Allston Theatre

128 Brighton Avenue,
Boston, MA 02134

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Allston Theatre Interior, ca1915

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Allston Theatre was a mid-size neighborhood movie theatre with an attractive facade in the Allston section of Boston, to the west of downtown. It was opened in 1914, and at one time run by M & P Theatres, a Paramount affiliate. Further information welcomed.

Contributed by Ron Salters

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on June 19, 2008 at 10:04 am

If one should go to eBay during the next 5 days, enter “trolley books” in the search engine and scroll down to this entry: Clarke, the Boston Transit Album – 1977 – trolleys. The book seller has reproduced several good photos from it, the fifth of which is a clear shot of the Allston in the near background. Taken during MTA construction on 3 Aug 1949, the photo features a new PCC T-line trolley passing in front of the theater on Brighton at Harvard. The main marquee is blocked from view, but the tall one on the front of the building is visible. Perhaps someone could reproduce it and scan it on this page…

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 19, 2008 at 10:15 am

Nice find Jim. Here is a direct link to the photo. Lets see how long the link lasts.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on June 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm

If anyone could get an uplink here that fast, it hadda be good ol' LM! Whoa!

[Will be in NYC again very soon. Booking a flight today. If you don’t have my e-addy, you can get it from PKoch or Bway Chris…]

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on June 25, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Lost Memory, it appears your 19 Jun link above managed to last as long as the auction for the book. Hope some of the Boston movie theater fans got to see it (or copied it to disc) during the week before it went sayonara on us all…

Thanks again!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Jim….Unfortunately I didn’t save the photo to disk. Ebay links don’t normally last very long so get ‘em while their hot. :)

I’m not receiving email for this theater. Maybe this comment with turn that feature back on.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on June 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Fortunately, I did save it to a floppy and I’ll get it to you somehow when I’m in Brooklyn this summer.

The notification feature has been working for me. Give the box at the bottom another click when you retrieve this one.

MPol
MPol on September 25, 2008 at 10:49 am

I remember the Allston Theatre very well. It was a small, but comfy theatre. Back in the early 1980’s, during my last year of college, I lived in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner, very close to the Allston-Brookline border, and therefore within walking distance to that theatre. I recall seeing “West Side Story” and afew other films in that theatre.

Then, it eventually became a “Bollywood” Cinema before closing down completely (correct me if I’m wrong on this one, anybody)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 2, 2008 at 10:56 am

MPol- are you confusing the old Allston Th. with the Allston Cinemas on Harvard Ave.? (that was the one which became a Bollywood house).

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 31, 2011 at 10:41 am

The street directory section of the 1918 edition of the Boston Register and Business Directory, Issue 83, says: “Allston Theatre, 130 Brighton Avenue” (near Harvard Avenue).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

Moving Picture World of December 20, 1913, carried the following item about the proposed Allston Theatre:

“R. W. J. MCDONALD, of 96 Milk street, Boston, reports the erection and sale of the Allston Theater, 128 Brighton avenue, near the corner of Harvard avenue. The plans, by Architect George N. Meserve, call for the erection, for Walker & Watson, of an absolutely fireproof theater, costing $100,000, with a total seating capacity of 1,200. The building is to be of brick, stone and concrete, with a frontage of 70 feet, and a depth of 132 feet. The stage has a width of 70 feet and a depth of 27 feet, with a proscenium opening 35 feet wide and 25 feet high. The stage is to have all the latest improvements for the presentation of pictures and vaudeville. Special attention has been given to the acoustic properties, ventilating plant and the electric lighting, which is to be the ‘direct-indirect’ system. The safety of patrons has been given first consideration; the theater being open on all four sides, with twice as many exits as the law requires. The auditorium floor will be of concrete, with no basement, making it absolutely non-combustible. The mezzanine floor contains the ladies' waiting rooms and offices. The front is to be of classic style of architecture, built of Norman brick, with Indiana limestone trimmings, and a marquee of 42 feet long will extend the entire length of the sidewalk.”
The December 27 issue of the same publication reported that construction of the new theater on Brighton Avenue was underway. I haven’t found any announcements of the opening of the Allston Theatre, but it must have been in 1914.

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