Wang Theatre

270 Tremont Street,
Boston, MA 02116

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Showing 1 - 25 of 140 comments

barry111
barry111 on November 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm

A bit of an aside, but perhaps someone may also have heard that in the 20’s and 30’s, there was a night club in the basement of the Metropolitan called The Platinum Salon. It was owned and run by my grandfather. I’m not sure of the exact dates. I know that many big bands played there and I have some photos of the club which are quite stunning. And one other note, Louis Armstrong stayed at my grandparents' (and father’s) house when he played in Boston as I believe he was unable to rent a hotel room in the so-called liberal North. In any case, my father worked at the counter for many years. There were movies as well as live bands and some theater in the main hall during those years.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 6, 2013 at 8:59 pm

except, it’s not a cinema anymore. No movies are shown here.

darrenparlett
darrenparlett on August 6, 2013 at 8:45 pm

You people are so lucky having a cinema like this.. Amazing

dgidez
dgidez on August 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm

My Mother has fond memories of seeing “THE TAMING OF THE SHREW” at this theater when it was THE METROPOLITAN. Also from what I’ve been told they had the first 3D movie in the Boston Area at this theater, it was a really big deal (still trying to get the title)…

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm

The street address on the MGM Report is 268 Tremont St., not Washington St.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm

The Theatre Historical Society archive has the MGM Theatre Report for the (then) Metropolitan Theatre at 268 Washington St., Boston. The theater’s condition was rated “Excellent”. There were 2239 orchestra seats, 1788 balcony seats, and 222 seats in the loges; total: 4,249. There is an exterior photo taken in April 1941. The “Met” had a huge, long marquee which ran almost the entire width of the building,but it was rather narrow,not very high.

slip
slip on May 12, 2013 at 8:04 am

I’m trying to contact Frank C. Grace, the photographer of the above photo. Please email me at

Thank you
Harry Angus

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Thank you, dickneeds111.

Click here for an exterior view of the Metropolitan Theatre in 1929.

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on May 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Brad. Please correct your Click Here. When you click on it it goes to the Loews Metropolitan in Brookly New York.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 8, 2011 at 10:53 am

I was downtown yesterday and noticed a crew and crane working at the front of the Shubert Theatre directly across from the Wang. Looks like they have torn down the top half of the Shubert’s facade. What’s that all about??? The Shubert will be 102 years old in January and is in very good condition. Unfortunately, it’s dark most of the time due to lack of product.

Frank C. Grace
Frank C. Grace on September 13, 2011 at 5:58 am

I was allowed to photograph the inside of this magnificent theatre last Friday. I have uploaded the few that I have had time to process here. Wow, what an amazing theatre!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 28, 2011 at 6:33 pm

thanks Chuck,Great pictures.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 27, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Great shots of the Wang Theatre.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

In a 1918 Boston street directory, the site of the Wang Th., between the Wilbur Th. and Hollis St., was occupied by the New Richword Hotel.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Grand old theatre .great stories.

ginabiehn
ginabiehn on September 27, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Thank you so much. That information is very helpful to me.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 27, 2010 at 10:32 am

ginabiehn – for movie titles look at the Met’s ads in the entertainment section of Boston newspapers, such as the Globe and Post for the years you want to write about. The papers are on file on microfilm at the Boston Public Library. For many years after it opened, the Met was a first-run movie theater, so the ticket prices were a bit higher than in the neighborhood houses. (example: in 1955, about 75 cents at night, versus 45 or 50 cents in a “nabe”.)The Met attracted a wide mass audience.

ginabiehn
ginabiehn on September 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Thank you all for your very informative discussion about the Metropolitan/Wang theatre in Boston. I am working on a project about the old movie palaces of the 1920’s and 30’s and I chose this theatre to research. Would anybody have any infomation or know of any places where I could research exactly what movies were playing there in that time period? Or about the people who attended? Any links or tips for research would be much appreciated. Thank you

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on July 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

Would like to see photos of the new electronic marquees.I hope it enhanced the theatres because the marquee on the Wang was very boring.brucec

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 21, 2010 at 11:43 am

The marquee which forms a rain canopy over the sidewalk has been redecorated. As posted above, there is a large electronic marquee above it, perpendicular to the facade. There are similar new electronic marquees next door at the Wilbur Theatre and across the street on the Shubert.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on April 24, 2010 at 10:13 am

Click here for a photograph of the Metropolitan [Wang] Theatre taken in 1929 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto & Mann.

spectrum
spectrum on February 11, 2010 at 11:57 am

Here’s a corrected link to the photos at the Conrad Schmitt studios. Some great before and after restoration photos!

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 28, 2009 at 11:50 am

I have heard that there was a screening room in the Met with some 90 seats in it for showing new movies to “the trade”. It was located upstairs somewhere at the front of the house. The space is still there, but the mini-cinema is long gone.

silverquill
silverquill on September 26, 2009 at 6:42 pm

The Music Hall/Metropolitan Theatre is one of the qualifying buildings for the Piano Row District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Here is the narrative description from the nomination form:

Music Hall/Metropolitan Theatre

Architect: Chief Designers: Blackall, Clapp and Kenneth Franzheim, G. Nelson Meser
Builder: Olympia Construction Co.

Irregularly-shaped Renaissance Revival “palazzo skyscraper” with symetrical, 11-bay Tremont facade. Two-story colonnade of engaged fluted Greek Ionic columns at level 2-3. Shaft of building organized by rising piers, recessed spandrals and paired metal window units, with ornament concentrated at level 4 and 5. Building terminated by two-story colonnade of engaged Corinthian pilasters at level 12 and 13, plus denti cornice and roof cresting of palmettes and theatre masks.

The Music Hall/Metropolitan is highly significant as the largest theatre in Boston history and one of the largest in the country, as the best example of the sumptuous “movie palace” of the roaring twenties and as the last of Clarence Blackall’s 14 Boston theatres.

The theatre reputedly cost 8.5m, seats 4200-4400, and is housed in a large office building, first to be constructed in Boston under a new height limit of 14 stories. Architect Clarence Blackall (1857-1942), one of the leading U.S. theatre architects and designer of the Colonial, Wilbur, Modern and Pilgrim/Olympia. The interior, modeled after Garnier’s Paris Opera and decorated in the Louis XIV style, was appropriately advertised as “the public castle” with “a thousand and one wonders” including the grand lobby with four tiers of prominades, spacious lounges, marble doorways, rose jasper pillers, tow 1800-lb. gold plated chandeliers, bronze details by the Gorham Company, and $10,000 in gems decorating the central mural painting by Edmund Philo Kellog.

The entertainment was equally extravagant. The Met offered a combination of films and stage show, which might feature its resident ballet corps, 100-voice chorus, 55-piece orchestra and two console organ, all for 35 cents or 75 cents on weekend evenings. Resident producer John Murray Anderson arranged his own stage shows, headlined over the years with stars such as Rudy Vallee, Al Jolson, Burns and Allen, Jack Benny and Bob Hope. A seating board and cadre of 40 well-mannered, costumed ushers made sure that no seat remained empty long. Waiting patrons could arrange for bridge parties, lounge in comfortable chairs with the latest magazines, prominade to the music of two lobby orchestras, play ping pong, or visit the chic art deco restaurant which opened in 1932.

Since the destruction of the Boston Opera House in 1958, the Metropolitan has been used for performances by the Royal Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Company, Bolshoi, Kirov and Stuttgart Opera. Has been “Music Hall” leased by Sach Theatres since 1962.

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JohnMLauter
JohnMLauter on September 25, 2009 at 8:52 am

The Wurlitzer (4 manual 26 rank)that was in the Metropolitan was removed in the early 70s, it was purchased by a group from Portand Oregon who operated a theatre organ-equipped pizza parlor there, the “Organ Grinder”. The Boston Met console was added to their existing organ, the core of which came from the Portland Oriental theatre (3-13 Wurlitzer), as did select ranks of pipes, the remaining pipes were sold off piecemeal, breaking up the original organ. After the restaurant closed in 1996 the 44 rank colossus was sold to a Chicago interest who broke it up for parts, the console is now back in the Boston area controlling a fine instrument at the Shanklin conference center, adjacent to the Shanklin Corporation’s plant.
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