Struggle To Save Boston’s Modern Theatre From Extinction

posted by Ross Melnick on August 5, 2002 at 9:15 am

BOSTON, MA — Hope is fading on Boston’s historic Modern Theatre as its owners, who are being accused of letting the old movie house fall into disrepair, have applied for a permit to demolish the 1912-era movie house.

According to the Boston Globe, the Modern, which is near two other shuttered movie palaces, the Paramount and Keith’s Opera House on Boston’s long-neglected Washington Street, may be beyond repair inside as extensive water damage has decimated the interior. Its facade, too, has begun crumbling.

Preservationists are now fighting the demolition request and hope to save at least the facade. With the help of the Landmarks Commission and the Boston Preservation Alliance, supporters also hope to bring some form of entertainment back to the building.

The Modern was constructed in 1912 inside a a fomer warehouse and retail building. The theater’s name was changed to the Mayflower in 1949 and its policy switched to adult films in the 1970s. It closed in the early 80s and has been used most recently as storage for pushcarts.

(Thanks to Dennis Huber for the sad update.)

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