Updated: Feb 7
Old Bijou Theatre building gets new life
By GORDON JACKSON email@example.com Feb 8, 2021
The old Bijou Theatre on Newcastle Street has been renovated and will soon be occupied by commercial tenants. A privacy fence surrounds the area where private and public outdoor events will be held.
Gordon Jackson/The Brunswick News
The old Bijou Theatre on Newcastle Street was a destination in downtown Brunswick after it was built in 1880.
In the 1920s, the Bijou competed with the Ritz Theatre to attract crowds to the silent movies. The Bijou marquis lit up the street at night for decades as the movies made the transition from silent films to the talkies.
The Bijou Theatre closed in the 1950s, and the building was occupied by a variety of tenants until it was recently purchased and renovated for a new purpose.
What is being called Port City Park will be a combination of commercial businesses, along with an open space surrounded by a privacy fence for outdoors public and private events, said local businessman Brad Piazza and his wife Elizabeth Piazza.
“It has been an incredible experience restoring this historic building to its former glory, and we have truly enjoyed bringing life back to the adjacent lot next door,” she said.
Brad Piazza said the project has already started to generate interest in the business community.
“We are preparing to welcome commercial businesses into the building and have been really encouraged by the inquiries we have received,” he said. “We think the prospective tenants will be great additions to our vibrant downtown business community.”
The open space for public and private events is in what they believe is an ideal location.
“We designed the green space, Port City Park, with gatherings and events in mind,” she said. “Our goal is to create an atmosphere which feels close-knit while engaging with the pulse of downtown.”
Port City Park will be available for public and private events later this year. A grand opening is planned at an upcoming First Friday later this spring.
“Port City Park embodies our ultimate goal of live, work, play,” Brad Piazza said. “You can find everything in downtown Brunswick.”