It's just this little chromium switch, here... (derspatchel) wrote,
It's just this little chromium switch, here...

Mystery Central Square Theater 3000

Here's an amazing find: a "ghost ad" for a movie theater in Central Square. An enormous room before the Enormous Room, even.

Ghost of the Central Square Theatre (the enormous room before the Enormous Room)
click, enlarge, etc.

I saw this on Thursday night. They're renovating one of the stores around the 570 block of Mass. Ave in Cambridge, between the Central Kitchen and the Blockbuster. This is affixed to the old bricks inside (I took the shot outside, hence the reflections) but it's clear this used to be an external wall. I'm sure that once the store is renovated this will not be part of the interior design, as the store looks like it's going to be one of those froo-froo boo-teeks with an abundance of retail space right out of a Kubrick set, all white and brightly lit with small wooden objets d'art sparsely displayed on white cubes.

I really hope the ad will be covered over as it must have been before, and not torn down (it's actually attached to the bricks, and not in a frame or anything.) So if you're in the area and feel so inclined, see it while you can. Maybe you can make an arrangement with the building owner and have it removed as intact as it is. I'm not sure how easily one could store or display it, but it's certainly better to keep this around than it is to have it ignominiously scraped off a wall and discarded.

Note how the ad really emphasizes the fact that the theatre was air-conditioned, right down to the frosty letters on the logo. No more fanning yourself with your theater programs! That was a major selling point in the 1920s as large-scale air conditioning became readily available, though still a luxury.

EDIT: At first I was unsure which Central Square theater this poster was advertising, given that there were apparently three operating at one point in the square. However, after making a comment in the entry on for what was once known as "Gordon's Central Square Theatre", it's been determined that this was indeed for that theater, as it was part of the M&P Theatres circuit in 1941. It was located two buildings down on the corner of Mass Ave and Norfolk Street (to the right of the Blockbuster) and stood until the 1960s until it was torn down. Nowadays the space is occupied by a liquor store, Indian market, and a parking lot behind it.

M&P Theatres was a local circuit that existed in the middle of the 20th century, which owned a great deal of local theaters, including the Metropolitan in downtown Boston, which later became the Wang Center (or whatever they're calling it these days.)

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