Broadway Theatre

81 Broadway,
Somerville, MA 02145

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Showing 1 - 25 of 33 comments

DavidZornig on November 27, 2015 at 7:23 pm

1945 photo added courtesy of the Dirty Old Boston Facebook page.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 31, 2015 at 7:23 pm

The Broadway Theatre building will be 100 years old in October 2015. Mudflat Studio plans celebratory events in late-October.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

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 .

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm

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 July 30, 2010 at 3:56 am

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.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

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

Looks like work already started last month.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 29, 2010 at 6:20 pm

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 May 30, 2010 at 9:51 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.)

floridarob on May 16, 2010 at 3:53 am

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.

mdev1123 on May 16, 2010 at 12:59 am

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 on May 16, 2010 at 12:53 am

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 on May 16, 2010 at 12:39 am

My dad, Arthur Devereaux worked as the doorman for about 10 years during the late ‘60’s and early 70’s. I would go with my friends every monday night and we would get in free. My dad would go down in the basement and get us those old frozen flat topped ice creams that took all movie to thaw out. Does anybody remenber Mrs. Anderson, Joe Langone, Billy the monkey or Steve who drove a big cadillac?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm

In the theater reports made in Somerville in May 1941 for MGM, the Broadway Theatre was listed as competition to the Strand Theatre on Union Square and to Peterson’s Orpheum on Cross Street, but the MGM agent did not fill out a seperate form for the Broadway Theatre itself.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm

The Broadway opened on Monday, November 22, 1915, according to David Guss’s Lost Theatres of Somerville website.

The website refers to a Somerville Journal article titled “Theater Gone But Not Forgotten” published in the Somerville Journal on March 4, 1982, but I don’t yet know the exact closing date that year.

floridarob on December 3, 2009 at 8:57 am

I used to run Projectors at all 4 of the viano theatres from about 1980 (Somerville, Broadway, Capitol, Regent) I also ran projectors and managed the capitol & regent for Mel Freeman and then the regent for Richie Sacco… I have the original Projection Booth inspection cert from the Broadway … wow this brings back memories!

spectrum on October 13, 2009 at 3:28 am

Accoring to the current (10/09) google street photo, the building is still vacant.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 6, 2006 at 3:18 pm

I wrote to Mudflat, asking if this month’s Holiday Open Studio and Sale would take place at the Broadway. They replied:

“Unfortunately, no, not yet.

We have finally resolved all the legal issues. And we are now finishing up our plans, getting bid sets together, and hopefully will get the construction underway in the new year.

So maybe next Holiday sale will be in our new building!"

br91975 on November 27, 2006 at 2:23 pm

I walked by the Broadway Theatre this past summer and didn’t notice any construction going on; how are the plans for Mudflat to renovate and open in the space progressing?

logowatches on April 24, 2006 at 2:29 pm

Got Val Viano’s book on A great book by a nice lady very well written about a Wonderful life and a very nice family. My hat is off to Mrs. Viano.

Jim Callahan Winchester,Ma.

logowatches on April 7, 2006 at 8:38 am

Hi David, Thanks for your info and kind remarks.David as for the drawings as best as I can remember they were in the range of 25.00 to 50.00 weekly and I think door prize was a pair of tickets to the movies.Could you tell me where to get Val Viano’s book? What a great job you have done on The Lost Theatres Of Somerville! Thanks for your response. Any lectures on the theatres please let me know.

Thanks, Jim Callahan

dguss on April 6, 2006 at 8:02 pm

Dear Jim,
Thanks so much for sharing those wonderful memories. Unfortunately, Arthur Viano died around 2002 just before we began our Lost Theatres of Somerville Project. His widow, Val along with his two daughters were very generous in sharing their archives with us. For more on the Viano family, who were, as you indicate, Somerville’s most important theatre family, go to:
Look specifically at the section on the “Somerville Theatre 1926-present” where you will find photos of the Vianos as well as details about the family history. In addition, Val Viano has written an autobiography called “I Laughed, I Cried."
As for the ticket drawings, were all the prizes cash or were there objects as well? And can you remember how much cash was given out? In the 1930s the Somerville Theatre, like thousands of American theatres, had bank nights with increasing pots that could get as high as several thousand dollars. Did anyone out there ever participate in one of these?

logowatches on April 6, 2006 at 3:17 pm

Hi I Grew up in Somerville raised and born there. I was wondering if Mr. Guss or Mr. Judge, Mr. Newman. Had a history on The Viano Family?
My Most Favorite place Was Somerville Theatre late 1950’s early 1960’s. I used to go to the movies on Sat. night. When Arthur Viano Would draw the ticket stubs from the stage for cash prizes. I always would sit front row center hoping Mr. Viano would pick me to draw the ticket stubs. I was about 12-13 years old wore my Boy Scout Uniform to attract his attention. more often than not it worked. I loved going up on stage it was such fun. Over the years got to know Mr. Viano he was a very nice man. How I miss those days. Jim Callahan Winchester<ma.

dguss on December 2, 2005 at 1:03 am

There is a dentist who occupies one of the offices in the front of the building. He not only bid on the theatre but sued the city when his bid was rejected in favor of Mudflat Studios'. The sale could not procede until the suit was settled which it evidently has been.