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PICTURE IT: LOWELL GOES TO THE MOVIES
 
Selling the Show
The managers competed with promotions designed to bring crowds in and keep them coming back.  I tried to be a master of exploitation, drawing up my own promotions.  We had cowboys on the sidwalks trying to bring people in," said Keenan. Other promotions included Rialto dish days, Lucky Boy and Girl contests, scrap metal drives, broadcasts of Tom Clayton's radio program, The Answer Show, from the Strand and Rialto, on-stage fashion shows and talent contests.

From Here to Hollywood
They headed West to Hollywood but their roots were here in Lowell.  Among Lowell's legends, Ruth Elizabeth Davis stands out.  She was born in 1908 on Chester Street in the home of her maternal grandmother, Eugenia Favor, and became the outspoken, Oscar-winner, Bette Davis.

     Olympia Dukakis, another Oscar winner, grew up in Lowell, attended Bartlett School and was honored with her own special Welcome Back Day in 1990.

     Wendell Corey, born in Dracut in 1914, was a direct descendant of Lowell mill workers.  Others who have gone from here to Hollywood include television host, Ed McMahon and Michael Chiklis (TV's The Commish).  Tony-winning stage actress Maryann Plunkett, who has appeared in many television series, is also from Lowell, as is Scott Grimes, who went from the Highland Players to a career in California.  Stuntman Robert Tessier, actor Michael Ansara, character actor Karl Lukas and actress Nancy Kelly are other stars with roots in this region.

On Location in Lowell
Today, the Mill City's turn-of-the-century ambience attracts film producers.  In 1991, Paramount Studios turned Dana's Market on Gorham Street into the setting for the opening scenes of its well received School Ties.  Other films shot in Lowell or currently in production include Saskwatch, The Beginning of the End, and Lost Eden.

School Ties

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