RKO Boston Theatre
614 Washington Street,
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Previous Names: Keith-Albee Boston Theatre, RKO Keith-Boston Theatre, Boston Cinerama, Essex Theatre, Star Theatre
News About This Theater
- Mar 31, 2013 — "2001: A Space Odyssey" 45th Anniversary – The Cinerama Engagements
- Jan 26, 2009 — Remembering Cinerama (Part 19: Boston)
Located at the corner of Washington Street and Essex Street. Opened as the Keith-Albee Boston Theatre on October 5, 1925 with Reginald Denny in “California Straight Ahead” & Charlie Chase in “The Caretakers Daughter” plus vaudeville on the stage. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer theatre organ. It had 3,231 seats. The entrance on Washington Street contained the mirrored lobby which contained Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers and there was a second entrance on Essex Street. This house still ran combo live shows and movies through the mid-1940’s attracting stars such as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, the Ink Spots, the Andrews Sisters, Abbott & Costello and Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.
Cinerama came in Christmas week of 1953 and stayed until around 1969. They sealed off balcony with a foot of cement and twinned the downstairs using the Essex Street entrance, running Asian/Chinese Kung Fu films and porn as the Star Theatre until at least 1986. Today part of the Washington Street entrance is a subway entrance. The office building surrounding the theatre is occupied by the city. The auditorium was used as a warehouse, but currently sits unused.
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