Thanks so much for the great response to this blog!
A special thank you to those who have passed it on to others. We are heading quickly to amazing page visits to this blog! Welcome to folks from all over the country and other countries as well, including Lisbon!!

The "Village", as it was called, is located in the northwest corner of the city of Taunton, Massachusetts U.S.A. It covers about 1 square mile with the center being School Street. A large portion of the Village population was Portuguese when I was growing up.

This blog covers a lot of the history of the Village, much to do with my years as a child there: 1940 through the late 1950's. I do have many wonderful photos and information prior to that that and will share those as well. Always looking for MORE PHOTOS AND MORE STORIES TO TELL.

If you would like to send photos or share a memory of growing up in the Village
e-mail me at
feel free to comment on the posts. Directions are on the right side of the blog posts. Jump in, the water is fine and it is easy!!!

I will be posting photographs but not identifying individuals unless I have permission or they are a matter of public record. It you wish to give me permission, please let me know.

I am looking for any and all photos of the Village...

Please note: the way blogs work is that the latest post is first. It you would like to start from the beginning of the blog, check out the post labels on the right of the blog and go from there. Thanks.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


It was only when the lights flickered and the newsreel began that we kids started to quiet down.
As I looked at some of the newsreels we watched on You Tube, I wondered  if
 that is where our love of history started.
Here we were, little kids, getting a good dose of world events...

The newsreel was not enough to assure total quiet, I can still hear the chatter and shuffling of little feet back and forth from the refreshment counter and or the elegant rest rooms 
                                                (at least the Ladies, done in pastels)                                                          
                                      If you are a movie theatre historian check this website:

Here are a few facts I found about our theaters:
The Park Theatre was listed in theatre publications as early as 1927.
  On August 26, 1927 a Wurlitzer Theatre organ Opus 1712
 was installed there, 
 Interestingly, the first talkie movie: Al Jolson in the Jazz Singer
 came out that year.  Prior to that only silent films prevailed.

An online movie buff from the Taunton area remembers a tiny blue patch on the screen
at the Park...and as soon as I read that, I remembered it, too.  Do you?

This is a photo of an old 40's movie theatre....not one of ours, but you
"get the picture"
sorry, could not resist that.... 

The aisles slopped down, so we all did
that aisle stoop walk back up and ran back down.
 Elegant light fixtures, red carpeting for the aisles,
seats whose bottoms came up and back, and the satisfying drop of your bottom
as you settled in to the seat, even before the seat finally touched down.
The ornate rococo decor along the side faux balconies. The swish of the wine colored
 velvet drapes swinging open to start the show. The smell of popcorn.

Graduations and special
events were often held in local theaters as did my 1957 high school graduation.

Works of art, my fellow of art.

Now back to the facts, just the facts...
The Park was known for having one of the largest stages in New England.  
Owned by
Mrs. Bentley, Mrs. Margaret Lawson, and Mrs. Rosemary O'Neill. 
 it was demolished April of 1971 along with the Strand.  
According to some, the last film 
shown at either one was
Children of the Dammed.

Some cities and towns have saved their beautiful old theaters using them for art
centers and the like or even to continue showing old films. 


Another interesting face is that at one time there were more theatres in Taunton. 

*  The Star at 107 Main St. (above Goldstein and Antine...remember them?) 
The Star had 600 seats and did not survive The Talkies. The Star was built
in 1897! it is 140 years old....still hanging in there, but too far gone to be saved.

*The Whittenton theatre had 1200 seats.

*The Biltmore...well, no information about that one. Anyone?

Also, a reader has reminded us of the State Theatre on Court St.
Could find no info on that one....can anyone help with that?

Graduations and special events were held in local theaters. Mine high school
graduation in  1957 was held at the Strand.


  1. If you were with a fella you sat in the balcony. Always had to sing for America and watch the newsreels....

  2. My mother was there the day it opened. She recounted that the edge of the stage was lined with baskets of flowers.This was the second Park Theatre as the first one was lost in a fire. The State Theatre on Court St. was a beautiful theatre which screened A movies.It was past the old police station.I think there is city parking where it once stood.

  3. oh we had a big rule at our house about the movies. We never got up after sitting down or talked. Still find it difficult to talk in a theatre. My sister learned the hard way. Mariellen was little and we were older. She insisted we get a drink so my mother bundled us up and we all went to the lobby. After the drink of water Mariellen was ready to go back to the seat. Oh no we all went home. Mariellen never did it again. In those days our mothers meant what they said.

  4. You ask about the State Theatre. Information on that has been posted on (q.v.)