286-288 Commercial Street

286-288 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

286-288 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

286-288 Commercial Street (ca 1900), from the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

286-288 Commercial Street (ca 1900), from the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

The false front of this building looks nothing like its neighbors. That’s because it was built in 1910 as the Star Theater, the town’s first movie house. The proprietor was Albert Zerbone, followed by Frank Knowles Atkins. In time, it was converted into the Bowlaway bowling alley. The Knights of Columbus met here before buying their own building. Harold Wilson’s Tid-Bit diner here was a favorite of Capt. Manuel “Sea Fox” Zora, a legendary rum-runner. Other tenants included the Hat Box, Souvenir Shop, Market Square, Cheap Thrills, Hocus Pocus, and Board Stiff. Ronny Hazel moved Shop Therapy here in 2012, commissioning a facade mural by Joey Mars. Salvaged remnants of Bob Gasoi’s mural from 344-346 Commercial are displayed on the alleyway facade.


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s