Jamaica Theatre

413 Centre Street,
Boston, MA 02130

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The Jamaica Theatre was a large neighborhood house on Center Street in Jamaica Plain. It was at one time run by M & P Theatres, a Paramount affiliate. Further information welcomed.

Contributed by Ron Salters

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 22, 2008 at 11:37 am

By the way, Bob D., if you want to read amusing descriptions of attending kiddie matinees in the 1940s-50s, go to the page for the Dorchester Theatre in Boston, and the Rialto Theatre in Lowell MA. Also, do you know anything about the other movie theaters in Jamaica Plain listed here in Cinema Treasures? – the Egleston, the Madison and the Strand. If so, please write any comments on those pages.

bobbyfran on February 22, 2008 at 3:04 pm

The Egleston theatre was a bit more subdued as far as kiddie behavior. As I now look back at those days in the early 1950s, Mr Sweeney at the Jamaica Theatre tolerated quite a bit, within reason. The Egleston manager did not. As I recall, the Egleston ticket prices were higher than the Jamaica.

I draw a blank as far as the Strand goes but will ask my sister.

The Madison was the craziest movie theatre around. In fact, our knickname for it was “The Spitbox”!! I’ve seen kids get up and walk on the stage in front of the screen. I once saw someone throw a knife at the screen and then go up and retrieve it by pulling it out of whatever the backing for the screen was. I forget the managers name. He was small in stature but a real, no nonsense, tough guy. If he could catch the offender, they were thrown out the door bodily. No lawsuits in those days. I have to admit that I didn’t go to movies too often at the Madison.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Thanks Bob D. How about posting your memories directly on the pages for the Madison and the Egleston -anything and everything you can remember. There is very little posted there so far, especially for the Madison.

MarkB on November 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm

The Jamaica Theatre was at the site of the present Hi-Lo supermarket parking lot, at the corner of Centre and Barbara streets.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 22, 2008 at 11:55 am

Thanks for the info, MarkB. Please post anything you can find out about these neighborhood theaters in JP and surrounding areas. There is very little posted about them here in Cinema Treasures.

MarkB on November 22, 2008 at 5:07 pm


This article is from my blog. It includes the Jamaica, the Strand and the Madison.

View link

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 23, 2008 at 11:44 am

Mark-not-Whitey – enjoyed your blog, the theater ads and the little site maps are very helpful. I will be going back there to read more of the trains and trolleys info. Please see if you can locate the “Eggie” on a map; it was right below the El structure somewhere in Egleston Square.

MarkB on January 31, 2012 at 11:42 pm

The Egleston and the Jamaica theatres were both advertised under the M&P banner in the Boston Globe They sometimes ran the same films at the same time

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Given the size, age, name, and location of the Jamaica Theatre, it must be the theater that the January 15, 1921, issue of The American Contractor said was then under construction:

“Theater (M. P.): 2 sty. 120x83. Hyde Sq. Jamaica Plain. Archt. Wm. Dykeman, 120 Tremont st. Owner Jamaica Amusement Co., Fred'k Greene, 37 Tremont st. Fdn. let to Jos. Imhof, 6 Ashley St., Jamaica Plain. Work started.”

MarkB on August 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I just added a fire insurance map that shows the location of the building.

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