Saturday, November 21, 2009

They're Talking About Lynn- 60s/70s - Warner Theatre, TW Rogers, Youth Week Parade

I'm really excited to get this series kicked off with this first post from my Aunt and lifelong Lynn resident, Tricia (Cahill) Jackson. Tricia is married to my Uncle Rich and lives currently near Austin Square. Some great tidbits in what she was willing to share with the Downtown Lynn blog readers. I wanted to restate that my aim is not to re-create the past, but to start a dialogue about our great Downtown area - not only what it used to be for so many, but what it is and can be for us today. These memories can give us new ideas on how to continue to define our Downtown Lynn. I'll leave the rest of this post up to my Aunt Tricia.

Memories from the 60s and 70s from lifelong Lynner - Tricia (Cahill) Jackson

I've been thinking about this off and on all day. My first thought was how much I dislike the fact that some people are always moaning about how much has changed downtown. Everything has changed so much whether it's downtown or anywhere else- some good and some bad.

I have a lot of memories of downtown and all of them are good- maybe I'm too young to feel bad that the old Lynn is gone but here are some memories I have from 1964 until about 1973. I barely remember the movie theaters downtown although I remember going to see a Phyllis Diller movie in the square with my older brother Jim and I saw Mary Poppins and Dr. Doolittle at the Warner theater. I must have been pretty young. Mary Poppins was released in 1964 so I was 6 years old.

Warner on the right, TW Rogers in the distance on the left

Back in the late 60's and early 70's there were still a lot of stores to shop in and it was a right of passage for a girl to go to TW Rogers with her mother to get her first bra!! Other milestones celebrated downtown - I had my first slice of pizza that wasn't from Monte's. If you've ever had pizza at Monte's, you'll know what I mean. Georgia's pizza at the corner of Union and Green Street was the place to go for the kids from East Lynn. When I was about 12, I was old enough to walk with my friends to Sasone's for a meatball sandwich and fries. Sasone's was on Blake Street. It was downstairs from McClellans if I remember correctly. We were pretty impressed with the table top jukeboxes they had. There was a record store on Union St near Silsbee Street and and we would go buy 45's on the way home.

When I was in junior high we used to go to Gordon's Dance Studio on Friday nights. Gordon's was on Central Ave on the 3rd and 4th floor in the building across from where Lynn Community Health Center has their office now. The lessons were from 7-9 and cost $2. We learned everything from ballroom to line dancing to what were popular dances then - like the stomp!!

I remember when I was young sitting on the steps of St Joseph's Church to watch the youth week parade. My father worked at Hood's Milk in Charlestown and would rush home after work to see the parade. For some reason, it was held early evening in the middle of the week. Back then, Lynn hosted the World Open drum and bugle competition at Manning Bowl and all the bands that came to compete would stay in the gyms at the schools. The youth week parade was held while the bands were in Lynn and it was a 2-3 hour parade!!

Lastly, I remember Santa arriving by helicopter to the Item Building. We would watch the helicopter land and then rush to City Hall to see Santa come by on a fire truck.


Great stuff. A big thank you to my Aunt Tricia and to those of you who have sent me your postings. I plan on posting one a week. If you want to contribute to this series, please contact me at



  1. Great memories mom! What a fantastic idea Corey. My memories aren't that old, but maybe I will send them to you, since alot has changed even since the early 90's.

  2. Kerri,
    Definitely send those along. I have some great thoughts from as recent as 3 years ago. I think if we can bring out memories from the pre-60s, 70s, 80, 90s and even early 2000s, we will start to uncover some common themes about Downtown and possibly come up with some ideas on how to implement those ideas today!

  3. This blog has really come back to life recently, and it's good to see a series like this. I'm new to Lynn, moved here 5 years ago. I was just surfing the web today and found a great link on the city's website. There's now a neighborhood news page, and it features a story on long time resident Thomas Angelucci. I went to his barber shop a few years ago and saw the merry-go-round horse he uses as a kids seat for haircuts. Made it himself. Lots of old newspaper articles and photos in that shop.

  4. Downtown Lynn was a great place when I was young. I remember going to Pennyworth's for sporting goods, to Gordon's Dance Studio for the Friday night class dances and Adam's Rib Coffee House in the lower level. The Paramount Theater was where I saw The Ten Commandments with my family. I remember the red velvet drapes with the gold trim, sitting in the front row of the balcony with the brass railing. I thought it was really special. Riding the elevator in TW Rogers, getting 45's in the record store on Union St. Now that I live in the mid west I look back at the very best memories of my life growing up in Lynn

    Dr. Ken Walsh
    Bellevue, Iowa

  5. Thomas,
    Thanks for sharing that link.

    Welcome all the way from Iowa.

    It seems like what made the downtown work for some of you was the "hangout" factor. Something we sort of discourage in our youth today. Maybe that's the wrong approach. Flavaz and RAW Art offer that to some of our youth today. We need some more reasons for more kids after school and kids from North Shore Community College to come through Central Square on their way home. That could be a good source of downtown activity. You all talk about places you went, where there were also coffee shops, sub shops, or pizza places inside. My mom always talks about some place down here that had a great tuna fish sandwich. They'd always come here after school.

    I don't know what the college has for computer labs, but an internet cafe would seem to make sense to me as a hangout. It's sort of the modern library. It could also sell food/drink and maybe even have homework help, tutoring and/or computer classes in the evenings.

  6. I especially loved downtown Lynn during the Christmas season when the decorations stretched from lamp post to lamp post across Union Street and there was Christmas music playing all evening. My mother and I would park in the lot behind Burrows and Rogers and go to all the stores. I loved the elevators in Rogers with the attendants. That was such a great store!!! All the stores were wonderful; Sams Town and Tweed became one of my favorites as I got older and who can forget good old Woolworths? Does anyone have any more pictures of the town as it was then! Sharon

  7. thank you for these-I grew up in Lynn in the 60's and 70's. Anybody remember The Now Shop?

  8. I was trying to think of the three movie theaters on Union Street and I came to your site. I believe the Capitol was under the bridge. The Union (?) was a few doors down from Woolworth's. I cannot remember the theater that was across from Sears.

    I remember downtown Lynn with fond memories. Their were three five-and-dime stores. They were all on the same side of the street (Woolworths, SS Kresge and then W.T. Grant). Kresge's had wood floors and smelt like popcorn. Across the street were an equal number of clothing stores.

    I seem to remember a live poultry store in Central Square and a Kennedy's Butter and Egg. The record store was almost on the corner of Union and Silsbee. I have a memory of going out the back of W.T. Grant and there was a bowling alley across the street.

    I remember the furniture store, the army navy store and then across the street was a men's clothing store (Munroe Street ?). It was that men's store that had all the "latest" fashion. I remember when paisley shirts, light blue bell bottom jeans and C.P.O jackets were the rage. 

    Thank You,


  9.  Thank you Paul. Merry Christmas from the new Downtown Lynn!

  10. "I cannot remember the theater that was across from Sears."
    The Paramount.  We didn't go often, but saw "Island of the Blue Dolphins" there.  And although it may at a different type have been called the Union, the one you describe that way I remember as The Warner.
    Their were three five-and-dime stores. They were all on the same side of the street (Woolworths, SS Kresge and then W.T. Grant).

    As I recall, the three five-and-dimes on Union Street were Woolworth', Kresge's, and McLellan's.  W.T Grant was later, and was on Boston Street in the Lynngate Plaza.

    I'm actually researching dime stores for a professional project, which is how I came across this site.

  11. To: Krystajo:

    Sorry for any confusion. The theater I was speaking of was across from Sears, but up closer to St Joseph's. I think it burnt down in the late 60's or early 70's.

    You could very well be right that my "W.T. Grant" was in fact a McLellan's.

    I'm I misremembering - Was there a Police stand in the middle of Central Square?

  12. The 3 movie
    theaters in downtown Lynn
    if I remember correctly were the Warner, The Paramount and the Capital.

    There was
    the Uptown Theater in front of Breed Jr. High on Western Ave. before it became
    a Dunkin Donuts in the mid 60`s

    Hope that

  13. Does anyone know the year the Hook N' Ladder on commercial St.closed?


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