Amazing History Of the Oldest Boston Theaters

wang theater

(Featured image source: Citi Performing Arts Center)

The historic background of Boston is not hidden from the world. Many great ages passed but this city has attained its prominence. Whether it is the good old Faneuil Hall or the Freedom Trail, whether it’s the Paul Revere house or the multitude of old colonial homes, through the 1630 to the modern days, Boston city stands as one of the oldest city in United States of America.

The history of man shows his never ending desire of entertainment. From the day forth the wooden puppet shows to the day of 3D cinemas, he has always craved an activity to compel, attract and amuse his senses. Quite similar is the story of Boston.

Theaters have always been a source of entertainment for the people. Many of the theaters were built recently while some old ones were opened in the time between mid-18th Century to early 19th century. All of them show their own historic turnarounds and we will be bringing them to you in this piece of information.

Orpheum Theater

A hundred and fifty years and it still holds its glory. Orpheum Theater is the oldest building for a theater in the whole of Boston, being constructed in 1852.

The Orpheum Theater was formerly called Symphony Hall, Empire Theater, Music Hall and many other names. It was not until 1906 that this hall claimed their present name. The theater became property of the Loew’s who redeveloped it by 1916.

It served as a movie theater and stayed that way for about half a century. After that, it turned into a live concert hall on 27th May, 1971. James Brown was the first ever performer in the Orpheum Theater.

By 1979, the Loew’s lost hold of the property and there was a need for a new owner. An activist named Arthur Scott took over the place and made it shine again. In 1983, The Police recorded their album in this auditorium. On November 20, 1991, “Tim Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby” was recorded inside this building. In 2009, the theater was renovated.

In the present day, the theater is the ownership of Drucker Realty Company and with the space of 2,700 seats. A multitude of viewers come and amuse themselves.

 Colonial Theater

Colonial Theater was first opened in 1900. The first performance holds a great value and great meaning as it has a big fan base. Ben-Hur was the first performance. A working crew of almost 350 individuals made it possible for the viewers to call it an experience. Not to mention the eight actual horses that were also part of it.

Later in the year 1990, the theater was renovated by Jon Platt, a Colonial president. From that year on, a series of purchases and sales followed. In 1998, the theater was purchased by SFX Entertainment. Then in 2006, Emerson College bought one of the floors in the building for its students. After that, Key Brand Entertainment took over most of the part in 2008.

Colonial Theater has allowed the performances of great shows such as Les Miserables and today, Broadway shows are one of its specialties.

Cutler Majestic Theater

The Cutler Majestic Theater is located on 219 Tremont Street in Boston and has been situated there since 1903. This makes it the third oldest theater in Boston.

Designed by John Howard, a famous architect, this theater was converted for vaudeville around 1920. Showing the Beaux-Arts architecture, it was not until 1950, that this ultimately became a movie theater. When the theater started wearing out and went out of attention, the Emerson College came forth and purchased the theater rejuvenating its Beaux-Arts Architecture.

Today, the Cutler Majestic Theater can support 1,200 visitors and shows by Emerson College as well as Teatro Lirico D’Europa.

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