256-258 Commercial Street

A side-by-side comparison makes it easier to understand how 256-258 Commercial Street was once a church.

A side-by-side comparison makes it easier to understand how 256-258 Commercial Street was once a church.

It’s hard to discern a church at first. But if you step across the street, you’ll see the outline of the First Congregational Church of 1843, later called the Church of the Pilgrims. Services were held here until 1947. The steeple was removed in 1953. George Shafir renovated the sanctuary into the Art Cinema in 1954. Downstairs was, in turn, Gallery 256, the Martha Jackson Gallery, the New Gallery, and the East Coast Co-Op. Bill Shafir took over from his father at the theater. It was later the Metro Cinema, run by Monte Rome. By the 1990s, the spaces had been converted into Theodore Tine’s Euro Island Grill and Café and the Club Euro, then Steven Schnitzer’s Saki. In the yard, Napoleon Eugene Poyant opened Gene’s Pastry Shoppe and, in 1960, Café Poyant, where the portraitist Harvey Dodd was a fixture.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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