Boston Opera House

539 Washington Street,
Boston, MA 02111

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Boston Opera House

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The B.F. Keith Memorial Theatre was a vaudeville house in Boston’s theater district. It opened on October 29, 1928 with the film “Oh Kay” starring Colleen Moore. This beautiful house later became part of the RKO theater chain and the RKO Keith’s switched to a movies only format.

Its name was later changed to the Savoy Theatre and was purchased by Sack Theatres. In 1978, the Savoy Theatre was sold by Sack to the Opera Company of Boston, and the theater became known as the Opera House, for which it was used until 1990.

The theater was renovated, restored, and reopened in July 2004 by Clear Channel Entertainment, and is now a site for touring Broadway shows and other live entertainment, known as the Boston Opera House.

Recent comments (view all 137 comments)

Nataloff on August 14, 2012 at 5:20 am

Apparently this is the site that pops up when you can’t sleep. I’m Nat Segaloff and I was publicity director of Sack Theatres from January 0f 1973 through November of 1974. I remember a lot of great people who worked at the Savoy including Lee (nee Laurie) Arnone, George Andriotti, Fran DeVasto, Steve Amy, Keith Langan, Cedric Henderson, Barbara, John Goyack, and I’m trying to connect faces with the names on this thread, so please help. Of course, the last entry was in April of 2012 and before that in 2011, so there’s more of a chance of the bust of B. F. Keith singing “Volari” than of my hearing back from or about anybody. BTW, I moved to LA in 1993 and have been writing books and producing TV shows off and on since then. And I miss Boston every day.

rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

The Grand opening ads for the Keith Memorial and Savoy has been uploaded here.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the (then) “RKO Memorial” Theatre. The condition of the theater was “Deluxe”; there were 1641 orchestra seats and 1266 balcony seats; total: 2907. There is an exterior photo of the Washington Street entrance taken in 1941.

Elyse Eisenberg
Elyse Eisenberg on October 7, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Hi Guys! Accidental browsing returned me to this site. Saw Laurie/Lee Arnone and Nat Segaloff’s posts. Just posted my photo to see if anyone remembers me. Hope I haven’t changed too much. Lee/Laurie, sorry we never crossed paths when you lived here. I remember you very well. In 1980 Warner Bros moved me to NYC after Boston then transferred me to LA in 1983. Living in West Hollywood since 1987. A struggling producer after almost two decades at WB, VP Worldwide Acquisitions. Fun career and I credit my start at the Sack Savoy for it. If anyone wanders here again, say hi!

DavidZornig on April 13, 2015 at 5:17 am

1967 newspaper image and copy added courtesy of Tim O'Neill.

Movie theatre riot in Boston; May, 1967. Here’s what happened: A Columbia Pictures publicist came up with an idea…..If anyone showed up at the Savoy Theatre at 2:00 a.m. for the premiere of the James Bond spoof, CASINO ROYALE, wearing a trench coat, that person gets in for free. Well; apparently there was a pre-exam reading period going on at Boston colleges so; therefore, thousands of college students had some free time on their hands so 15,000 students wearing trench coats showed up and, of course, most of them couldn’t get into the theatre so a riot broke out.

DavidZornig on November 27, 2015 at 9:41 pm

1973 photo of the Tremont side of the Savoy added, photo credit Carl Bertolino.

BobSchlapowitz on April 13, 2016 at 5:02 am

In August they are screening the Star Wars Trilogy at the Boston Opera House!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 13, 2016 at 5:05 am

I think this will be the first movie shown here since it closed as the Sack Savoy in the late 1970s. Do they still have projection equipment?

Bill L
Bill L on April 13, 2016 at 6:23 am

Sack would have almost certainly pulled out their equipment when they walked away from the house. I don’t think a movie has been shown there since. They will probably bring in a portable digital projection setup for this show.

HowardBHaas on April 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm

A comment yesterday at the Kings Brooklyn page on this site was that the Star Wars films will be DCP (current movie theater digital standard).

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