Bikers tour lost movie
By Andrew Firestone
The Second Annual Somerville History Bicycle Tour made its way from Union Square, down to Assembly Square and all the way through to Davis Square last weekend in a tour of the 15 local theaters of Somerville.
The tour, called "Lost Theaters of Somerville" combined cultural, architectural and local history into an enthralling story lost to time. Of the 15 theaters featured in the tour, the Somerville Theater in Davis Square is the only survivor.
Provided with historical anecdotes by Somerville Historic Preservation Commission Chairman, Dick Bauer, the tour provided unique insight into the social history of Somerville.
"Theaters, like other things, were local neighborhood functions," said Bauer. "It's a glimpse into a Somerville that once was, and, in many ways, still is: a city of neighborhoods."
Highlights of the trip included a peek inside the massive East Broadway Cinema with its unique architectural features from the art deco era. The original interior will soon be demolished due to renovations.
Another was a look at the site of the now demolished Capitol theater, famous as the location in which Winter Hill boss James "Buddy" McLean was murdered
during the Irish gang wars of the 1960s.
The tour, in many ways a celebration of biking, was enjoyable and amenable on the sunny day, riders said.
"It's that the whole world around me seems smaller," said Anton Tutter of Somerville. "My community feels more accessible."