Theatre 1 & Space 57

200 Stuart Street,
Boston, MA 02116

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2012 redone

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This venue was originally constructed as a two-screen movie theatre, the Sack Cinema 57, located on Stuart Street near the heart of the theatre district. The Sack Cinema 57 opened in late-December 1971 with “The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight” in one screen. The second screen opened about a month later with “The Hospital”. Here Alfred Hitchcock appeared in person to introduce his film “Frenzy” at its world premiere on June 20, 1972. The twin theatre showed films for more than two decades as part of Sack Theatres chain. Loews, having taken over what had been Sack Theatres, closed the theatre in May 1996.

It became the Stuart Street Playhouse in one of the former screens, used for live theatre productions. In the other former screen it was used as an indoor golf school for several years.

The theatre closed as a live stage venue in the spring of 2009, but became a cinema again on October 30, 2009, keeping the name Stuart Street Playhouse. The opening movies were “Paris” and “The September Issue”. Half of the original Sack 57 is reused as this 435 seat cinema, which from June 2011, was repurposed for special events and ocassional film show & film festivals. In 2012, this theatre was redesigned as a 225-seat multi-event venue and has been renamed Theatre 1. The other auditorium which once seated 800, and was later converted into a golf course, in 2012 was beautifully renovated and converted to a ‘blank canvas’ room called Space 57 that can hold 900 people for stand-up receptions or 300 for sit-down dinners.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 95 comments)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 11, 2011 at 6:41 am

I talked to David Bramante, who owns this theatre. He said that it is being converted into a ‘special events house’ which will still have film screenings and festivals from time to time, but will no longer be a regularly scheduled movie theatre. He’d love to get the second screen back, but there are no current plans to do so. He said that the building was recently sold.

PopcornNRoses
PopcornNRoses on June 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Aw…that stinks. Maybe with the West Newton and the Studio Belmont it’s too much of a financial pull on them? Still, it sounds like there’s hope for the Boston Film Festival to be held there again, and that would be cool

Jay_Seaver
Jay_Seaver on June 26, 2011 at 9:14 am

I went there for “Jig” last week – the concession stand/box office (and piano) has basically been pulled out, with a bar in the spot where the concession stand was that looked sort of temporary (candy was sold in a different corner). I initially thought that the hotel had more or less absorbed it, as the people running those counters were wearing Radisson nametags.

I’m kind of surprised they held out this long – it was basically a second-run house with prices that weren’t much of a savings over seeing the same movies first-run, and what was playing often seemed decided so close to the last minute that you often wouldn’t see what was playing that day on their website on Friday morning. I wish they’d tried something a little more out of the box on occasion, whether it be theme days or booking some Chinese imports and advertising in nearby Chinatown.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 23, 2011 at 11:01 am

For the past week, the Stuart Street Playhouse has served as the venue for the 2011 Boston Film Festival.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

Today’s Boston Herald reports that the Stuart Street Playhouse is being extensively rebuilt and will be renamed “Theatre 1” when it reopens in April.

“The playhouse has been completely redesigned as a 225-seat theater for events ranging from movie screenings, acoustic music performances and short-run plays to corporate meetings.”

They expect it to hold corporate and sales meetings during the day, and to be an entertainment venue at night.

Cinema 57’s former second screen is being converted to a “blank canvas” room called Space 57 that can hold about 800 people for stand-up receptions or 300 for sit-down dinners.

The Radisson Hotel that contains both rooms is being renamed the Revere Hotel and is becoming a “boutique” hotel.

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on March 24, 2012 at 9:51 am

I Remember standing in line on a cold night with about 10" of snow on the ground to see the Exorcist here. It was cold about 10 degrees and as the line started to move we got close to the front and they put up the SOLD OUT sign. We had to wait in line for the next show or go home. My wife and I stupidly waited in line for over 2 hours with hundreds of other people. We were all cursing ourselves. Once we got in I don’t think we ever warmed up But it was worth the wait. This Cinema duplex was a wonderful theatre. I was hoping they would remodel it back to a duplex. Now what I see is they are making it smaller. What a shame. That leaves no more cinemas left in Downtown except for the Lousy Lowes Common multiplex,. What a shame.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 6, 2012 at 10:49 am

Reebok held a sales meeting in the theater very recently. It was mentioned in today’s Boston Herald which states that the meeting took place in “Theatre 1”, this theater’s new name.

David192
David192 on April 14, 2013 at 5:10 am

Ahh the good old days. I was in charge of the booth and operators at the “57” when the Exorcist" opened, which was on Christmas Day (of all things). We had to do the press screening for reviews on Christmas Morning (I had to screen it for them as my other operators refused to come in) and for the first few weeks the place was insane with people passing out and “heaving” during the show. It looked like every movie patron in the world wanted to attend, the crowds were massive which caused the shows to start late. Oh and “The Sting” (playing at the same time in cinema 2) did poorly as the folks that wanted to see it could never get close enough to the theater to purchase a ticket.

The crew did a terrific job keeping the place running and we all pitched in to help each other. Those were good days!

rivest266
rivest266 on May 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm

December 29th, 1971 grand opening ad uploaded here.

spectrum
spectrum on January 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Note new website addresses above.

First screen space is now called Theatre 1, (www.theatre1boston.com) and seats 208; very nicely renovated as a cinema, which is available for rental for screenings and meetings. They also have a once-a-month movie/dinner night “Reel Chefs” involving a classic movie and gourmet dinners.

Second screen space is now called “Space 57” (www.space57.com) and is available for rental as a flexible event room which can accommodate up to 900 patrons. This is also very nicely renovated, in a light hued well lit manner.

Their floor plan (http://space57.com/floorplans/) shows the layout for both screens. Interesting to see the overall layout. – it looks like you entered from the street and the two cinemas stretched off to the left and right of the lobby – the screens are 180 degrees opposed. Interesting layout. The building is associated with the Revere Hotel Boston Common which appears to be connected.

It’s great to see the entire facility is now renovated and open!

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