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According to City of Boston building department records, the multi-use commercial building originally numbered 3-27 Fairmount Avenue (now 1-11 Fairmount) was designed by architect Harry M. Ramsay in 1914 and completed early in 1915. The cost of construction was $65,000 and the 1914 building permit notes that the building was to be used for â€œstores, offices, and motion picture exhibition.â€
The original owner and developer was the Littlefield Trust, Walter S. Littlefield, Trustee/Manager. The Littlefield Trustâ€™s application to the City of Boston Building Department to operate the “Everett Sq. Theatre” as a â€œmoving picture houseâ€ was approved on April 14, 1915.
A March 23, 1915, building permit seeks permission to construct a projecting sign with “Everett Sq. Theatre” spelled out in metal pan letters and bare bulbs; a historic photo exisits of the building with this sign in place. As well, a plaster cartouche in the theatre’s proscenium arch features an intertwined “E” and “S” referring to “Everett Square.”
An August 11, 1934, building permit sought to replace the original sign and marquee. While the content of the sign was not specified, this probably corresponded to the change in the theatre’s name to the “Fairmount Theatre,” which took place by 1935. This name change was likely in reaction to the rededication of nearby Everett Square (at the intersection of Fairmount Ave. and River St.) as “Joseph A. Logan Square” in 1933. “Everett Square” became obsolete.
In spite of the emphasis in the building department records on movies, it is clear that from early on the theatre also hosted live performances, music, and events of various kinds. A combination of first-run movies, double features, and cartoons along with live actsâ€"particularly those featuring local amateur talentâ€"continued into the 1940s.
The theatre was again renamed in the late 1960s, becoming the Nu-Pixie Theatre. Apparently only used as a cinema, the Nu-Pixie operated into the 1980s.
(This building has been confused in other sources with “Everett Hall,” which was a third-floor gathering and performance space in a ca. 1875 building around the corner on Rvier St., and with the Riverside Theatre Works, which is a non-profit organization running performing arts educational programming (as well as performances) at the 1897 French’s Opera House down the block at 45 Fairmount Ave.)
The information above was uncovered as part of the work of Historic Boston Incorporated’s Historic Neighborhood Centers program, which has been working with Hyde Park Main Streets in Logan and Cleary Squares since 2008. A key project identified by the HNC program is to assist the Everett Sq. Theatre’s owner and the surrounding community with planning to rehabilitate this important Hyde Park building. Jeffrey Gonyeau, HBI