Watching Somerville: Davis Square Theatre to be relaunched as The Rockwell

 
 

The Davis Square Theatre in Somerville is getting a rebranding, a facelift, and a new name — The Rockwell.

According to the Boston Globe, the 255 Elm St. space, which hosts comedy, music, oddball theatre, and in recent years housed mixed-theme productions like the Space Age Senior Prom and Old School Game Show, will reboot on September 12.

In addition to the name change, the space will also get an aesthetic facelift — “new flooring, paint, and lighting in both the lobby and theater”, writes the Globe — as well as an upgrade in its equipment and an uptick in producing original content that includes local music.

The venue became the Davis Square Theatre back in 2010, when it was purchased by restaurateur Ken Kelly, and first opened as the Boston Baked Theater in 1987. Kelly, who owned five popular Somerville restaurants in The Independent, Brass Union, Foundry, Saloon and Assembly Row’s River Bar, died in December at the age of 44.

Now his family plans to carry out his vision of re-booting the Theatre as The Rockwell, which the Globe reports is taken from a secondary school Kelly attended back in Ireland before coming to America.

“Ken had a vision for the space, and the theater was a part of that vision,” Rockwell director Damon Leibert tells the Globe. “It could be possible to have a nightclub or a bar, but I like to think what we’re doing is something that’s better than that. The theater is most appropriate for an audience that’s sitting down and respectful of the space, and that’s a commitment [Kelly] made to the community.”

Part of the new programming at The Rockwell will include independent video production company Live From Nowhere’s release show on September 22, featuring performances by Latrell James, Bent Knee, American Echoes, and Kate Diaz.