Pilgrim Theatre

658 Washington Street,
Boston, MA 02201

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Olympia Theatre exterior with the nearby Gayety Theatre across the street

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as Gordon’s Olympia Theatre on May 6, 1912 with photoplays and vaudeville. It later became a second-run movie theatre and in its last few years of operation showed sexploitation films. It was near the E.M. Loew’s Center Theatre and the Stuart Theatre on the same side of Washington Street.

It was demolished in 1996

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 104 comments)

dick on November 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I Remamber going to see The Tingler at the Pilgrim. It was thwe only theatre in downturn willing to wire sonme seats for shock. What fun. The Pilgrim was also home to a lot of the first B&W 50’s two bit Alan Freed Rock movies. She was a grand OLD PALACE in the 40’s & 50’s. Its a shame that it was torn down instead of saved and refurbished.

EdwardFindlay on April 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

Historic Boston Inc. found inside the historic Hayden Building several of the last film reels from when the Pilgrim, but the gem posted in their blog they posted is this scan of the original edifice of the theatre: View link

Sharp look compared with the later theatres that were built farther up the street that were intended to stand out more…

EdwardFindlay on April 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

Link to the Historic Boston, Inc. blog post: View link

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm

This theatre is currently mapped on the wrong Washington Street (Brighton, instead of downtown Boston), miles from where it belongs.

William on August 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm

The zip code needs to change to 02201.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 1, 2011 at 3:54 am

The January 15, 1913, issue of The American Architect had a brief article titled “Escalators for Theaters” which was illustrated by a photo of the escalator in Gordon’s Olympia Theatre. Google Books scan here.

rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 6:15 am

Grand opening ad from November 16th, 1913 has been uploaded here.

alberwi on August 28, 2013 at 7:22 am

rivest266: That ad is for the Olympia Theatre in Scollay Square, not the Olympia on Washington Street that later became known as the Pilgrim.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 28, 2013 at 10:24 am

alberwi is correct: the opening day ad is for the Scollay Square Olympia, not this theater. Back when they were in operation, they were known as the “Washington Street Olympia” and the “Scollay Square Olympia”; later the “Pilgrim” and the “Scollay Square”. Although similar in size and both run by Nathan Gordon, they were not identical twins. The Scollay Square Theatre closed long before the Pilgrim.

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