Cutler Majestic Theatre

219 Tremont Street,
Boston, MA 02116

Unfavorite 11 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 65 comments

da_Bunnyman on April 11, 2018 at 4:24 am

The book “Movie Roadshow” by Kim R. Holston mentions The Saxon hosted the world premier of ‘The Cardinal’ in 1963. Also mentions that Ben Sack thought New York critics unfairly savaged many films in their reviews so he was determined to make Boston an alternate hub for big premieres. He resurrected the Majestic theater, installed TODD-AO equipment, renamed it The Saxon and opened it with Oklahoma and later Around The World In 80 Days.

da_Bunnyman on March 7, 2018 at 4:12 am

I noticed a comment mentioning sitting in the Saxon and seeing light coming in from behind the screen. There was a skylight backstage that leaked rather badly. So during rainstorms there was water dripping among the huge electrical switches back there. Never had to do it but was told only way to replace lights that were at the top of the interior dome was to send someone up above and into the ceiling interior. The light unit would then have to be lowered to the floor on a rope and the bulb changed.

MSC77 on December 31, 2017 at 4:11 pm

There’s a new retrospective article out on “Camelot” which gives an overview of its roadshow run (including mention of its engagement here) and a historian interview.

DavidZornig on August 28, 2017 at 8:48 pm

11/09/65 Boston Globe photo added. Power outage traffic jam.

Texas2step on May 1, 2017 at 12:47 am

The Majestic was showing movies as early as 1923.

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on September 27, 2015 at 11:32 pm

The Majestic was definitely showing films in 1925. I’ve got a herald for THE BIG PARADE (1925) from this theater saying screenings were twice daily (2:30 and 8:30) and all seats were reserved.

rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Saxon announcement from August 26th, 1956 uploaded here.

sweetmel on May 20, 2012 at 6:15 am

I remember that the upper balcony was closed but the lower one wasn’t and, there were rat in the there! One time I was on a date and we put our popcorn barrell down at our feet and within minutes there was a rat digging in to our barrell of popcorn!

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm

More details about the Fox Theatre across from the Majestic. Its west wall was on Tremont Street, north wall on Boylston St., south wall on LaGrange St. Its east wall, the rear wall of its stage, would have been up against the rear stage wall of the Publix/Gayety Theatre on Washington St. Its main entrance would have been on Boylston near the corner of Tremont; the circular rotunda-style inner foyer would have had doors on Tremont Street, and also behind the grand staircase leading out to LaGrange Street. The Fox would have been the largest movie palace in Boston, with at least 600 more seats than the Met/Wang. Its west wall would have been located diagonally across from the front of the Cutler Majestic.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm

More details about the huge Fox Theatre that was to have been built in 1929-30 across from the Majestic. It was to have been built on the site of the Hotel Touraine on the southeast corner of Tremont & Boylston streets, including the alley along the east side of the hotel. It would have had over 5,000 seats and a grand foyer in the form of a circular rotunda. Large elevators would take patrons to the upper levels in addition to staircases. It was one of 7 or 8 new Fox theaters planned in various US cities. These plans were crushed by the stock market crash. “Someone Who Was There” thinks that plans for this theater might still exist somewhere. The Hotel Touraine building still stands today.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I’ve found multiple sources saying that the Majestic Theatre itself was designed by Chicago architect J. M. Wood, and that John Galen Howard designed the building exterior. However, I’ve come across an item in the April 18, 1903, issue of American Architect and Architecture which says that while Wood had originally been associated with Howard in the project, he had withdrawn at an early stage.

The text is at this link. Scroll UP a few pages for an exterior photo, then a few more pages for two interior photos of the theater.

At this link is an article from the March 7, 1903, issue of the advertisers' trade supplement of American Architect and Building News. Along with a fairly detailed description, it features an additional two interior photos of the Majestic, and a small exterior photo.

whbjr on June 19, 2011 at 4:20 am

Around 1980, this was definitely a dive – Sack owned it, but made no repairs – the men’s bathroom was just plain scary, and I recall attending an afternoon show, sitting in a seat close to the stage, looking up and seeing daylight through a sprinkling of holes in the roof. Films there included such low-brow fare as “Comin' at Ya!” – 3D cinema at its worst. And yet, that’s where I saw “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” in 70mm.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm

That should be “None of these theaters WAS ever built.” I should point out that my knowledge of where the Boston Fox was to be located is based on hearsay.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm

The Theatre Historical Society’s Marquee Magazine, 2nd issue of 2010, has a group of articles about William Fox and Fox Theatres written by CT member Barry Goodkin. He relates that on January 6, 1929, William Fox announced that he was planning an office building and a Fox theater at Broadway & 47th Street in New York, plus large Fox theaters (5,000 to 6,000 seats) in Boston, Cleveland, L.A., Pittsburgh, Newark, Baltimore and Chicago. None of these theaters were ever built. The huge Fox Theatre in Boston was to have been built on the east side of Tremont Street, opposite the Majestic Theatre. (I assume it was to be located on either the north corner of LaGrange Street, or the south corner.) It would have been even larger than the Metropolitan/Wang.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 14, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Joan Cutler, whose family name is on this theater, passed away a couple weeks ago, age 80.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 23, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Further to the above, in the mid-1950s the Majestic was closed most of the time; occasionally a movie played there briefly. However, it was kept neat and clean on the outside. I don’t recall that it was boarded up at all, and it did not look abandoned and neglected. It was a Shubert house.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 4, 2010 at 7:01 pm

One point that I might take issue with in the Sack Theatres article in Boxoffice Magazine, April 28, 1958,(posted above by Gerry DeLuca) is the description by Ben Sack that the Majestic in 1956 was “abandoned” and “boarded up”. And that he had to peer between the boards to look into the lobby. I don’t remember it that way at all.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 27, 2010 at 12:02 am

The cover of Boxoffice magazine, April 28, 1958, had a montage of Ben Sack with four of his theatres: the Saxon, the Capri, the Beacon Hill, and the Gary.

…and an article on Sack and his success with the acquisition of Boston theatres:
View link

ERD on November 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm

A beautiful theatre that has been restored to its original beauty.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 6, 2009 at 4:06 am

The marquee advertises Prom Night and the sign at street level advertises Oh God! Book II with George Burns. Both movies indeed came out in 1980, according to .

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm

ken mc- yes, that’s the Saxon/Majestic in Boston. August 1980 is probably the correct date.

kencmcintyre on April 30, 2009 at 3:53 am

This is supposed to be the Boston Saxon in 1980. The photo may be miscaptioned.

MPol on December 10, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I rememember going to see a live concert that included that reunion of Glen Yarborough, the Kingston Trio, and some other folk/rock groups. What a concert that was! Both Glen Yarborough and the Kingston Trio were at their finest, and the Kingston Trio, as usual, sang their song “Charley on the MTA”, which had made them famous.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 26, 2008 at 6:29 pm

There will be a public Open House at the Majestic on Sunday Sept.14,2008 from 1 – 5PM. Visitors can tour the theater and learn about the upcoming season. One of the future attractions will be a classic silient film, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” to be presented March 25-29, 2009. This show, produced by Vox Lumiere, features some sort of live presentation along with the film including music and singers.