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Welcome to Main Street Chatham

Welcome to Main Street in Chatham

Photo by Charles Sternaimolo

Homes to write home about

Main Street in Chatham boasts many beautiful homes.

Community icons

In 2015, The Orpheum Theatre screened Steven Spielberg’s 1975 epic Jaws for four weeks—and it was likely the cinema’s top seller for the summer. Assistant manager Geoff Bassett talked about the Jaws phenomenon. “We have people that now make it a yearly tradition to come and see Jaws here,” he says. “It’s become an expectation.” The cinema’s two theaters together offer seating for 135, and the massive mural in the foyer features more than 100 well-known movie characters and film directors.

We found enthusiastic volunteer Bill Cullinane, 83, set up in the Chatham Chamber of Commerce’s tourist shack on Main Street. In the role, Cullinane helps get tourists where they want to go. He says the questions he fields most are: What can we see? Where can we eat? Where are the seals? And where are the sharks? “It’s a fun job,” he says, “It really is. People are often surprised they don’t have to pay for parking on Main Street.” One visitor who stopped in for a map and suggestions was Mady Gorman of Queens. “I love it,” she says of Chatham. “It’s like small town 1950. Everything is beautiful, green, and well-kept.”

In Chatham, there’s a lot to choose from

Canterbury Leather sells a variety of hats, shoes, sandals, socks, boots, belts, pocket books, and backpacks. Working when we visited, then-assistant managers Aimee Erickson and Kim Jerauld modeled some hats and chatted with us about the community. Chatham is a family friendly fishing town, Erickson says, with lots of shops and culture. “This time of year,” she says, “the adults come down who don’t have kids. It’s nice here through September.”

We stopped in Chatham Hardware at 624 Main St. to check out the colorful mini-cars in the window. The cars are for 2- to 5-year-olds and the staff puts them together in house. There’s a police car and a taxi, but store president Michael Colecchi says the fire engine is the most popular style; all have functioning lights. The cars range from $325 to $675 and the store sells more than 100 per year. Colecchi says some of the cars are for international customers who like them so much they’re willing to pay the expensive shipping fees. “It usually costs twice [the price of] the car to freight them,” he says.

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