Medford Square 1-2-3

34 Salem Street,
Medford, MA

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Medford Square 1-2-3

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1917 in a restrained Colonial style, the architect of the Medford Theater was M.A. Dyer. By 1950 the Film Daily Yearbook gave a seating capacity of 1,289. In later years it was twinned and became known as Cinema 1 & 2 and still later, after it was triplexed, the Medford Square 1-2-3. The auditorium portion of the Medford has since been demolished and replacing by parking, but the rest of the building still remains, and is now used for office and retail space.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

Dinman on May 5, 2009 at 3:53 pm

My name is Debbie, and I truly wish I found this site earlier! I can tell you just about anything you want to know about the “Medford Cinema” cause I grew up there, my grandfather John Stivers managed, operated, and ran the place for 43 years! My mom and I worked there too. I have been a part of the Cinema and it a part of me since I was an embryo until the day it closed in 1984!! I still have old photos of me in the lobby and at the “Ticket Box” with my Grampa. I too remember Bob the projectionist and often wonder how he is, my Grampa John sadly passed away in 1995. Wow! what memories come flowing back lol, I still remeber too when I was a real little girl during the day when no movies were playing, being in there and putting on a show on the stage of Cinema One for my grandfather, my mother, and the owner Frank to the musical numbers from “Funny Girl” lol. I have since gotten married and moved an hour’s drive away south of Boston, but still once in a while go to Medford to visit friends and it breaks my heart to drive by what was once such a huge part of my life, it’s where I grew up, and now it’s like that part of my childhood no longer exhists but the memories. I would love to chat with others about the Cinema, as I can still remember every nook and cranny of that old building. Yes dark and dank as it seemed to others, it was deffinately a bright spot to me.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 5, 2009 at 7:04 pm

ken mc’s 1983 photo is definitely the same theater as the April 1941 photo on the MGM Report. In 1941, the store to the left of the theater entrance was a drug store, and to the right was the Bryan Music Co. And to Debbie the Candy Girl, nice to read your memories!

Dinman on May 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Thanks so much for posting that photo, that black car in the picture parked in front was my grandfather’s car! The tears just started the moment I saw it, thanks again, oh and btw I talked to my mom yesterday after discovering this site. Just FYI the auditorium area of Cinema One was not demolished not on purpose anyway, seems that the contractor at the time hit a main beam in the structure and it actually caved in! Rather than repair or rebuild, they demolished the rest of it and finished it off that way and made way for parking.

Dinman on May 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Oh! I also wanted to add that in the photo there was a Karate place in the storefront to the right of the Cinema Entrance, but for the longest time that spot was the home on “Heritage Florist”. And Murray Shoes was always there as long as I can remember anyway, I got my prom shoes there every year lol.

lamostad on June 23, 2009 at 1:17 am

To answer Debbie the Candy Girl. I remember you as a young one at the theater as well as your Mom Nancy and I think a Paul. “Bob” had told me of your grandfathers passing shortly after it happened. Sad to report that my grandfather, “Bob” the projectionist passed away on June 8th, 2002 due to a stroke caused by diabetes. After Medford closed he spent his time helping my uncle with his water bed business and worked part time over at the X rated theater in Chelsea. “Dirty Old Man”. Moved up to Leominster, MA in 1998 and remained his old crazy self until he went into a coma 4 days after the stroke. He loved the Medford Cinema and was heart broken when Frank decided to close up shop. Has Frank Andre left us as well, I do recall they were all around the same age. I too have great memories of John. He always had me running across the street to Papa Ginos for coffee, or that little market also across the street for ham & cheese after the Saturday matinee AND even the cleaners to pick up his short-sleeved white shirts. ALWAYS wore those. He was also afraid of bats. I remember I had just finished cleaning Cinema 2 and he yelled up to me to get to the lobby fast. He closed the Cinema 1 and candy counter doors then ran in the office and waited until I shooed the bat out the front doors. Will share more stories if anyone wishes to read them. Steve.

Dinman on June 25, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Steve, I’m trying to remember you, how long ago was this? That’s funny though my Grampa was always afraid of bats indeed lol, and we had many occassion when a bat would make it’s way inside since they all came from the steeple of the church that was next door. I’m sorry to hear of Bob’s passing, I had no idea. Frank as far as I know is still with us my mom saw him and his wife Norma a couple of years ago at the Meadow Glen Mall. I would certainly love to share more memories and stories please do post either here or email me at

hallyberry on February 24, 2010 at 12:25 am

I too worked at the Medford Cinema when I was a kid many years ago. I was sitting here with Uncle Frank (who is doing great and will be turning 88 in July) googling the Medford Cinema for him to see what came up and found your posts…Hi Deb!!! I did not know about Bob and am very sorry to hear that he passed away…I use to have the best times with Bob up in the booth looking at all his masks and stuff he use to make…Whatever happened to those masks? Uncle Frank said you both did a great job with your stories….Please keep posting as we really enjoy reminiscing…..

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm

In the Street View photo above, the Medford Theatre’s marquee and lobby entrance were in the center of the building facade. As of 1941 at least, there apparently also was a verticle sign above the marquee.

scottm on December 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I have been there once many years ago, around 1977-78. They had two small screens up stair and one screen on first floor. Last time I watched the movie “Little Bear in breaking train”(in Cinema 3) while my dad watched “A bridge too far” in cinema 2. It is gone now.

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