The Davis Square Theatre is changing its name, reopening Sept. 12 as The Rockwell, and it’s for good reasons, albeit for reasons most people could have warned management about before the 160-seat venue opened four years ago: “We hope to further define our identity in the community, while alleviating the name confusion with the Somerville Theatre, a nearby movie theater with no affiliation,” owners said in a flier posted at its entrance.
Manager Damon Leibert expanded on the issue in an interview with Scout Somerville, where Emily Cassel writes:
“There have been many mixups from people looking for the Somerville Theatre and finding the Davis Square Theatre instead … Even the addresses of the two buildings have been cause for chaos. The Somerville Theatre is located at 55 Davis Square; the Davis Square Theatre is 255 Elm St.”
The Somerville Theatre opened in 1914 – 98 years before the Davis Square Theatre arrived down the street.
The change is a good corrective in an area where NorthPoint is the easternmost part of Cambridge, West Cambridge is a bit more central and The Port is a land-locked neighborhood above Cambridgeport.
The new name will honor owner Ken Kelly, who died in December, and who attended a Rockwell College. “While our name is changing and we’ve made some cosmetic changes and updates, we are still family owned and will operate under Damon Leibert’s management and direction,” the flier says. “The new incarnation will also include our own original programming and content.”
Before becoming the Davis Square Theatre, the space spent five years as Jimmy Tingle’s Off Broadway Theater – run by the Cambridge-born comedian, Harvard grad and former “60 Minutes II” commentator.
The theater’s new website is here.