Castle Square Theatre
421 Tremont Street,
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Architects: E.W. Maynard
Previous Names: Arlington Theatre
The Castle Square Theater was located in Boston’s South End, a short distance south of the Wang Theatre. Its imposing entrance was part of the facade of a new hotel. Its auditorium was adapted from an unfinished circular structure intended for the display of a cycloramic painting. The spacious foyers and auditorium were exceptionally elegant. The house served as home base for a stock company and an opera/operetta troupe.
In 1917 a projection booth was constructed at the rear of the orchestra floor. The intent was to provide a horizontal throw to the screen. A film policy began in October 1917. By 1921 the house had been renamed the Arlington Theatre. During the 1920’s the theater returned to live shows and later the name reverted back to the Castle Square Theatre. It closed with the onset of the Depression and the entire complex was demolished in December 1932 and January 1933.
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Recent comments (view all 14 comments)
In a 1918 Boston street directory, both the Castle Square Theatre and the Castle Square Hotel are listed at 421 Tremont St., between Chandler St. and Appleton St.
In the 1921 Boston business and street directory, it’s listed as “Arlington Square Theatre”.
Somewhere I think I read that today’s Chandler Inn (once called the Diplomat hotel) is a remaining piece of the old Castle Square Hotel.
I also remember reading a long time ago that the Diplomat Hotel contained some remnant of the old Castle Square Hotel, which was part of the Castle Square Theatre building, but I don’t know how true that is.
View link A shot of the theatre.
The building on the extreme left is still standing. The ARL’s property and drive way takes up most of the block, the Chandler may have part of an older building in it but I highly doubt it has anythign to do with the Castle Squarehttp://www.josephhaworth.com/castle_square_theatre.htm
If you click on “Site Map” in the website that Edward Findlay has linked to there are a large number of photos of 19th Century theaters.
An 1896 book called The Planning and Construction of American Theatres attributes the design of the Castle Square Theatre to architect E. W. Maynard.
The Castle Square was built in 1894, adding a rectangular stage on to the round cyclorama that had previously been used as a riding academy,
A photo of the interior: View link
Undated photo of a building promoting Castle Square and other theatres added via Jai Sotomayor.