The John Brown House

Lost Mansfield > The John Brown House


This 18th century salt-box house stood where the Chang’s Garden restaurant is located today. The central chimney, clap-boarding, and 6 over 9 windows complete the typical features of this classic New England structure.  

John Brown House
The John Brown House. The people standing in front are members of the Brown family.

In 1963, Mansfield’s first movie house, the College Theatre, was constructed on the former site of the John Brown house.  It officially opened on April 17, 1963.  The opening ceremony featured performances by the University’s marching band and choir, with Sen. Thomas J. Dodd cutting the ribbon. The inaugural movie was “To Kill a Mocking Bird”, starring Gregory Peck. The popular movie theatre was later divided into two halves to enable the showing of two films simultaneously.  In 1987, the vacant movie theater was gutted and then incorporated into the new Storrs Commons, a strip mall complex of stores and restaurants. 

Stanley Warner New College Theatre
Invitation to the Opening of Stanley Warner’s New College Theatre, April 17, 1963.
Site of the New College Theatre today
The old College Theatre was incorporated into the Storrs Commons complex in 1987. It stood where Chang’s Garden is today.

This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.

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