Broadway Theatre

81 Broadway,
Somerville, MA 02145

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Broadway Theatre

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The Broadway Theatre was the second theater built by the Viano family, who also built the Teele Square Theatre, and later owned the Somerville, Arlington Capitol and Arlington Regent Theatres. It was a regular neighborhood house but could not survive competition from the nearby Sack Assembly Square Cinemas (later Loews), which opened with 8-screens in 1981. The Broadway Theatre was closed in early-1982.

Used for storage for many years, and under city control, the theater was slated (2003) to be renovated to become Mudflat Studios, a sculpture studio. However this was delayed, and Mudflat Studios began interior demolition and construction, to convert the theatre into a pottery studio in June 2010.

Contributed by Ian M. Judge

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

floridarob
floridarob on May 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm

yes, I remember everyone except Billy the Monkey, but I heard of his name…. Like I said, I use to work there in the early 80’s doing the projectors and cleaning up… I was in High school though… was your dad a cop?

mdev1123
mdev1123 on May 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm

No, my dad was older with grey hair and balding, short guy with a beer gut and I was just a kid when he worked there. I’m a cop myself and actually work at the district police station that now occupies the old dentist’s office. Do you have any other artifacts from the Theater? Construction has actually begun on the new Mudfalt studios. I saw the plans with teh architect yesterday.

floridarob
floridarob on May 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I remember hearing your dad’s name…. I would have to look at what I have… nothing valuable I’m sure, but I thought the license for the projection booth was pretty cool. I remember the beat cop’s coming by, like Paul Mclean, Tony Nargi, Steve Reddin and a motorcycle cop … Rick….don’t remember his last name though.

I was sad when I heard Joe had passed away though.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 30, 2010 at 1:51 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.)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 29, 2010 at 10:20 am

Mudflat Studio are finally having their groundbreaking this afternoon at the old Broadway Theatre. Here’s a Somerville Journal article about their plans.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 29, 2010 at 10:23 am

And you can follow the progress of Mudflat’s interior demolition and construction here:

http://mudflatpottery.wordpress.com/

Looks like work already started last month.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 29, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I went to Mudflat’s groundbreaking ceremony this afternoon. They expect construction to take about a year, with a grand opening in August 2011. They have already begun digging up the floor.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 10, 2010 at 11:17 am

Hurst’s Broadway Theatre in Somerville is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook as having 1200 seats, open 6 days/week.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 18, 2011 at 4:59 am

Mudflat has finished construction here and has moved into the old theatre. They will have a Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, September 10, from noon to 4 pm. See http://mudflat.org/general/facility.htm .

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