Huntington Avenue Theatre

264 Huntington Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115

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Showing 26 - 34 of 34 comments

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 22, 2006 at 3:19 pm

There is a very small ad for the Repertory Theatre in the Boston Post of Wed. February 25, 1931. Movies playing are “Melodie des Herzen” (German) and “A Throw of the Dice”.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 4, 2005 at 3:59 pm

In the Boston Post theatre page of Sept 23 1947, the Esquire Theatre is listed as part of M&P Theatres. It and the Modern Theatre downtown are showing the movie “Life with Father” (Warner Bros.) for the 5th week. So the Esquire name dates back at least to mid-1947. It’s also interesting that “Life with Father” was a big hit at this theatre both on the stage and then on the screen.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 2, 2005 at 4:54 pm

The architect was J. William Beal and Son and it opened on November 10, 1925, and has about 950 seats.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 2, 2005 at 4:49 pm

I remember it as the Esquire Th. circa 1948-49, presenting British and other foriegn films. In the large space in the front left of the building I have a vague memory that there was a restaurant at one time. I attended 2 plays there on stage presented by the Boston University Gershwin Workshop on May 9, 1953. I was back again on Dec. 3, 1954 for another play in what had been renamed “Boston University Theatre”. So, the purchase by B.U. and the name change took place sometime betwen May 1953 and Dec. 1954. After B.U. took it over they rented it out to various groups, but I don’t think that it ever showed films again. It’s a good -looking theatre, inside and out. I think that when Fred Lieberman ran it in the 1930s he kept the original name “Repertory”. The Esquire name was definitely of 1940s origin, but I don’t know exactly when.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 19, 2005 at 12:06 am

According to Donald C. King’s new book The Theatres of Boston: A Stage and Screen History, the Repertory Theatre in 1939 was part of Fred E. Lieberman’s “proven pictures” circuit, showing cheap reruns of popular old films. Other theatres in his “proven pictures” circuit were the Tremont, Bijou, Normandie, and Majestic.

Starting in September 1940, the Repertory was used as a live stage once again, presenting the play Life With Father.

King says that the theatre was renamed Esquire around 1949. I do not know if this is accurate; it conflicts with the history that Boston University presents on its page.

tomovieboy70 on April 22, 2005 at 10:28 pm

I attended Boston University’s School for the Arts in the 1970s and worked many times on the stage of this beautiful old theater. Our graduation even took place here. I had no idea it was one a movie theater!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 21, 2004 at 1:06 am

Although it is owned by Boston University, this theatre is not on the BU campus. It is about a mile away from the rest of BU.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 18, 2004 at 9:41 pm

A photo tour of the BU Theatre, including backstage and shop areas.

More about the theatre’s history.

A two-screen independent cinema, the Symphony Cinemas, used to be next door, but BU purchased it and converted it to rehearsal, production, and administrative space for the BU Theatre.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 18, 2004 at 9:24 pm

Until you submitted this post, I never realized this had once been a movie theatre.

This page has more information about its history.

Although its resident stage company is the “Huntington Theatre Company”, the venue’s actual name is “Boston University Theatre”, so that’s probably how it should be listed here.

Other companies (notably BU’s student theatre groups) also perform here, and the Huntington also performs at another venue, the Calderwood Pavilion in Boston’s South End (which replaced the former National Theatre).