Orpheum Theatre

1 Hamilton Place,
Boston, MA 02108

Unfavorite 16 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 145 comments

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 22, 2014 at 11:27 am

Has the Orpheum been repaired, refurbished inside recently? I note on local TV some ads for a “Sesame Street Live” show coming into the Orpheum soon. These childrens shows usually play at the Boston Opera House. If I was the parent or grandparent of a young child, the Orpheum is not exactly the first place to which I would want to take him/her. Unless they have spruced it up inside.

RSM3853
RSM3853 on December 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Here are the first-run films that played at the Orpheum from 1958 through Christmas 1970. The dates given are the Wednesday for the week that the film opened, even if it didn’t start until Thursday or Friday – Variety issues are dated Wednesdays and in those days, most (but not all) films started then. Research is from The Boston Globe (microfilm), Variety, and Boxoffice. The ® symbol refers to reissues. 01/15/58Legend of the Lost 01/29/58The Seven Hills of Rome 02/19/58Don’t Go Near the Water 03/26/58The Quiet American 03/26/58Run Silent, Run Deep 04/23/58Paths of Glory 05/07/58Merry Andrew 05/07/58The High Cost of Loving 05/21/58Thunder Road 05/21/58Crossup 05/28/58The Sheepman 05/28/58Fort Bowie 06/11/58Return to Warbow 06/11/58High School Confidential 06/25/58Saddle the Wind 07/02/58The Vikings 08/06/58Tarzan’s Fight for Life 08/06/58The Law and Jake Wade 08/20/58The Big Country 10/01/58The Badlanders 10/01/58Apache Territory 10/08/58Man of the West 10/08/58Hong Kong Confidential 10/22/58The Last Hurrah 12/03/58Torpedo Run 12/17/58tom thumb 12/17/58Ten Days to Tulara 12/31/58Some Came Running 03/04/59The Journey 03/25/59Some Like it Hot 05/27/59Menace in the Night 05/27/59Green Mansions 06/10/59First Man Into Space 06/10/59The Mysterians 06/24/59The Horse Soldiers 07/29/59Shake Hands With the Devil 07/29/59Ride Lonesome 08/12/59North by Northwest 09/30/59It Started With a Kiss 10/28/59They Came to Cordura 11/11/59Odds Against Tomorrow 11/18/59The Wreck of the Mary Deare 12/02/59The Wonderful Country 12/16/591001 Arabian Nights 12/16/59The Flying Fontaines 02/03/60Counterplot 09/07/60The Music Box Kid 10/05/60The Boy Who Stole a Million 10/12/60The Subterraneans 10/19/60Let No Man Write My Epitaph 02/01/61The Misfits 03/01/61Where the Boys Are 03/22/61Cimarron 04/12/61Go Naked in the World 04/12/61Operation Bottleneck 04/26/61Gone With the Wind ® 06/07/61The Last Time I Saw Archie 06/07/61The Gambler Wore a Gun 06/14/61Two Loves 06/14/61Ring of Fire 06/28/61By Love Posessed 07/19/61The Naked Edge 08/09/61Two Rode Together 08/09/61The Green Helmet 08/23/61The Honeymoon Machine 09/13/61The Young Doctors 09/13/61The Flight That Disappeared 09/27/61A Thunder of Drums 10/11/61Bridge to the Sun 10/25/61The Devil at 4 O'Clock 11/22/61Bachelor in Paradise 12/13/61X-15 12/13/61Teenage Millionaire 12/20/61The Wonders of Aladdin 12/27/61Pocketful of Miracles 01/17/62Knights of the Round Table/Ivanhoe 01/31/62The Happy Thieves 02/07/62Sergeants 3 02/07/62Deadly Duo 03/14/62The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse 04/11/62Walk on the Wild Side 04/18/62The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence 05/02/62All Fall Down 05/09/62The Horizontal Lieutenant 05/09/62The World in My Pocket 05/16/62Ride the High Country 05/23/62Follow That Dream 05/23/62Mary Had a Little 06/06/62Geronimo 06/13/62The Road to Hong Kong 06/27/62Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation 07/18/62The Notorious Landlady 07/18/62The Nun and the Sergeant 08/08/62The Sky Above—The Mud Below 08/22/62Kid Galahad 09/12/62Father of the Bride/Seven Brides for Seven Brothers ® 09/19/62Watch Your Stern 09/19/62I Thank a Fool 10/03/62The Explosive Generation 10/03/62Sword of the Conqueror 10/10/62King Solomon’s Mines/The Naked Spur ® 10/17/62Tarzan Goes to India 10/24/62The Prisoner of the Iron Mask 10/24/62Panic in Year Zero! 10/31/62Convicts 4 (Reprieve) 10/31/62The Frightened City 11/07/62Mothra 11/07/62The War Lover 11/21/62Womanhunt 11/21/62Period of Adjustment 12/12/62Africa Ablaze ® 12/26/62Taras Bulba 01/16/63The Magic Sword 01/16/63A Child is Waiting 01/30/63Swordsman of Siena 01/30/63The Password is Courage 02/06/63Diamond Head 04/03/63War Hunt 04/03/63Five Miles to Midnight 04/10/63Wonderful to Be Young 04/10/63My Six Loves 04/24/63Constantine and the Cross 04/24/63The Great Van Robbery 05/01/63Madame 05/01/63A Face in the Rain 05/08/63Come Fly With Me 05/15/63War and Peace ® 05/22/63Dr. No 06/05/63Hero’s Island 06/05/63Call Me Bwana 06/19/63PT 109 07/24/63The Great Escape 08/14/63Cattle King 08/14/63A Ticklish Affair 08/28/63The Caretakers 08/28/63Square of Violence 09/18/63The Haunting 09/18/63Dime With a Halo 09/25/63The VIPs 10/17/63Damon and Pythias 11/20/63McLintock 12/11/63Peppino’s Small Miracle 12/18/63Kings of the Sun 12/25/63The Prize 01/22/64Man in the Middle 02/05/64Sunday in New York 02/26/64A Global Affair 03/04/64Mail Order Bride 03/11/64One Man’s Way 03/25/64Tamahine 04/15/64Advance to the Rear 04/29/64Lilies of the Field ® 05/06/64Never Put it in Writing 05/20/64What A Way to Go! 06/24/64Viva Las Vegas 07/08/64The Long Ships 07/22/64Ensign Pulver 08/05/64Looking for Love 08/19/64The New Interns 09/16/64Of Human Bondage 09/23/64Quo Vadis ® 09/30/64Fate is the Hunter 10/14/64Fail-Safe 11/04/64Rio Conchos 11/18/64Goodbye, Charlie 12/16/64Curse of Frankenstein/Horror of Dracula ® 12/23/64The Americanization of Emily 01/20/65The Pleasure Seekers 01/20/65Back Door to Hell 02/03/65Two on a Guillotine 02/17/65Dear Brigitte 02/17/65Raiders from Beneath the Sea 03/03/65Devil Ship Pirates 03/03/65Baby, the Rain Must Fall 03/10/65Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte 03/31/65Love Has Many Faces 04/14/65East of Sudan 04/14/65Major Dundee 05/12/65Dr. No/From Russia With Love ® 06/09/65A High Wind in Jamaica 06/16/65I’ll Take Sweden 06/30/65Harlow 07/14/65Von Ryan’s Express 08/11/65Genghis Khan 08/25/65Help! 09/15/65Billie 09/22/65Never on Sunday/Topkapi ® 09/29/65Marriage on the Rocks 10/20/65The Ipcress File 11/17/65The Bedford Incident 11/24/65The War Lord 12/15/65A Hard Day’s Night/Help! ® 12/22/65Never Too Late 01/19/66The Heroes of Telemark 02/02/66That Man in Istanbul 02/09/66Ten Little Indians 02/16/66Inside Daisy Clover 03/16/66Moment to Moment 03/30/66Harper 05/04/66The Rare Breed 05/11/66Madame X 05/18/66The King and I ® 05/25/66Stop the World, I Want to Get Off 06/01/66Marnie/The Birds ® 06/08/66A Big Hand for the Little Lady 06/22/66Battle of the Bulge (pop) 07/06/66A Fine Madness 07/20/66Arabesque 08/10/66Modesty Blaise 08/24/66How to Steal a Million 09/14/66Chamber of Horrors 10/05/66Ambush Bay 10/12/66An American Dream 10/19/66Kaleidoscope 10/26/66Way…Way Out 11/02/66La Dolce Vita ® 11/16/66Not With My Wife, You Don’t 12/07/66Hotel Paradiso 12/14/66The Idol 12/21/66Any Wednesday 01/04/67The Venetian Affair 01/11/67Penelope 01/25/67Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die 02/01/67The Spy With a Cold Nose 02/08/67A Covenant With Death 02/15/67The Quiller Memorandum 03/15/67The Corrupt Ones 03/22/67Hotel 04/12/67Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ® 04/26/67The Cool Ones 05/03/67To Kill a Mockingbird/That Touch of Mink ® 05/10/67The Apartment ® 05/10/67The Great Escape ® 05/17/67The Viscount 05/24/67Triple Cross 06/07/67The Deadly Bees 06/07/67The Vulture 06/21/67The War Wagon 06/28/67Up the Down Staircase 07/26/67The Naked Runner 08/23/67Fathom 09/06/67The Busy Body 09/06/67Gunn 09/13/67C'mon, Let’s Live a Little 09/13/67Africa-Texas Style 09/20/67Matchless 09/20/67The Hills Run Red 09/27/67What’s New Pussycat/How to Murder Your Wife ® 10/11/67Tammy and the Millionaire 10/11/67Rough Night in Jericho 10/25/67Chuka 11/15/67The Spirit is Willing 11/22/67More Than a Miracle 12/06/67Kill a Dragon 12/06/67Navajo Joe 12/20/67Wait Until Dark 02/21/68Gentle Giant 02/21/68Sebastian 02/28/68Maroc 7 02/28/68Two Weeks in September 03/06/68Five Million Years to Earth 03/06/68The Viking Queen 03/13/68Firecreek 03/20/68The Ballad of Josie 03/27/68Don’t Just Stand There 03/27/68The Champagne Murders 04/03/68Day of the Evil Gun 04/10/68Blackbeard’s Ghost 05/01/68Attack on the Iron Coast 05/01/68Danger Route 05/08/68The Double Man 05/15/68A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die 05/22/68The Vengeance of She 05/29/68The Sweet Ride 06/05/68Chubasco 06/05/68Project X 06/12/68Villa Rides! 06/26/68What’s So Bad About Feeling Good? 07/03/68Track of Thunder 07/03/68The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell 07/17/68How Sweet It Is! 08/07/68With Six You Get Eggroll 08/28/68Hang ‘Em High 09/18/68The Pink Jungle 10/09/68The Ugly Ones 10/16/68From Russia With Love/Thunderball ® 10/23/68The Hell With Heroes 10/23/68In Enemy Country 10/30/68A Lovely Way to Die 11/06/68The Parent Trap 11/20/68 A Twist of Sand 11/20/68Shock Troops 11/27/68Coogan’s Bluff 12/18/68Hellfighters 01/08/69Valley of the Dolls/Planet of the Apes ® 01/15/69More Dead Than Alive 01/15/69Impasse 01/22/69Ghosts, Italian Style 02/05/69The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom 02/05/69The Daring Game 02/12/69The Wrecking Crew 04/02/69Angel in My Pocket 04/23/69Smith/The Incredible Journey ® 04/30/69A Fistful of Dollars/For a Few Dollars More ® 05/21/69Winning 06/18/69The Assassination Bureau 06/25/69African Safari 07/02/69Guns of the Magnigficent Seven 07/16/69Slaves 07/30/69House of Cards 07/30/69Eye of the Cat 08/06/69Peter Pan ® 08/20/69Ring of Bright Water 08/27/69Michael and Helga 09/03/69The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly/Hang 'Em High ® 09/10/69On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who… 09/24/69Spirits of the Dead 10/01/69Some Kind of a Nut 10/01/69Submarine X-I 10/08/69Young Billy Young 10/15/69The File of the Golden Goose 10/22/69Heaven With a Gun 10/22/69Alfred the Great 10/29/69A Man Called Gannon 10/29/69The Love God 11/05/69Journey to the Far Side of the Sun 11/05/69Arabella 11/12/69The Girl Who Couldn’t Say No 11/26/69Don’t Drink the Water 12/17/69Cleopatra ® 02/18/70Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed 03/25/70King of the Grizzlies 04/08/70Midnight Cowboy ® 04/15/70In Search of the Castaways ® 05/06/70Day of Anger 05/06/70Tarzan’s Jungle Rebellion 05/13/70The Games 05/20/70A Man Called Horse 06/03/70Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You! 06/10/70Once You Kiss a Stranger 06/10/70Naked Under Leather (The Girl on the Motorcycle) 06/17/70Skullduggery 06/24/70Which Way to the Front? 07/01/70Out of It 07/01/70Barquero 07/08/70A Boy Named Charlie Brown 08/05/70The Last Escape 08/05/70Mosquito Squadron 08/12/70Count Yorga, Vampire 08/19/70Weekend with the Babysitter 09/16/70Trog/Taste the Blood of Dracula 09/23/70Hornet’s Nest 09/23/70The Mercenary 09/30/70Hello-Goodbye 10/07/70Son of Flubber ® 10/28/70(4) Clint Eastwood UA Westerns ® 11/04/70The Swappers 11/04/70Venus in Furs 11/11/70The Cycle Savages 11/11/70The Vampire Lovers 11/18/70Underground 11/18/70Hell Boats 12/09/70Fanny Hill/Inga ® 12/23/70The Aristocats

alberwi
alberwi on August 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

Just as historical trivia, Loew’s Orpheum was the venue for the Boston premiere of the 1958 film “The Last Hurrah,” based on the novel of the same title by Edwin O'Connor. The movie starred Spencer Tracy as “Frank Skeffington,” a character loosely modeled after Boston’s famous/infamous mayor James Michael Curley. The film shamelessly sentimentalized Skeffington, making him out to be a sort of lovable rogue, whereas in historical fact Curley was anything but lovable. O'Connor, after viewing the premiere, acidly suggested that the back of the seats at Loew’s Orpheum should have been equipped “with the kind of equipment they have on airplanes.” By which he meant barf bags. See Jack Beatty’s superb 1992 biography of Curley, “The Rascal King.”

Curley himself, by the way, was involved in a number of theater-related incidents/issues during his four (non-consecutive) terms as mayor. Most significant of these was his highly controversial decision in 1915 to permit, over intense protest by the black community and civic leaders, the showing of the notoriously racist and inflammatory D.W. Griffith film “Birth of a Nation.” The movie opened at the Tremont Theater in April, 1915 and ran for over six months.

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on June 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm

WHICH boston theatre had Cinemascope first and premiered with the Robe. Was it the Astor, Metropolitan or the Lowes Orpheum?

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 5, 2012 at 11:25 am

Click here for an exterior view of the Loew’s Orpheum Theatre in 1931.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm

The theatre organ database indicates a 3-manual 35 rank Frazee organ (their opus 30) was installed at the Loew’s Orpheum in 1916. Its current location unknown.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

This theater is listed as the “Empire” in the 1906 Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. This was after the heavy reconstruction of Summer, 1900; and further alterations in 1904-05. The seating capacity is listed as 1,844, but the breakdown does not add up to that: Orchestra 845; Balcony 518, Gallery 333; total: 1,696 plus box seats. Tickets cost 25 cents to 75 cents. The proscenium opening was 41 feet wide X 30 feet high, and the stage was 38 feet deep. The listing says that the Empire was occupied at that time by the Empire Stock Company.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on April 12, 2011 at 6:54 am

Movie advertisements in the Boston Globe can be seen via ProQuest, which is available on the computer systems at many public libraries.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Another Globe article says that the name changed from Loew’s Orpheum to just Orpheum in August of 1967, which seems to be confirmed by the daily film listings for that month. (I haven’t yet figured out if there’s a way to see advertisements in the Globe archives.)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Later articles in 1971 say that films returned to the Orpheum/Aquarius from time to time, with a showing of “Jimi Hendrix At Berkeley” on 9/3/71, and a 99-cent double-feature festival programmed by Justin Freed (later of the Park Square, Kenmore Square, and Coolidge Corner) during the first ten days of 1972: A Man Called Horse with The Detective; The Sterile Cuckoo with Plaza Suite; Rosemary’s Baby with Wait Until Dark.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I just found part of the answer, since the Boston Globe now provides free access to its entire archive for 7-day subscribers. The Orpheum closed as a movie theatre on January 31, 1971 and reopened as the Aquarius, a live concert hall, on May 27, 1971. The first featured performer was James Brown.

The new owner was an African-American business owner and activist named Arthur Scott. Newspaper articles of the time compared his new venture to the Apollo Theatre in New York City.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Which would mean the supposed ‘1968’ photo referred to above is misdated.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Don King’s time-line says that the theater name was changed to Aquarius Theatre on January 18, 1972. That sounds about right to me. But I seem to recall that the Orpheum name was brought back later sort of informally, over a period of time. King implies that Loews gave up operations not long before the Aquarius name change.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 11, 2011 at 11:50 am

Can anyone here establish exact dates when the theatre was renamed to Aquarius, and when it reverted back to Orpheum? It would also be nice to know when the last regularly-scheduled movie ran, and what it was.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

Donald King in his Boston theaters history book covers the confusing changes of name at this theater between 1900 and 1910, already mentioned above, but worth repeating. In the summer of 1900, the Boston Music Hall underwent heavy reconstruction inside to convert it from a concert hall into a vaudeville theater. The orientation of the auditorium was reversed, from looking toward the stage at the south end of the building, to facing it at the north end. When it reopened in early-Sept 1900, it was still named “Boston Music Hall”. In Feb. 1905, it was renamed the Empire Theatre. Boston movie theater historian Joe Cifre included the Empire as one of Boston’s earliest movie film venues. In 1906, it became the Orpheum Theater, and was under management by William Morris. He presented short movies as part of two-a-day vaudeville shows. In 1909, it was briefly named American Music Hall before becoming Loew’s Orpheum Theater the following year when Marcus Loew took it over. He did not renovate it into its present appearance until 1915.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Yes, when the house closed for major renovations which created today’s auditorium, it was already being run by Marcus Loew, so it was an early Loew house. The “11 PM” is when the shows usually ended for the day. The vaude shows of that day also often included various movie shorts at the end of the program, so they were not 100% live.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 23, 2011 at 10:50 am

This must have been one of Marcus Loew’s earliest theatres. I found an ad for Loew’s Orpheum in the Boston Daily Globe of April 28th, 1911, which is four years prior to the 1915 closure for re-building reported in some of the postings above. The attraction at Loew’s Orpheum on 4/28/1911, which is nearly a century ago, was “All Star Vaudeville,” with continuous performances from 9:00am to 11:00pm (persumably starting time for the last show). Tickets were 10 cents and 15 cents in the mornings, and 10-15-25 cents for the rest of the day and night.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 23, 2011 at 9:19 am

Seventy-two years ago today, John Ford’s B&W “Stagecoach,” a now classic western that elevated John Wayne to major stardom, opened its Boston premiere engagement at the paired Loew’s State and Orpheum. Columbia’s B&W thriller, “Whispering Enemies,” with Jack Holt and Dolores Costello, was the supporting feature…On that same day, M&P’s paired Paramount and Fenway opened with WB’s “Blackwell’s Island” and 20th-Fox’s “The Arizona Wildcat,” while M&P’s individually booked Metropolitan unveiled Paramount’s “Midnight,” supported by the same studio’s “King of Chinatown.”

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

Tinsetoes' comments above about the day-and-date film policies at the “Loewsstateandorpheum” and the Paramount/Fenway theaters are 100% accurate. I was a patron at all 4 theaters circa-1950.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on February 28, 2011 at 10:13 am

From the mid-1930s into at least the 1950s, Loew’s usually booked the Orpheum and the State with the same movies due to the State’s uptown location. In December, 1939, “Gone With the Wind” played its Boston premiere engagement at both houses. The Orpheum gave continuous performances of “GWTW” during the day, with reserved seats at night. The State gave only two reserved-seat showings daily.
New England Theatres also usually had a day-and-date policy in Boston for the Paramount and Fenway Theatres. For example, August 31, 1950, was opening day at Loew’s State & Orpheum for “Summer Stock” with short subjects, while the Paramount & Fenway unveiled “Fancy Pants” and “A Modern Marriage.”

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm

There was a vertical sign above the Washington St. entrance of the Orpheum in the 1950s, but I don’t think it was as tall as the one Mann photographed in 1931. On another matter: The Boston Public Library has an on-line video collection “Boston at the Movies”. One of the novelty films is “Boston Subway from an Electric Car”. They say it was filmed in downtown Boston in Dec. 1900, Copyrighted in Dec. 1901, first shown on Jan. 7, 1901 at the Boston Music Hall. In view of the Copyright date, I wonder if the first show was on Jan. 7, 1902?? In any event, by Jan. 1901 or 1902, the Boston Music Hall no longer existed, and had been remodeled into the Orpheum.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on January 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Thanks, tisloews. I’ll post a few more of George’s marquee photographs as time permits.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on January 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm

By the way Brad,I think it is great that George Mann thought to shoot all the marquees that they were on,and that the photos still survive and are still out there for us to see.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on January 31, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Great photo Brad, and yes the vertical was quite nice, looks a lot like the vertical of the Loews Palace in Washington D.C.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 31, 2011 at 11:30 am

That vertical sign is awesomely huge. Wonder when it was taken down?