Lost Theaters of Somerville
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Lost Theaters of Somerville
Theaters from Somerville History

All events are free and held at the Somerville Museum, One Westwood Road, Somerville, MA
Museum admission is by donation. Your gift supports the Somerville Museum as a vibrant home for the art and history of Somerville.

Thursday, March 11th, 7:00 pm
For the Lost Theatres of Somerville, Zampano Films offers a varied program of short films in the"The Vintage Film Extravaganza". The show begins with Winsor McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur" (1914) and concludes with a brief newsreel account of the 1946 "Bikini Atoll A-Bomb Test." In between, you'll get a short course on Max Fleischer's cartoon innovations in "Koko's Slippery Suds" (1922) and the immortal Betty Boop in "Snow White" (1933), featuring the rotoscoped image of Cab Calloway singing "St. James Infirmary." More peculiar yet are early prototypes of the 60's Mondo film craze: a reel of Walter Futter's "Curiosities" (1930) and a compilation of "Chills and Spills" (1949) - which brought to early film audiences cultural riddles and outrageous feats. A Scotsman who cuts his own hair! A bald chicken! A human fly! A human devil with a jet pack! The centerpiece short feature of the evening will be Buster Keaton's "Cops" (1922), twenty minutes of the silent master in one of his most popular celebrations of mayhem.

The program will be preceded by comments by Albert Steg, curator of Zampano's Playhouse, and David Guss, curator of the Lost Theatres exhibit. All films screened in 16mm. The event takes place Thursday, March 11th, 2004, 7:00 pm at the Somerville Museum, One Westwood Road (corner of Central Street) in Somerville, Massachusetts. Requested donation: $5.00

Call 617-666-9810 for more information about this exhibit, upcoming events, group tours, space rental, membership and volunteer opportunities.

The images below are from an event with the famous Frances Dee at Barnum Hall. Frances Dee presented her 1943 classic "I Walked With a Zombie." Discussion followed with Dee, her biographer Andrew Wentink and Lost Theatres Curator David Guss.
Dee Smiling Actress Frances Dee smiles during the discussion following the screening of her film "I Walked With a Zombie." Held at Tufts University on December 12, 2003, the event also featured a documentary on her career during the 1930s and 40s when she starred in such films as "If I Were King," "Of Human Bondage," "Little Women," and "The Gay Deception."
Dee with DGuss, AWentink Posing with Frances Dee at a special reception in her honor at the Somerville Museum on December 11, 2003 are on the left "Lost Theatres of Somerville" Curator David Guss and his wife Kate Wheeler, and on the right Dee's biographer, Andrew Wentink.
Dee with Dunn and David "Dee with Dunn and David" With David Guss looking on, Kevin Dunn, Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, thanks Frances Dee for her Hollywood legacy and participation in the Lost Theatres exhibit. Tufts University was a major sponsor of the exhibit.
Dee with Ida Frances Dee is joined by Ida Denning, life-long Somerville resident who worked as a concessionaire at the Capitol Theatre on Broadway as well as at the Union Square Olympia when it was the site of numerous dance marathons.
Dee sons at screening Various family members accompanied Frances Dee during her visit to Somerville. Pictured here are, from left to right, son Joel Dee McCrea, son David McCrea, David's wife Lou McCrea, and family friend Laura Lee Marley. Not pictured, but also in attendance, were Frances' youngest son Peter with his wife Courtney and son Sebastian.
Dee with Regina Somerville Museum President Regina Pisa presented a gift to Dee at the reception after Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay presented a citation from the City of Somerville.
Dee with young fan During her visit dozens of fans chatted with the actress, requesting her autograph on publicity stills and movie posters. Andrew Wentink smiles alongside.

The last public appearance by Frances Dee was in December 2003 with a Lost Theatres of Somerville reception and screening in her honor. After suffering a stroke in February 2004 Ms. Dee passed away five weeks later in March. Newspapers across the country marked her passing.

Panoramic inside 'Lost Theatres of Somerville' Exhibition
Somerville Museum © 2003, Mary Kocol
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Museum Info
Museum hours:
Thursdays 2:00-7:00 PM
Fridays 2:00-5:00 PM
Saturdays 12:00-5:00 PM

Somerville Museum, One Westwood Road, Somerville. The museum is at the corner of Westwood Road and Central Street, centrally located between Highland and Summer Streets. It is a short drive, bicycle ride or walk from many Somerville, Cambridge and Medford neighborhoods.

By MBTA Bus:
#83 from Central Square or Porter Square
#85 from Kendall Square or Union Square
#87/88 from Davis Square or Lechmere

Visitor information:
Telephone 617-666-9810

Call for more information about this exhibit, upcoming events, group tours, space rental, membership and volunteer opportunities.


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