Day Street Olympia

50 Day Street,
Somerville, MA 02144

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The Day Street Olympia theatre opened on August 4, 1913, in what had been the West Somerville Congregational Church. But before it could open, it had to overcome more than three years of opposition from neighbors and even from the president and women’s dean of nearby Tufts University.

Initially, this theatre was part of Nathan Gordon’s Olympia circuit, which included Somerville’s Union Square Olympia Boston’s Scollay Square Olympia and Washington Street Olympia theatres. In the 1920s, Elias M. Loew acquired the Day Street Olympia, and he later changed its name to E.M. Loew’s Davis Square Theatre.

The theatre suffered frequent fires, and closed for good after a fire on May 1, 1942. Eventually it was torn down and replaced by a metered municipal parking lot, which is still there today. In warm weather months, the parking lot hosts a popular Wednesday afternoon farmer’s market.

(All of this information comes from David Guss’s excellent website, Lost Theatres of Somerville.)

Contributed by Ron Newman

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 27, 2006 at 7:06 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for E.M. Loew’s Davis Square Theatre in Somerville has a facade photo taken in May 1941.The entrance was on a corner, with a box office in the center. There was a boxy marquee with white letters on a black background. Movies playing are “Kit Carson” and “Moon over Burma”. The Report states that the theatre has been a MGM customer for over 10 years; that it’s over 15 years old; that it’s in Fair condition; and hasd 645 seats, apparently all on one floor.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 29, 2006 at 1:39 am

The photo described above is the first one on this page.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 31, 2010 at 1:59 pm

David Guss’s article “Lost Theatres of Somerville”, from the First Quarter 2006 issue of Marquee, the journal of the Theatre Historical Society of America, is now online at View link .

Besides an extensive history, the article also contains many old photos of and advertisements for the various theatres in Somerville.

(This is a 17-page scanned-image PDF, so unfortunately you cannot search or copy the text.)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 10, 2010 at 11:25 am

There is a “Day Square” theater listed under Somerville in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook with 700 seats, open 6 days/week. The seat count is close to that of this theater.

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