Cutler Majestic Theatre

219 Tremont Street,
Boston, MA 02116

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rivest266
rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 6:14 am

Saxon announcement from August 26th, 1956 uploaded here.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 15, 2012 at 7:56 am

Movie roadshow renovations described in this 1957 trade article: boxoffice

sweetmel
sweetmel on May 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm

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 11:36 am

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 11:00 am

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 4:46 am

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
whbjr on June 18, 2011 at 8:20 pm

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 10:52 am

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 10:48 am

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 11:08 am

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 11:09 am

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 11:01 am

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 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

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.
http://issuu.com/boxoffice/docs/boxoffice_042858

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

ERD
ERD on November 10, 2009 at 8:22 am

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

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 5, 2009 at 8:06 pm

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 IMDB.com .

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 3, 2009 at 10:17 am

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

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm

This is supposed to be the Boston Saxon in 1980. The photo may be miscaptioned.
http://tinyurl.com/cqmqb6

MPol
MPol on December 10, 2008 at 5:56 am

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 10:29 am

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.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 16, 2008 at 10:51 am

There were a number of roadshow presentations of feature films at the Majestic in the period 1915-20, although supposedly a projection booth was not constructed until 1921. Possibly they used a make-shift booth of some kind. In the 1950s and later, the projection booth was located at the center-rear of the first balcony.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 15, 2008 at 12:37 pm

On April 28, 1918, the Majestic Theatre was presenting two performances daily of D.W. Griffith’s “Hearts of the World,” with all seats reserved at prices ranging from 25 cents to $1.50. To keep tickets out of the hands of “speculators,” no more than six could be purchased in any transaction. I’d be happy to send a copy of the ad to anyone contacting me privately at .com

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 15, 2008 at 10:53 am

As of December 1921, the Majestic was being used as the Boston outlet for Shubert Vaudeville. The Shuberts did not stay in the Vaudeville business for very long.

Ian
Ian on March 17, 2007 at 12:04 pm

Exterior picture here:–

View link

DennisJOBrien
DennisJOBrien on January 16, 2007 at 4:19 pm

This was a really magnificent place to see a movie in the 1960’s. In fact, it was one of the first downtown cinemas that I ever visited with my parents. In 1957 or early 1958 we saw “Around the World in 80 Days.” I was only six at the time, but I can still remember being impressed with the sweep of the film on the wide screen. In 1962 we had reserved seats here for Marlon Brando’s version of “Mutiny on the Bounty.” In 1966 we saw “Doctor Zhivago,” which was a 70mm blow-up from the 35mm original negative. The cinematography and sound in that film were superb in this theater. I remember noting that “Midnight Cowboy” opened here in 1969. For an X-rated film, it was not showing in a porn theater on Lower Washington, but in a very respectable venue indeed. I’m glad that the theater has been saved by Emerson College.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 11, 2006 at 8:11 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Majestic has an exterior photo dated May 1941. There is an elaborate 3-sided marquee on the north half of the facade advertising Walt Disney’s “Fantasia”. The theatre’s name is not on this marquee. The Report states that the Majestic is a “Road Show House”, that it is not showing MGM product, that it is in Poor condition (hard to believe of a Shubert-owned house), and that it has the following seating: Orchestra- 597, Balcony- 439, Gallery- 440, Boxes- 112, total: 1,588 seats.