West End Cinema

75 Causeway Street,
Boston, MA 02114

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Lancaster Theater / West End Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

An old steeply-balconied theatre that became re-incarnated as an art house in the 1960’s, showing mostly new foreign films as well as revivals. It was located right near Boston Garden and North Station.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 48 comments)

rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 9:17 am

This opened as West End on November 7th, 1963. Ad posted here.

rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 9:19 am

Also posted the Lancaster opening ad from February 18th, 1917.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Linkrot repair: A brief item about the opening of E.M. Loew’s West End Cinema appeared in Boxoffice of November 11, 1963 (lower right). The architect for the remodeling of the old Lancaster Theatre into the West End Cinema was William Riseman.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Why did they choose to rename the theatre ‘West End’ in 1963, years after the West End neighborhood was totally destroyed?

IanJudge on May 12, 2013 at 6:44 pm

But remember it was replaced in the 60’s by a modern futuristic (at the time) new development, a shining “new” Boston rising from the old. I am sure in anticipation of the new upscale West End, the dumpy neighborhood Lancaster was “modernized” and reprogrammed to fit this new vision of the city.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

True, but the name ‘West End’ was erased from the city’s geography. The new shining development wanted nothing to do with the name West End, preferring ‘Charles River Park’.

IanJudge on May 12, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Perhaps there were trademark issues?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

The area was stilled referred to as the “West End” after the widespread demolition and the construction of Charles River Park by the people who used to live there (patrons of the Lancaster) and others familiar with the area. Needless to say, plans to bulldoze the area created a firestorm back circa-1959 among the residents, who had no say in the matter. Caused a lot of lingering bitterness. For someone like E.M.Loew who had ties to the older Boston, it would have been natural to call the theater the “West End”. He also at the time of opening was under the impression that the elevated trolley structure in front of the new facade of the theater was to be shortly demolished, but that didn’t happen for a long while.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm

That didn’t happen until 2004, by which time this theatre was long gone ;–(

westendmuseum on January 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm



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