C. Walsh Theatre

55 Temple Street,
Boston, MA 02114

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Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 14, 2018 at 10:48 am

I thought this had been sold and converted to residential use already?

Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller on March 14, 2018 at 10:34 am

Does anyone know if this building is available for sale? If so, please reach out. I have a group looking to renovate and re-open as a dinner theatre.

HowardBHaas on April 30, 2017 at 7:07 pm

for when this link breaks:

Suffolk University’s C. Walsh Theatre – a short history The C. Walsh Theatre closed in May 2016. Located at 55 Temple Street on Beacon Hill, the theatre was Suffolk University’s primary performance and presentation venue. Suffolk University founder Gleason Archer built the theatre in the early 1920s to accommodate large gatherings of Suffolk Law School students. Revenues from its daytime use as a movie theatre financed Law School operations. The building’s marquee boasted of having the “largest pipe organ in New England.” In its most recent renovation in 2006-2007, the theatre’s color and design elements reflected the warm intimacy of the original venue, location in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, and the youthful energy of the University and its students. Many esteemed guests appeared at the C. Walsh Theatre during its 90+ year history, including: Nobel Prize winners Shirin Ebadi (Peace) and Derek Walcott (Poetry) Congressional candidate John F. Kennedy Supreme Court Chief Justices William O. Douglas and Clarence Thomas Scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Robert Brustein, scholar, playwright, and founder of the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard Human rights activists Coretta Scott King and Samantha Power National Book Critic’s Circle Award winner Maxine Hong-Kingston Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Harbison, pianists Russell Sherman and Robert Levin, and opera director Sarah Caldwell Academy Award winning actor Jane Wyman and nominees Greer Garson and Felicity Huffman; novelist and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Irving; actors Ed Begley, Jr., Christopher McCann, Jennifer Westfeldt, and Paul Guilfoyle; and filmmakers Frederick Wiseman and Tamara Jenkins Tony Award winning composers William Finn and Jeanine Tesori The C. Walsh Theatre has hosted visiting professional performing artists and arts organizations, including: Hagoromo – “The Feather Robe” – presented by the Kanze School of Noh Theatre, Japan Classical ensemble Emmanuel Music presenting the work of Franz Schubert Me Am I – presented by the Milwaukee Dance Theatre Requiem for Srebrenica, a production of the French director Olivier Py and Centre Dramatique National Moll presented by OPENINGS Theatre Company of Dublin Collage New Music’s presentation of cutting-edge modern classical music United States premiere presentation of the Daita International Nagauta Music Ensemble of Tokyo The American Repertory Theatre’s Obie-award winning production of The Cryptogram

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 30, 2017 at 5:06 pm

This theater’s status should be changed to Closed.

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.


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 October 8, 2010 at 5:38 am

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

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 30, 2008 at 10:21 am

Thank you for posting this! I am continually surprised by the long-forgotten movie theatre locations that you and others turn up.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 30, 2008 at 10:06 am

The Suffolk Theatre’s ad in the Boston Globe for Christmas week of 1921 stated that the theater was located to the rear of the State House, that it had recently opened, and that movie shows were presented continuous from 130PM to 1030PM. There were 2 movies Mon-Wed, then a change of show with 2 more titles Thurs-Saturdays. There was a children’s show on Saturday mornings at 1030.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 29, 2008 at 9:56 am

It was a neighborhood movie theater in the 1920s. During the 1980s and 1990s it was used quite often by various theater groups of the “Off-Broadway” type. By that time it had been renamed from Suffolk Theatre to C. Walsh Theatre. Not having seen any listings for it in the last couple of years, I wondered if its building, the old Suffolk Law School, had been closed or demo’d. So I hiked up there a few days ago to check it out. It’s still there, and in the poster cases at the entrance were some posters for 2008 shows. The entrance has fancy heavy wood doors and I wonder if they are originals from 1920.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 29, 2008 at 6:50 am

I never knew this was once a cinema. Do you know for how long it showed movies?