The Park Street Cinema…
During my childhood I bounced all over Dorchester. Adams Corner and Ashmont were always home base but I got to meet people from all over because my parents were trusting enough to let me ride the T at an early age. I used to bowl at Lucky Strike for the Saint Ambrose Junior league along with my cousin and met some great people from Mill Street and Savin Hill. Fields Corner was loaded with cool places to hang. You had CeCe’s sub shop just up the street….they always had the best steak and cheese. Then of course HiFi Pizza….a stop on the NKOTB cougar tour.
But my favorite spot was the Park Street cinema (or the Dorchester Theatre for you old timers)….it’s a Radio Shack now.
At the time, break dancing was just taking root in Boston. Kids were sporting suede Puma’s or the iconic “Dorchester Dress Shoe” , the Adidas Superstar or “shelltoe”. For what seemed like 4 years straight, you could go and watch Beat Street, Krush Groove, or Breakin at this place. The dance program @ the DYC a few doors down was starting to take off and you could literally come out of the cinema and watch people battle after getting all pumped up from watching the movies. There would be a huge piece of linoleum on the ground and kids would freestyle, pop, and windmill their a$$es off….this was shortly after busing and it seemed like this was helping kids of all races get together. For the record….I took a shot at it and busted my a$$ pretty hard….and no…not all black dudes can dance….stop it.
This may sound corny to some because there’s a huge segment of us that do not dance. But you have to understand that this little chapter in Dorchester history sparked some of the big names in show business later on….without this the NKOTB cougar tour would probably cease to exist.
Park Street built my appreciation for dance and hip hop….from this point I learned about Fred Astair, Sammy(God Dammy) Davis Jr, Gene Kelly, Michael Jackson and Greg Hines. I mean these guys would glide across a dance floor and women would melt.
You see being a chubby Irish DotRat, the Kangol cap and some shelltoes could only take you so far….so I took notice. I still wear the Adidas….but in time I learned it was really all about hitting a dance floor, having fun and being yourself. At the end of the day women enjoy men that know how to have fun….they can usually tell if your putting on front. You don’t have to be light on your feet like Justin Timberlake….just not a wallflower. I could never really understand the “stripe shirt mafia”…those guys who prop up a bar holding a Bud Light in a kung fu grip that never really try to dance….they tend to just concern themselves with looking cool….Those are the same cavemen that have to be completely trashed before they let the insecurity go. Problem is they end up in a fist fight at the end of the night for accidentally headbutting some poor woman while trying the electric slide during a techno set.
If they only went to the Park Street cinema………