From the Feb. 18, 1966 edition of the Gazette:

The Seabreeze Garage property on Oak Bluffs avenue in Oak Bluffs has been sold by Alfred Hall to Preston W. Averill, both of Edgartown. Tenanted for the past several years by Ben David Motors Inc., the property has been used primarily for storage. It will be vacated by the present tenant in early spring.

Mr. Averill, who heads Island Transports, said that he planned to use the building in winter for car storage and repair, and in the summer it would be the headquarters for Avis Rent-A-Car, for which he has the Vineyard agency. There is extant an old photograph of the building showing parked outside ancient sedans which could be rented for tours around the Island, which would indicate that, in an unusual way, the various uses to which the building has been put have come full circle.

The building is a huge one, two full stories in height. It was built originally for a movie theater and dance hall, and bore the name Dreamland on a lighted electric sign above the roof.

The origin of the building is obscure in most Vineyard memories today, but it seems to have been built for the late Selim Mattar in 1908 or 1909. Mr. Mattar owned a store on Circuit avenue which appealed to the taste and fashion of the period and held a place as an institution for many years. In 1907 he purchased what were referred to as “the old bowling alleys.” The Gazette reported in June, 1909, that “Mattar has decorated the outside of his Dreamland with a fine electric display of incandescent lights which make a brilliant showing every night. On Monday evening his dance hall was prettily decorated with flags, and dances by ‘moonlight’ were one of the features.”

In June, 1910, it was reported that the season at Oak Bluffs had opened auspiciously “with Dreamland as a special attraction; moving pictures and singing in the lower hall and dancing in the upper hall. There was a good orchestra and a large crowd of dancers. The Pilot brought about fifty from Edgartown.”

The Pilot was Chester E. Pease’s bus. The Dreamland building was erected a year or so after the Tivoli and marked the most extensive use of concrete so far seen here.

For the past forty years it has been used as a garage, at times containing a repair shop and paint shop for cars. At one time, some small boats were constructed in the building, and others were stored there.

The sale of this property and the possibility of renewed activity on the premises is one more indication of a decided quickening of life in general in this section of the town.

The property next door, once a bowling alley, and now owned by the G & B Store proprietors, Benjamin and George Cohen of Falmouth, is in process of being remodeled and made ready for opening as a furniture store in the spring. And the new town building across the street, now occupied by all town departments, establishes a new civic center, toward which, as is apparent, the tide of commerce is setting.

Leonard’s Motor Service of Oak Bluffs, an establishment owned and operated for the past forty-three years by two generations of the Leonard family, has been purchased by Ben David Motors Inc., also of Oak Bluffs, which will take over the property in early spring.

The property consists of the land, which fronts on Lake avenue and borders the town harbor bulkhead in the rear, and two large buildings. One contains an apartment on the second floor, and the other, which is virtually new, contains the repair shop and show room.

The property was purchased by A. F. Leonard Sr. form Edwin Frasier forty-three years ago, and was operated by him and his sons, until a few years ago when the elder Mr. Leonard retired, and sold his interest to his son, Howard W. Leonard, who has continued to conduct the business.

Arthur Ben David, eldest member of the Ben David firm, said that the older building will be torn down and replaced by a modern service station. He, his two sons and two nephews will constitute the management. Exactly how responsibility will be divided has not yet been decided, but the five members of the family have long worked together and will continue to do so.

The program of improvement to the property is not altogether worked out, Mr. Ben David said, but the show room will be used for display of cars. He indicated a determination to make the garage and service station outstanding facilities.

The Up-Island Super Market, at the intersection of the State Highway and Indian Hill Road, is in the process of being enlarged by about thirty per cent.

As in the case of the original building, Joseph Ferreira, the proprietor, is his own builder, directing the crews of carpenters he has employed for the job.

Describing this addition and its purpose, Mr. Ferreira said, “I wish you would say for me that this expansion has been made necessary and also possible by the patronage I have enjoyed since my opening less than a year ago.” The addition will be in operation in early spring.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox