Boulevard Theater reunions
Some one-dozen former ushers at the Boulevard Theater in Revere, MA meet every five years since graduating from Revere High School in 1946.
The scheduled 1951 gathering was cancelled since World War II had ended and most of the ushers were overseas concluding their service in the Armed Forces.
At the most recent gathering – in addition to the usual reminiscing about quelling the regular Friday night, second balcony confrontations with groups of exercise and stable boys, jockeys and horse trainers from the nearby Suffolk Downs race track – a special recollection is usually resurrected regarding the strange and coincidental reunification
of four former ushers – in Tokyo, Japan.
Former Chief Usher Kalmin Burnim, enjoying his U.S. Army duty serving on the staff of the military’s famed Ernie Pyle Theatre, was walking through downtown Tokyo when he spotted an old friend and Boulevard Theater colleague who complained about his boring Army job.
Kal quickly set about recruiting his friend and, subsequently, three more Tokyo-based former Boulevard Theater ushers to join him working at the Ernie Pyle.
Importantly, he warned them, he intended to falsely advise his superiors that the trio were formerly engaged in scenic design,lighting and operations at the old Boulevard “Thee-ah-tor”.
The pronouncement of the word, he empasized, was critically important, in keeping with their intended positions at the renowned, more sophisticated Ernie Pyle. “No more thee-ate-ter, it’s thee-ah-tor!” Kal said.
The guise evidently worked for the trio whose true nature of work at the Boulevard was changing the marque, cleaning the aisles and garbage collection/disposal in addition to ushering. The usher quartet remained united at the famed Ernie Pyle Theatre for the remainder of their Army careers – and in recalling their days in both theater and theatre.