SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

April 4, 2014

Benton: Looking for a 6th District boogeyman

(Continued)

But of course the writing was on the wall the day in late 2000 the high court ruled 5-4 to uphold the election results in Florida, effectively making George W. Bush president for the next eight years.

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The screen at Beverly’s Cabot Street Cinema has gone dark after almost a century of providing nightly entertainment that recently also included live magic shows.

The theater was one of the anchors of a burgeoning cultural district in downtown Beverly that includes the public library and the Montserrat College of Art campus. Its demise would represent a significant setback in the efforts by Mayor Mike Cahill to carry forward the revival of the city’s central business district begun under his predecessor, Bill Scanlon.

The building on Cabot Street once housed the Beverly office of what was then the Salem Evening News, and this reporter still remembers the day in the mid-1970s that Cesario Pelaez and fellow cast members of Le Grand David and his own Spectacular Magic Company descended on the property and began painting it white, brick by brick. My colleague, the late Rollie Corneau, quipped that he thought we were being taken over by a cult.

I remember Pelaez telling me he’d always dreamt of installing his show in downtown Salem’s majestic Paramount Theatre. Sadly, that building was torn down and replaced by a garage before he could make an offer.

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