C. Walsh Theatre

55 Temple Street,
Boston, MA 02114

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C. Walsh Theatre

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The C. Walsh Theatre is located on the Temple Street side of Suffolk University’s Archer Building (built in 1920) at Derne and Temple streets, directly behind the Massachusetts state capitol building.

It opened on or after April, 1921 as the Suffolk Theatre, the only neighborhood cinema atop Beacon Hill in downtown Boston. It was also just a short uphill walk from the Scollay Square/Bowdoin Square/ Cambridge Street areas.

It operates today as a school theater and as a rental house for various Off-Broadway -type theatrical groups.

Contributed by Ron Salters

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 3, 2008 at 10:15 am

This theater and the Steinert Hall on Boylston St. are probably the most obscure of the surviving old downtown Boston theaters. Although the Archer Building has a cornerstone reading “1920”, it’s possible that the building did not actually open until 1921. Donald King, in his 2005 book “The Theatres of Boston” (McFarland), stresses that the movie operation at the Suffolk Theatre did not last very long. He notes that the Suffolk had an organ and that the proceeds from the cinema went to the Suffolk Law School.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 5, 2008 at 10:00 am

The Suffolk Theatre is not listed in the Boston section of the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 21, 2008 at 7:22 am

The Ford Hall Forum lecture series is now affiliated with Suffolk University. Many of this fall’s lectures will take place in the C. Walsh Theatre.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 7, 2010 at 9:02 am

According to an article in today’s Herald, Suffolk University is considering selling its Beacon Hill buildings, including the one that contains this theatre. Would a new owner keep this theatre intact and open?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 7, 2010 at 9:28 am

Here is Suffolk University’s official web page for the C. Walsh Theatre, with an extensive history of various performers and speakers who have appeared there.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

I, too, wonder what the future of this theater is, if the property is sold.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Does this really have 1100 seats? That is much much bigger than what I remember.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 8, 2010 at 5:38 am

http://www.suffolk.edu/college/22887.html says that the C. Walsh theatre has 399 seats.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

The figure of 1,100 seats came from the Donald King Boston theaters book. It probably did have more than 399 seats prior to the renovation project a couple years ago, but maybe not as many as 1,100. Suffolk University’s new Modern Theatre on Washington Street will supposedly have about 185 seats which makes it even smaller than the C. Walsh Th.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 4, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Looks like the C. Walsh theatre will be gone soon. Suffolk University is selling the building (and those surrounding it) to a developer who will convert it to residential use.


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