Star Theatre

374 Somerville Avenue,
Somerville, MA 02143

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Located in a two-story 1890 brick building, the Star Theatre operated from 1908 to 1914, featuring both vaudeville and silent films. A classic nickelodeon, it attracted a young and rowdy audience, causing the city to try to shut it down.

Since 1914, the building has had many occupants, including a dry goods store between 1925 and 1927 and a Salvation Army for many years afterward. Today the building is home to a Brazilian restaurant and an auto glass repair shop.

The above information comes from David Guss’s excellent web site, Lost Theatres of Somerville. Go there to see some pictures and advertisements for this theatre.

Contributed by Ron Newman

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 16, 2007 at 7:29 am

From this month’s Union Square Main Streets newsletter:

Down on Somerville Ave at number 374, Champagne Glass has moved across the street. The property was recently purchased by Brian Healy Architects and will soon house the architect’s offices on the second floor. The firm joins a growing community of architect firms here in Union Square.

Built in 1890 the brick building was once the Star Theatre and was perhaps the first movie theatre in Somerville. Over the decades it housed a dry goods store, the Salvation Army, and a Brazilian restaurant. The new owners plan to do renovations to the property, adding bright windows on the first floor to house a retail store. The tenant will be a furniture and housewares store called “Grand” — evoking the Grand Union flag that first flew here. The store is the brainchild of local resident Jonathan O'Toole and he plans to sell a variety of moderately priced household items with a modernist design such as lamps, pillows, clocks and more.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 17, 2007 at 5:15 pm

THe statement “perhaps the first movie theatre in Somerville” is not correct, since the Star opened in 1908, four years after Pearson’s Perfect Pictures.

I’m looking forward to seeing the former Star Theatre building fixed up. Perhaps the new owner can put up a small plaque next year, acknowledging its history?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 31, 2008 at 11:45 am

A home-furnishings shop called Grand has opened on the ground floor. Brian Healy Architects occupy the second floor. The Function should be changed to Retail and Offices, and the description changed appropriately.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm

A popular second-hand consignment clothing store, Poor Little Rich Girl, will soon move in with Grand, sharing their retail space. The store recently closed its location in Davis Square.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 1, 2010 at 6:38 am

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.)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 6, 2012 at 6:17 am

Poor Little Rich Girl closed last year, and Grand closed two weeks ago. I don’t yet know what will replace them in this storefront.

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