CENTER FOR LOWELL HISTORY UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL LIBRARIES

Home     Digital Photographs     Genealogy Resources     Special Collections     Search
 
PICTURE IT: LOWELL GOES TO THE MOVIES
 
Strand Theatre

  *The Merrimack Square on Paige Street stood where John Street Garage is presently.  A converted corporation boarding house, this was a movie palace from 1909-1952 and had a lobby of Spanish decor.  Owned by several companies, it ended as a Paramount property.  The City took the theater by eminent domain to demolish it for parking in December of 1953.

  *The Rialto on Central Street was the original Boston and Maine Railroad terminal and still stands, although its marquee was removed in 1987.   It housed the Owl Theater before the Rialto reigned from 1920 to 1960.  Norman Glassman purchased it in 1930 and ran successful second-run films along with crowd-drawing Gift Nights.  He converted the Rialto into a bowling alley in 1960 after opening the Lowell Drive-in on Pawtucket Boulevard.

     Norman Glassman also operated the Capitol at 376 Middlesex Street from 1926 to 1959.  The City took this by eminent domain in order to construct the Lord Overpass over Thorndike Street.

 *The Crown on Middlesex Street operated from 1916 until 1949 and featured second and third run films.  Its marquee remains today over an electrical store on the site.

 *The Royal, owned by the Sokolowski family, was in operation on Merrimack Street from 1926 to 1959 and was also popular for second and third run films.  A portion of that theater remains today behind a storefront. 

*The State, on back Central Street, was originally the Lowell Opera House and later, the Gates.  Constructed in 1887, it was even more beautiful than the Strand, according to Arthur Keenan and Alfred Burke.  In its final days, stage plays were also presented here.  It was torn down in 1956, a victim of urban renewal.

 *The Victory/Tower/LGM Memorial/Palace was open from 1926 to 1951 on East Merrimack Street.  It was owned by Norman Glassman and, for some of that period, was managed by Mr. Sokolowski.  The theater's marquee remains today over the vacant former showroom of Gervais Buick.

Top Of Page   Previous Page or Next Page