National Theatre

533 Tremont Street,
Boston, MA 02118

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Showing 26 - 38 of 38 comments

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 30, 2005 at 9:01 am

Another photo of the National, this one from 1946, described here. The marquee advertises a double feature of Kay Kyser in “My Favorite Spy”, and “Powder Town”

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 30, 2005 at 8:24 am

The Film Daly Yearbook’s 1941, ‘43 and '50 show the owner/operator of the National Theatre to be part of the E.M. Loew’s Theaters Inc. circuit based at 216 Tremont St. Boston.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on March 30, 2005 at 8:05 am

Who owned the theatre in the 1930s – ‘40s?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 30, 2005 at 7:24 am

The Film Daily Yearbook, 1941 gives a seating capacity of 3,000. In the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. the seating capacity is given as 1,915.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 30, 2005 at 6:53 am

From the Bostonian Society Library, here’s a 1931 photo of the National Theatre, along with the accompanying description. This record gives the address as 535 Tremont Street.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 3, 2005 at 10:23 pm

The “south end group” is the Boston Center for the Arts, who run the Cyclorama and a number of adjoining artists' studios and small stage theatres.

The Huntington Theatre Company are using the new theatre space here. The ART (American Repertory Theatre) will not; they have their own new small theatre space opening at Zero Arrow Street in Cambridge this week.

Borisbadenov on January 3, 2005 at 10:15 pm

Sometime in the mid 79s the Loewe family granted a 100 year lease to a south end group that was going to restore the National to its former glory. I went to a reception there, and we toured around, the stage, etc-it was a mess and looked hopeless. Several times people wanted to restore it, but there was so little left. There were some protesters a few years ago when they finally decided to tear it down.
It had several come-back attempts. In 1969 it hosted the world premier of ‘The Mad Room’ w/ Shelly Winters; that was a remake of the 1941 Ida Lupino/Elsa Lanchester film ‘Ladies in Retirement'
The new complex is very exciting, tho’ I haven’t seen anything there;it’s going tp be legit only, and I think both the Huntington and Art are going to do some things there.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 25, 2004 at 2:04 pm

According to the Globe and Herald archives, the National closed in 1978 and was demolished in April-May 1997. A selection process to develop new smaller theatres on the site started almost immediately after the demolition.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 25, 2004 at 1:08 pm

The “Boston 200 Bicentennial Guidebook”, published in 1975, says that the National was built in 1911 as the largest vaudeville house in New England, and it once hosted stars like Gene Autry and Mae West.

The guidebook lists the Associated Artists Opera, New England Regional Opera, and the Boston Philharmonia Orchestra as then-current users of the National.

At the time of that publication, the National was supposedly being “restored as a 3000-seat theater for concerts, dance, and opera”, but this obviously did not happen.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 8, 2004 at 1:54 pm

The new theatre complex at this site now open and is called the Calderwood Pavilion. A couple of photos from the ribbon-cutting are here.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 28, 2004 at 1:10 pm

This theater has been replaced by Atelier 505, which includes condominiums and two new live stages.

IanJudge on May 1, 2004 at 12:31 pm

I believe that the National was demolished some time ago after a plan to renovate it for the BCA proved too costly; a new theater space is now being built in the same spot.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 29, 2004 at 12:54 pm

The theatre was used by the Associate Artists Opera Company for a November 1974 production of Antonio Salieri’s rarely-heard FALSTAFF.