Somerville Theatre

55 Davis Square,
Somerville, MA 02144

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MSC77 on October 24, 2018 at 6:26 pm

Somerville’s recent 70mm screenings are noted in this new article on Boston’s large format and roadshow history.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm

A new addition to the schedule:

9/20 at 7:30 “Starman” (1984)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 4, 2018 at 6:58 pm

70mm titles now announced and booking has opened: 9/21 at 7:30 “Brainstorm” (1983) 9/21 at 10pm “Lifeforce” (1985)

9/22 at 2pm “Kong:Scull Island” (2017) 9/22 at 7pm “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines” (1965)

9/23 at 2pm “El Cid” (1961) 9/23 at 7pm “Malcolm X” (1992)

9/25 at 7:15 “Spartacus” (1960)

9/26 at 7:30 “Khartoum” (1966) in 70mm Ultra Panovision

9/28 at 7:30 “The Witches of Eastwick” (1987) 9/28 at 10pm “The Thing” (1982)

9/29 at 2pm “70mm Odds & "Ends” Rare 70mm footage 9/29 at 7pm “Patton” (1970)

9/30 at 3pm “2001:A Space Odyssey” (1968)

MSC77 on August 23, 2018 at 3:28 pm

^Are the titles in the 3rd Annual 70mm & Widescreen Film Festival known yet?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm

The 3rd Annual 70mm & Widescreen Film Festival will be held on September 20-30, 2018.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 25, 2018 at 10:13 pm

Along with the Capitol Theatre in Arlington, the Lexington Venue, the Coolidge Corner in Brookline, and the IMAX screens at the Aquarium and Jordan’s Furniture, this is one of the very few theatres that continue to advertise in the Boston Globe Movie Directory.

HowardBHaas on September 6, 2017 at 1:47 pm

September 20 thru Oct 1, 2nd annual 70mm & Widescreen Festival including films that were filmed in 65mm & shown in 70mm: The Agony and the Ecstasy on 9-20, Lawrence of Arabia 9-21 & 9-23, Cleopatra 9-28. 2001: A Space Odyssey 10-1. Other films, too.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 26, 2016 at 8:09 pm

These days it’s first-run Hollywood with some foreign or art films, and various film festivals. And lots of concerts. Second-run doesn’t really exist around here anymore.

morganfitzp on March 26, 2016 at 4:10 pm

I worked here in the early 90s when we had lots of concerts and big Bollywood film events that filled all 900 seats on the weekends. This was around the time when the Somerville shifted from showing rep, foreign, and art films to showing second-run movies for $1. There was an all-staff walkout around 93 or 94, and it was sometime after that when the owners added the additional screens next door. I’ve seen Davis Square change a lot, but the Somerville Theatre was always a prominent fixture.

veyoung52 on October 22, 2015 at 3:09 am

Anybody have any idea of the expected image size of the reported anamorphic 70mm presentation of “Hateful 8” beginning Christmas? I’m assuming the a.ratio will be spot on. Thanks

da_Bunnyman on May 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I attended the same showing of Wizard of Oz on May 11 mentioned by Ron Newman.Really a wonderful night of fun with people in costume, some in formal wear. Inside the theater they had vendors going up and down the aisles selling popcorn, candy and drinks between acts. Place was packed too, 600+ attendance. Looks better each time I go there as the restorations still go on. To show how diverse their booking policy is, besides Oz in the big house there were current blockbusters in the other houses and a special showing of the original Godzilla (Gojira, subtitled) also going on.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Last night’s celebration was wonderful — and had 6 acts of vaudeville, plus a live orchestra, plus 2 cartoons (one with Mickey Mouse) before the main feature.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

The Boston Sunday Herald of April 20, 2014 has a long feature article by Jed Gottlieb “Classic Cinema” about the 100th birthday of the Somerville Theatre in May. There is a nice color photo of a vintage car passing the theater entrance while Manager Ian Judge changes letters on the marquee from a stepladder. There is a classic film festival going on there now. On the theater’s birthday, May 11, there will be a show consisting of “The Wizard of Oz”, plus classic short subjects, plus live music and 3 acts of vaudeville. (Where in this day and age does one book vaude acts?)

RogerA on July 22, 2013 at 12:10 am

I was given a tour and demonstration of the main theater and was quite impressed. A pair of Todd-AO projectors restored back to factory specs. A chiller pump kept the gates cool to the touch. My host didn’t run any 70mm as the 70mm sound hadn’t been hooked up yet but the Todd-AO speed switch worked. The 35mm picture and optical sound from those projectors was the best I have seen in a long time. There was no question that the picture was bright enough and of course sharp. Sound was excellent. Of course they can run every aspect ratio known to cinema making this a prime venue to view a film presentation. Boston is fortunate to have this theater, I hope people appreciate it.

IanJudge on December 23, 2012 at 8:35 pm

We have added digital projection to our screens; however we have retained 35mm film projection alongside the digital projectors in houses 3 and 4, and of course in the main theater as well, which can now present 35mm, 70mm, and now digital content. While we would have preferred to remain with film alone, it is clear that the film studios are not supporting that format. However we do intend to book film when available and certainly for classics series, etc.

DavidSimpson on August 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm

This is a lovely, exceptionally well-run cinema. In addition to the lovely main auditorium it now (in July 2012) has five screens: Screen 2 – 129 seats, Screen 3 – 194 seats, Screen 4 – 120 seats, Screen 5 – 186 seats and a new screen, called the “Micro”, with 31 seats. In a nice, quirky touch, the ‘Museum of Bad Art’ is housed beneath the original circle!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 15, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Last night, the Somerville Theatre and much of surrounding Davis Square were closed to accommodate a Hollywood film crew. They shot a scene for the forthcoming Mark Wahlberg movie TED, in which Mark attends a May 19, 1999 midnight premiere of STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE at the Somerville Theatre.

The marquee and poster boards were changed to reflect this imaginary event. The red SOMERVILLE THEATRE sign over the marquee had its RVILL letters turned off during the shoot. Whether this was done on purpose, I don’t know.

In real life, a Star Wars premiere could never have happened here in 1999, as the Somerville was strictly a second-run house back then.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm

In the 1918 edition of the Boston Register and Business Directory, Issue 83, under “Theatrical Supply” there is an out-of-town firm listed: O.L. Story Scenic Company Inc., 21 Tufts St. in Somerville. It seems probable that the Somerville Theatre may have been a client of this company.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 10, 2010 at 7:23 pm

According to John Roderick, who provided the Facebook photo sets, the rail line through Davis occasionally saw passenger trains when the Fitchburg main line was closed due to flooding or construction.

Some small commercial buildings that used to be attached to the railroad side of the theatre were demolished for the Red Line. One of them contained a Mexican restaurant called La Pinata.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for your responses. I now know that the 1976 photo is facing east toward Boston. This rail line was used only for freight trains to and from the west; however, I rode over it on an excursion train many years ago. The train was behind schedule and it was getting dark; we raced down the line and Davis Square was just a blur!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 10, 2010 at 6:30 am

If you can log in to Facebook, you will find more photos of old Davis Square (including the theatre and the railroad tracks) here and here.

IanJudge on December 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Yes, Ron that has to be us. The tracks passed within a few yards of the side of the building, and you would indeed have seen the old signal tower in the middle of the square if you were facing that direction.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm

The track ran across Holland Street right where the Red Line entrance is now, through what’s now the plaza in the middle of Davis Square, and across College Ave. right where that Red Line entrance is now (then down what’s now the busway and Community Path going east).

Here are a 1956 photo and a 1976 photo for comparison — note that the attached jewelry shop (now demolished) is in both photos.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Did the Somerville Th. in 1976 have signage at the right end of the building which overlooked the Boston & Maine RR line thru Davis Square? There is a nice photo, taken in 1976, in the new 3rd edition of the book “Lost Railroads of New England” by Ronald Dale Karr (Branch Line Press, Pepperall MA) which seems to show the edge of a theater marquee. The photo caption merely says “Davis Square, Somerville, 1976” and illustrates the B&M freight line which was obliterated by the extension of the MBTA Red Line. I can’t tell if the photographer was facing east or west (probably east). The track crosses the street, protected by gates and flashers; the “SOM—” sign is up on the extreme right- there is space for 6 lines of lettering. Across the street is a 2-story brick RR signal tower and beyond it is another grade crossing. Where was the Somerville Theatre is relation to this track back then?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Wow – congratulations, Ian!