, Salem, MA


August 21, 2013

A new look for an old business

Marconi Radio has survived by changing with the times — including its public mural


The store does its part to keep cellphone batteries out of landfills, and recycles 500 pounds of used phones twice a year.

Believe it or not, the store still does a lot of repairs for CB radios.

The business actually grew up as a hobby of the elder Linares, who used to own the House of Pizza in Hamilton. Marconi Radio started in the basement of his pizza shop, said Linares Sr., back when it was Tony’s Pizza House.

The elder Linares opened the shop in the basement of its present location in 1979. When he first opened, he had the basement of the building jacked up 2 feet off the foundation so the front of the store and the entrance would be level with the sidewalk.

He retired to Florida in 2000, and his son bought the business. Linares Sr., who was in town this week, can still recall installing cellular phone devices in trunks of cars, and cellphones that resembled a brick.

While the shop is called Marconi Radio, the Italian family does not have a connection to Marconi. However, Marconi’s daughter, Princess Maria Elettra Elena Anna Marconi, was in Boston for a book signing in 2000, and Linares Sr. got to meet her and tell her about the store he named for her father.

A large, framed photograph at the front of the store commemorates the moment. There are also pictures of Marconi’s daughter visiting the store in Beverly.

“She actually came by and took pictures,” Linares Jr. said.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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