581 Washington Street,
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The Pastime Theatre opened on February 1, 1908. In the words of the next day’s Boston Globe:
“The new Pastime theatre, which was opened yesterday by the American automatic amusement company, presents one of the most conspicuous and elaborate playhouse fronts on Washington st. Located at the corner of Avery st., in the heart of the shopping district, the new towerlike design of the building, with its high arch and pillars, makes the theatre a prominent object in the busy thoroughfare. At night hundreds of electric lights give an effect of great brilliance.
“At this theatre 10 cents admits to everything to be seen and entitles the visitor to a comfortable opera chair. The show takes place altogether upon the stage, and is largely made up of a pictorial portrayal of comic, dramatic and historic scenes and representations by the most up-to-date methods of places of greatest interest which people at liberty to travel go far to see.
“The architects of the new amusement house are Clarence H. Blackall and Frank Chouteau Brown. Mr. Blackall was the architect of the Colonial theatre and is now engaged in the designing of the new Park-sq theatre. In his studies abroad in connection with the last named project he became convinced that the Germans are in the lead in ideas and methods of theatre construction and design, and he has introduced the German nouveau style in the treatment of the Pastime theatre…
“The exterior front of the building is all of cement and is of a character so novel and impressive as to be certain to catch the eye of every passer-by. The first story comprises a high and graceful arch, supported by massive columns. The design of the upper stories gives the building the appearance of a tower. The cement is of a light color and lighted up at night about 2500 electric lamps, many of which are used in displaying the name of the theatre in dazzling letters.”
The Pastime did not last very long. The last notice of a show that I could find in the Globe archives was in February, 1914. Two months later, another article lists it among buildings that are being auctioned, and must be moved, so that Avery Street can be widened.
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