January 28 1944 The Nugget Theatre Destroyed in Fiery Explosion

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Michael Hinsley

Today in Hanover and Dartmouth College History

Today in Hanover and Dartmouth College History the Nugget Theatre was destroyed in a spectacularly hot fire and explosion.

The Hanover Fire Department was called to the Nugget Theater for a report of a fire in the theater. Reports record a large explosion that "shook the town".

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The fire burned with great intensity but was brought under control quickly with no fire spreading to the adjacent buildings.

The cause of the fire and explosion was not determined. One of the possible causes recorded was a errant cigarette caused peanut shells to ignite and explode... Hmm That would have to be some peanut!

The interior of the Nugget Theater after the explosion.

Interior of the Nugget Theater after the Explosion. This is facing the West Wheelock Street side and the projection room.

The roof on the left upper corner is of the Old Howe Library.

Looking South, Acrross West Wheelock St at the shell of the Nugget Theatre. Notice the roofing structure on the outside of the corner

Hanover 1928 Map showing the Location of The Nugget Theatre. Check out the cool watering trough

On April 6, 1916 F.F Davison and F.W. Davison petitioned the Precinct Commisioners for permission to erect a theatre. A promise was made that there would be no shows on Sundays. Permission was granted.

The Nugget opened on September 13, 1916 with a showing of "The Alien" Starring George Beban.

The Nugget Theatre ready to show " The Wings of the Navy" February 1939

Dartmouth Student Sailors inspecting the Nugget Theatre Movie Poster for " Once Upon A Honeymoon" November 1942

"Fugative For A Night" and "You Cant Take it with you." 1938

After the Theatre was destroyed films were presented in Dartmouth College's Webster Hall. Now the home of Rauner Library and the College's Special Collections. Seriously make the opportuntity to go there

Regardless of the cause of the fire and explosion the Nugget has provided more the just entertainment to the citizens of the Town of Hanover and students of Dartmouth College. Since July 7, 1922 after The Nugget was donated to the Town with the stipulation that all net proceeds should be used for Town improvements. The Hanover Improvement was formed to run the Nugget to meet New Hampshire Laws. The Hanover Improvement Society has expanded the Nugget and operates Storrs Pond Recreation Center and The Campion Rink. The Hanover Improvement has utilized the "net revenues" to purchase Fire Engines for the Hanover Fire Department, To assist with parking lot construction, local playgrounds, assist with the Whaleback Ski Area, The Hanover Garden Club, support Public Access Automated External Defibrillators, teach kids to swim, ski, ski jump and quietly supported countless other local endeavors.

So if someone asks you why is Olde Nugget Alley called "Old Nugget Alley"? Now you too can be a smarty know it all local historian!!


Photo credits to Dartmouth College Rauner Library.

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