby and Alan Ladd.  In 1952, the Jax Jr. received the Jay Emanuel Merit Award, the highest honor accorded to theatres by the Motion Picture Industry.  On February 8, 1975 the Jax Jr. hosted the World Premier of ‘Two,’ starring Sarah Venable.  Later titled ‘Captive,’ this film was shot on location in Littleton.  In 1982 the marquee read, ‘Closed. We’re having Twins’ as the Jax Jr. was divided into two Cinemas, each with nearly 300 seats.  Continual modernization secures the reputation of Jax Jr. as one of the most technologically advanced cinemas in New England.”

Source: Building Plaque

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