Wang Theatre

270 Tremont Street,
Boston, MA 02116

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Showing 51 - 75 of 148 comments

IanJudge on June 30, 2008 at 6:27 pm

I think the Wang is also a victim of being too large for many shows that used to play there – now they find that the B.F. Keith Memorial/Opera House is more conducive to such touring shows.

I personally would love to see this theater throw its hat into the ring with the occasional movie run (beyond their occasional special screening) – given the piss-poor presentations at the Boston Common and Fenway theaters, what a treat it would be to see “The Dark Knight” or “Wall-E” booked into the Wang for a month – they could easily charge a higher ticket price too. I know I would pay $12-14 to see a film there rather than the other two downtown options. Given the nature of the film business, this scenario would be tough, but it is still something I think would give audiences something to remind people why the movies, versus DVD and so forth, are special.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Corporate support for restoring and reopening an old movie palace is great.

Corporate “support' for an already fully functional theatre is something else, especially when the theatre’s programming and management has fallen into decline right after the "support” arrived. Which is the case here.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 30, 2008 at 6:00 pm

To exwhiteway- the organ at the Wang was still there and playable during the Sack Music Hall days in the 1960s. I believe it was removed sometime in the 1970s (It was definitely gone by 1983). And to LuisV – I agree with your comments 100 % !

LuisV on June 30, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Thank you for letting me know Warren. I sincerely appreciate it. I know that he was a valued friend of CT and The Theatre Historical Society of America, but I was not aware of his passing. May he rest in peace.

LuisV on June 29, 2008 at 8:14 pm

This is a response to Jim Rankin’s comment of December 8th, 2006…

Why are you so bitter about Corporate Support of a Movie Palace? All across the country people beg for money to support the operation and restoration of historic movie palaces. When a corporation steps up to the plate and provides the needed funds we should applaud and encourage them and not not make ridiculous statements about corporations donating money in order to enrich their reputations. That’s pretty obvious that that is their primary purpose and SO WHAT! So many palaces around the country are crumbling waiting for the funding that could restore and or maintain operations. I wish there were many more corporations like Citibank that chose to express their corporate philanthropy through the restoration or funding of our historic movie palaces.

Ask anyone in Chicago if they would turn away Corporate funding from, let’s say United Airlines (a hometown corporation), for a restoration of the Uptown Theater which has been sitting decaying for over 30 years. Would Philadelphians turn down corporate money to fund saving the Boyd? Of course not!

We need more, much more, corporate involvement even if it means they change the name of the theater (and it doesn’t have to mean that). It’s a small price to pay to have an operating movie palace!

properduck on June 29, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Does anyone remember when the Wurlitzer was removed from the theatre?
Supposedly, John Kiley and Ashley Miller (aka Kenneth Lane) recorded on it in the late 50’s. Here’s a nice photo of the console:
View link.pdf)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 20, 2008 at 6:52 pm

There was a movie show at the Wang last night – the new comedy film “Get Smart” was shown one day prior to its general release. The showing was a benefit for a medical charity.

bruceanthony on June 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm

The Wang will fill its schedule with more profitable shows such as “White Christmas”,“Radio City Christmas Specacular”. Ever since the Opera House was restored most Broadway shows moved from the Wang to the Opera House so the Wang could no longer afford some of its not for profit shows and switched to more commercial product to replace the Broadway shows that were lost to the Opera House.brucec

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 29, 2008 at 5:55 pm

It all boils down to “Product” (attractions). There seems to be less and less of it in recent years. So our downtown theaters sit vacant and dark much of the time.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 27, 2008 at 11:08 pm

The Wang has a tough year ahead. It has just lost two major tenants. Boston Ballet has moved to the Opera House for the next 30 years, and the Celebrity Series has not scheduled any events there for 2008-2009. That means no Alvin Ailey at the Wang next year.

What will the Wang do to fill all of these open dates?

HowardBHaas on January 15, 2008 at 4:47 am

actually, this is a set:
View link

HowardBHaas on January 15, 2008 at 4:45 am

Ok, here are some recent photos (not mine, but beautiful photos) of a truly Grand Lobby!
2007 photo of Grand Lobby!
Lobby columns & ceiling:

bruceanthony on September 20, 2007 at 2:48 am

The Wang is a major theatre in the US. Small towns around the US have better marquee’s than the current Wang. Only the Cutler Majestic and the Paramount have decent marquees in Boston’s theatre district. The Paramount in Oakland has a fabulous vertical from the 1930’s and is a Performing Arts Center. Vertical marquees have been restored to Chicago,s theatre district.When you restore Boston’s premiere theatre money should have been set aside for the front of the house.brucec

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 16, 2007 at 6:20 pm

The Met’s marquee in the 1950s was a typical movie theatre marquee of the times, only slightly larger. I can’t recall if it had much neon on it. There was a lot of light underneath it, on the soffit. I think Ben Sack in 1962 either installed a new marquee, or rebuilt the old one. Today, the organization which runs the theatre has money problems, so adding a new marquee with lots of neon on it would probably be a very low priority for them.

Tom10 on September 16, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Does anyone know what the original neon sign looked like? I recall from my extreme youth seeing the marquee for Ben Hur on this building, and it wasn’t all that neoney, IIRC. I don’t think it was the original marquee either. Lots of times, marquees used little light bulbs instead of neon. Now that it’s a performing arts center, I’m not sure either would be all that appropriate. In a forced choice, I’d go for little light bulbs, I guess.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 15, 2007 at 6:55 pm

“Citi Wang” is an ugly name for this theatre, and I hope the CinemaTreasures folks never change the name on this page.

bruceanthony on September 15, 2007 at 6:53 pm

This theatre has an ugly marquee I think its time to do neon and restore the marquee. The fun starts on the sidewalk and until a proper marquee is restored to this theatre, the restoration is not complete. Charge an extra dollar per ticket for the restoration of the marquee.brucec

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 7, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Both ! New theatre seats today are wider and bigger than old ones, and often are set at a greater “pitch” between rows. In 1990, I attended a LHAT luncheon in the foyer of the Wang, and at that time, the main floor was being rebuilt. All seats had been removed and the floor was being reconstructed. I believe that’s when they added the ring of loges around the perimeter of the orchestra floor. (The old Met had a ring of mezzanine loges but not a corresponding ring of loges down below). One variable they have today in seating is that they can add 2 or 3 rows of extra seats down front in the orchestra pit. I don’t know if the 3,600-plus total includes those extra seats.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 6, 2007 at 4:24 pm

How did they lose 800 seats? Did they replace smaller seats with larger ones, or move the rows further apart?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 6, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Yes, it now has slightly over 3,600 seats; when it originally opened, the Met was reputed to have a total of 4,407 seats.

spectrum on May 5, 2007 at 4:14 pm

The seating capacity should be changed to 3,600.

DennisJOBrien on January 12, 2007 at 3:03 am

This theater has always been mind-boggling with its beauty. I always thought of it as Boston’s equivalent to New York’s Radio City Music Hall. I fondly remember being there on the day of the 1966 film premiere of “Torn Curtain,” with the famous director in attendance, even though the audience seemed to be hoping that Julie Andrews would temporarily depart from her sombre character and break into a spirited rendition of “My Favorite Things.” Years later, after its restoration, I saw an opera here on the big stage. Boston can be proud of its theater history.

There are some snobs who look down on motion pictures and conveniently forget that these great movie palaces were originally financed by the genre of cinema and the Hollywood system. They were part of an industry based on profit, not run as non-profit organizations dependent on grants and tax relief. Hollywood gave us national treasures apart from the films themselves, and the Wang Center is just one of them.

HowardBHaas on December 8, 2006 at 6:32 pm

Theater naming rights aren’t usually sold to corporations but rather are LEASED for a term of years, like 5 or 7, etc. So, they not only didn’t buy the theaters, they probably didn’t even buy the naming rights forever either.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 8, 2006 at 5:08 pm

I’ll try to come up with a new Description, as the current one is now out of date and reads a bit awkwardly.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 8, 2006 at 5:02 pm

CitiBank only paid for “naming rights” for a specific number of years. The 2 theatres are run by a non-profit corporation which needed the money. I don’t know what the current ownership facts are, but some years back the Wang Theatre was owned by the New England Medical Center, while the Shubert was owned by the Shubert Organization in NY and leased to the performing arts center.