Berklee Performance Center

136 Massachusetts Avenue,
Boston, MA 02115

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Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA

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Built as the Fenway Theatre in 1915, this is now a concert hall owned by Berklee College of Music, which extensively renovated it and reopened it in 1976.

Contributed by Ron Newman

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 13, 2011 at 6:35 pm

The Boston Herald reported today that the Boston Redevelopment Authority yesterday approved the Berklee College Master Plan for their section of Mass. Avenue. I don’t know what’s in the plan today, but 4 years ago it called for the demolition of this theater, and the construction of a new building containing a new theater.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm

The Jan.15, 1916 issue of Moving Picture World trade magazine had a short item about the recent opening of the Fenway Th. There was also a facade photo. The building was owned by Colonial Realty and managed by Stanley Summer. The movie screen had “gold fibre” cloth. The organist also served at the Trinity Church. There was also an orchestra and “high class” vocal artistes who performed between films. There were young women ushers. Over 15,000 attended the open house on opening day.

MarkB on August 16, 2011 at 7:45 am

The Fenway in 1948 can be seen here:

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm

The business section of today’s Boston Herald has a short item reporting that today there will be a ground-breaking ceremony hosted by Berklee at 160 Massachusetts Avenue, just a few steps from the Berklee Performance Center. The new building will be a 16-floor dorm with a “performing arts facility”, and will cost $65M. Will the auditorium in this new building replace the Berklee theater???

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 1, 2011 at 3:47 am

The Globe has more detail on this: Berklee breaks ground on 16-story dorm, performance center

Only a single one-story building was demolished to make way for this project. The new building will contain a “400-seat student performance venue”. That’s a lot smaller than the existing Performance Center and I think it serves a different purpose.

dickneeds111 on March 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm

The Fenway in the early 50’s was mostly a moveover from the Paramount. Same could be said of the Downtyown Loews Orpheum and Lowes State. Sometimes they played day and date.

chorn on July 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm

My name is Cathy and I am the director of the Berklee Performance Center (formerly the Fenway Theatre). The theater is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year! I’ve been trying to find history on the venue, but there seems to be very little available at the library, historical societies, etc. Do you all have any leads?

Coincidentally, I am also the great, great granddaughter of theater designer/builder EC Horn, who built many theaters around the same time as the Fenway Theatre was built.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 17, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Have you visited the Boston Athenaeum? They have a collection of materials from old Boston theatres, possibly including yours.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 17, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Cathy- Try the Theatre Historical Society’s library/archive in Elmhurst IL. They almost certainly have a file on the Fenway, although I don’t know what’s in it. Also, the Harvard Theatre Collection which is in one of the libraries in the Harvard Yard -they might have a file, too.

chorn on July 17, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Thank you both! We have tried the Athenaeum and Harvard, but not the Theatre Historical Society. I will reach out to them. Thanks again.

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