The Larcom Theatre, at 13 Wallis Street in downtown Beverly, was named for the town’s beloved nineteenth-century poet, author and teacher, Lucy Larcom, whose birthplace once stood at the same Wallis Street address. Co-editor of a magazine for female mill-workers in Lowell, Massachusetts; revered professor at Wheaton College; close friend of Oliver Wendell Holmes and John Greenleaf Whittier; and great lover of the beautiful in life and nature, Lucy Larcom departed Beverly and this world in 1893, leaving behind a shelf of memorable works, including A New England Girlhood and An Idyll of Work.
The Larcom Theatre opened with both stage and screen entertainment nineteen years later on October 28, 1912. The gala event ran with “rare first-night smoothness,” according to the Beverly Evening Times. An advertisement in the 1923 Beverly City Directory boasted that “The Reason why the Larcom Theatre is so Home-like, because the Entertainment always pleases, and one spends an Evening of Pleasure with Neighbors and Friends.”
The Larcom had become a films-only showplace by the 1930s. Le Grand David and his own Spectacular Magic Company purchased the Larcom in February, 1984. By then, the troupe’s stage magic production at the Cabot was entering its eighth year. Under the direction of Le Grand David founder and director Cesareo Pelaez, fifteen months of renovations by company members went into the Larcom. By October 1985 a new two-hour production of stage magic—all different from the Cabot Street extravaganza–was set to debut. In May 2012, Le Grand David and company completed a phenomenal 35 consecutive years of performances.