Loew's State Theater

205 Massachusetts Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115

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State Theatre complex - 1928

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1922, the Loew’s State Theater was a decadent movie palace with velvet seating, opera-type box seats and balcony seating.

Replete with a luxurious ladies room with chairs and sofas and huge mirrors around the room. The theater was filled with chandeliers and carpeted in an Asiatic theme. The theater also had a very large pipe organ and huge red velvet drapes that opened and closed at each showing.

After closing as a movie theatre in 1959, it went over to live performance and concerts use. Sadly, the old Loew’s State Theater on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston was demolished in May, 1968.

Contributed by 'Hayesnel'

Recent comments (view all 57 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 14, 2011 at 2:18 pm

One of the first events at this theater sponsored by the Boston archdiocese was some sort of presentation for Boy Scouts. This took place on Sunday afternoon, July 5, 1959. The younger brother of a friend in Quincy attended.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on February 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm

First sentence of the introduction claims that this was a “decadent” movie palace. The mind boggles at the meaning of that!

Shawn96816
Shawn96816 on February 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Let me set the record straight, On September 11, 1959, The Archdiocese of Boston and Cardinal Richard Cushing renamed the Loew’s State Theater, located at 205 Massachusetts Avenue “The Donnelly Memorial Theater” in honor of the Late Mr & Mrs Edward Calvin Donnelly, Sr. of Back Bay. Their continuous devotion and contribution was closely involved with the Holy Cross Cathedral, located in the South End. Their work within the Catholic Church, had spanned over fifty years. The Donnelly Family had been involved in the Advertising Industry in Boston since 1850.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on February 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Thank you for clearing this matter up. Now I am wondering if the Donnelly Company that prints phone directories in parts of the country is related to the company E.C. was connected to.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for the info Clement.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm

According to the Boston Globe archives, the last show at the Back Bay Theatre was the Four Seasons on Sunday night, May 26, 1968.

wshanks39
wshanks39 on January 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm

The last show that I saw here was “The Kingston Trio” on stage around 1958. It was already re-named “The Donnelly Memorial Theater” at that time. Over the years, while growing up on West Concord St,I saw many movies here. The last movie I saw here was “I want To Live.”

MarkB
MarkB on March 28, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I added a from 1928 map to the Photo section that shows the State, the Fine Arts and the ballroom.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Commended for showmanship in this 1928 trade article: Boxoffice

rivest266
rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 9:26 am

This opened on March 12th, 1922.

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