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Here’s the Dudley, 1931:
Here’s a 1931 map showing the Shawmut on Blue Hill ave. I’ve turned the map upside down to make the reading easier, so north is at the bottom of the image.
Ron – here’s the Rivoli in 1931. St James st is off the lower left side of the map, blocks away from the Rivoli. You can see that the theater was just across the street from the church, although the entrance was on Dudley st.
The Shawmut was at 364 Blue Hill ave, between Creston and Intervale. This is Grove Hall, and it’s the old Jewish Roxbury. The building was oddly shaped – it actually got narrower towards the stage. This was probably dictated by the property line on one side, which angled in towards the back/stage end of the building. It looks much larger than most of the other Roxbury theatres.
I see that the Orienta was a Hall and not a theater at one time. The Masons held meetings at the Orienta for a while. Maybe it was converted to a theater later.
In 1915, the same building is named Rugby on a fire insurance map. Could be Rugby Theater, and could be just the Rugby Building. The same map has the Orienta Hall next door.
The building wasn’t there yet in 1915 – a series of brick buildings preceded it. In 1931, the Criterion was there, on the corner of Texas. The theater faced across to the Roxbury Crossing train station. It was just south of where Tremont met Columbus ave, and actually lined up with Tremont st. On the other corner of Texat st, the building was 1348 Tremont. The Tremont street numbering then skipped over the block the Criterion was in, and picked up where Tremont turned under the railroad tracks towards Mission Hill.
This is right on the edge of Dorchester. It’s an empty lot with one small store sitting on it now.
It looks like there were storefront stores along Humbolt ave, with the entrance at one end. The theater itself was set behind the Humbolt ave buildings, with the stage end of the building fronting on Waumbeck st around the corner. The site now is open, and beside the Trotter school, which I believe was built in about 1970. I went to Boston Tech at the time nearby, and I don’t recall seeing the theater.
Ron – your informant mis-remembers. The Rivoli was not at St James. The narrow entrance was at 125 Dudley. The building itself was set back from the Dudley buildings, and ran along Dana st, which came out opposite the trolly ramp of the Dudley station. A street runs through the site now. Across Dana was the Dudley st Batist Church, where the police station is now.
Standing at the Ferdinand Blue Store, the Dudley Theatre was a short way north on the right, opposite the start of Ruggles st. It’s a parking lot now.
I took a further look at the property. In 1902, the Woman’s Club House was on the site. It looks to have been a headquarters for different Boston women’s clubs. In 1917, the building is called the New Century Building, and houses on one side the Huntington ave Theater, and by 1938 it’s the Strand Ballroom Bldg and the Strand Theater.
Here’s a 1938 map showing the Strand – and the Strand Ballroom. I included part of the CS church to help locate the theater.
The building was a Congregational church as early as 1883. Between 1902 and 1908 the church was gone. By 1920, they were running boxing matches there – just another live show to fill in the bill I imagine. By 1928 it was called the Scenic Auditorium, and by 1938 it was Police Station 4.
The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Madison Theatre in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston has an exterior photo dated 1941.
Can we get a scan of that photo?
Here is a link to a 1924 map showing the exact location of the Egleston Theatre:
This article is from my blog. It includes the Jamaica, the Strand and the Madison.
The theatre was on Washington street on the north corner of Beethoven street. Today, there is a single-floor retail block on Washington street, and multi-level housing to the rear along Beethoven street.
The building went up at 652-660 Centre st in 1910. It was a mixed retail/theatre space, with a hall named Emmett hall for the Irish Republican hero.It opened as a theatre showing silent movies and became the Strand some time before 1924. You can see the vertical marquee in the old picture here:
You can see the location at Centre st. and Starr lane in this 1924 map. http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=1321
The Jamaica Theatre was at the site of the present Hi-Lo supermarket parking lot, at the corner of Centre and Barbara streets.
I used to take the bus out from Jamaica Plain as a grade school kid. I remember seeing Hard Day’s Night, at least one Elvis movie and Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. When they tore it down, I drove by and was amazed how small the footprint of the building was. How did it ever fit in there? Good times.