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Newport Casino Theatre Photographs

Built in 1880-1881 by architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, the Newport Casino was one of the first resort country clubs in a social environment beginning to embrace such establishments. The Casino Theatre, on the east side of the complex, opened in 1881 to host a variety of theatrical and, later, both silent and sound films. Beginning in 1927, the cotillion-theatre of Newport became a professional theatre, attracting professional actors from New York and Hollywood. Under the management of producer-director Sara Stamm from 1943 to 1960, the Casino Theatre became a popular and professional summer stock theatre. However, financial troubles and Stamm's illness kept the Theatre from producing any shows from 1957 to 1958, and it closed in 1960.

A gift from Newport socialite Mrs. Margaret Van Alen Bruguiére, the owner of Wakehurst, in 1963 allowed the theatre to reopen, named after Mrs. Bruguiére's son, James Van Alen. The Theatre operated mostly as a community theatre until it closed again in 1987. After restoration in 2010, the Theatre reopened once more.