RKO Boston Theatre

614 Washington Street,
Boston, MA 02111

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Showing 1 - 25 of 135 comments

martybearass on October 7, 2019 at 11:14 am

would love to see some new pics of interior! imagine what it looks like now!!!

Dlrespaul on January 14, 2019 at 9:17 pm

City of Boston records show the building has been owned by the MBTA since at least 1996 and is tax exempt property.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 14, 2019 at 4:55 pm

The building contains state offices, but I don’t think the state owns it.

MSC77 on January 14, 2019 at 4:36 pm

This theater’s numerous roadshow engagements are noted in this new article on Boston’s large format and roadshow history

Dlrespaul on January 13, 2019 at 10:37 pm

The theater is still intact with it’s twinned orchestra and only part of the main entrance hallway to the theater’s lobby has been lost when it was converted into a subway station entrance. The state owns the building, which is filled with state offices, so it is safe from development and makes it the last major unused downtown theater available for restoration.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 23, 2018 at 10:37 am

Great article— now THAT’S entertainment…!

DavidZornig on July 23, 2018 at 9:06 am

If you are able to scan it and it remains legible, you can create a jpeg and post it to the Photos section.

rknbarb on July 23, 2018 at 9:04 am

My grandfather Edward “Eddie” Rosenwald was the conductor of this theater during its vaudeville period. I have an article from the Boston Herald in 1937 that I just added to the photos.

MSC77 on April 11, 2018 at 9:10 am

A good joke, da_Bunnyman, but it’s not true. “Scent of Mystery”/“Holiday in Spain” played sans stink in Minneapolis and Toronto before playing Boston.

da_Bunnyman on April 10, 2018 at 9:15 pm

Forgive me for this piece of trivia but I can’t resist the joke. In 1960 the film “Scent Of A Mystery” was released only in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in 70mm with the Smell-O-Vision gimmick. In 1962 the film was reissued in Boston as “Holiday In Spain” so the Boston Cinerama was the first place to show the film after it stopped stinking.

MSC77 on April 10, 2018 at 9:54 am

Fifty years ago today, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” premiered here.

To celebrate the occasion, I’m sharing the link to a new retrospective article on “2001.” This and many other cinemas get a mention in the piece.

DavidZornig on August 7, 2017 at 6:28 pm

April 1968 photo added courtesy of Don McCauley.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 14, 2017 at 10:25 am

Yes, the State II was in a storefront near the State Theatre entrance, and was definitely not carved out of the State itself. There were a number of these small porno cinemas located in storefronts in those days.

DavidZornig on June 14, 2017 at 8:35 am

Ron Salters 2005 mention of the State II at the bottom of his comment.

rsalters (Ron Salters) rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 15, 2005 at 9:07 am

I went into the Trans Lux for the first time circa 1960, before the change of name to State. There was a black and white movie of girl volley ball players who played the game nude. The house was in good condition. The dressing rooms for the Park Th. were in a seperate building across the alley to the rear of the stage and there was an overhead bridge connecting. I have a very vague memory of seeing this when looking up the alley circa late-1940s. After that, it was gone. The actor James C. Powers played at the Park in 1880 in a show called “Dreams” with Willie Edouin. In his autobiography, published around 1943, Jimmy Powers tells of life at the Park in those days. He and Willie Edouin apparently had a relationship similar to Homer and Bart Simpson. Movies pretty much took over the Park after 1912 or so, until Minsky Burlesque came in during the 1930s. The original Park Th. had 2 balconies, an orchestra circle, and boxes.There was a tunnel from a small hotel to the south which led to the backstage. This hotel was demolished after a gas explosion there in the early 1960s. The State II was located in a storefront on Washington St. and was not carved out of the State itself. The State closed in 1985.

DavidZornig on June 14, 2017 at 8:25 am

Thanks. I will see what more I can find out before creating a page for it.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 14, 2017 at 8:22 am

Yes. I know almost nothing else about it, other than that it existed and was directly at the northwest corner of Washington and Boylston. I suspect it was a small storefront cinema rather than a cutting-up of the State, but I really don’t know.

DavidZornig on June 14, 2017 at 8:19 am

So State II is the one with the box sign next to the State, and has no CT page as of yet.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 14, 2017 at 8:16 am

To clarify, State II and Cinema X Twin both existed, but were different theatres, a block apart.

DavidZornig on June 14, 2017 at 8:15 am

Woops, not sure now. Please clarify where those photos should go. Thanks.

DavidZornig on June 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

Thanks all. I will re-post the pics that show the Cinema X Twin Theatre signage on it’s page.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 14, 2017 at 7:59 am

That’s a different location (and does have its own separate listing here at CinemaTreasures, as Cinema X Twin Theatre).

Bill L
Bill L on June 14, 2017 at 7:56 am

Twin X or Cinema X Twin – Washington at LaGrange. I think the State was split into two houses and became State 1&2.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 14, 2017 at 7:41 am

Looks like it was a (storefront?) theatre called the State II Cinema, not listed at CinemaTreasures. This vaguely matches my memory of the location.

DavidZornig on June 14, 2017 at 6:19 am

I checked the State, but it actually the place on the corner next to the State. The same box sign is visible here.