The State of Theatres in Boston - From the Boston Globe

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on October 16, 2015 at 5:19 pm


The Colonial Theatre would be transformed into a dining hall and performance space under Emerson College’s plan. Shirley Lang writes, “As I sat in Emerson College’s Colonial Theatre on Sunday, it was hard for me to enjoy the hysterically funny musical “The Book of Mormon” without wondering whether this is the end of the Colonial as we know it.

But it wasn’t just that. I got ticked thinking about what’s happening to the acclaimed Huntington Theatre Company, possibly put out on the street by Boston University’s decision to sell the drama group’s longtime home. Or that Citibank, in exiting the Massachusetts market, will end its multimillion-dollar sponsorship of the performing arts. Meanwhile, the Boston Lyric Opera announced last week that it will leave the Citi Shubert Theatre in search of a more affordable venue.

All of this would make sense if we were living in desperate times. But this is not 2008. We’re supposed to be in another Golden Age in Boston, a period of extraordinary prosperity that will redefine the city.

But with all our money and our brains — and a Boston mayor who supports the arts — we have yet to figure how to ensure that a thriving theater scene will always be in our future."

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ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Learn more about historic theatres on our website at

Comments (1)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 16, 2015 at 6:33 pm

This article highlights the insecurity of old theaters. Just because a theater has been “rescued” by an affluent and sympathetic entity doesn’t mean anything. The 115-year-old Colonial downtown – not safe. The 1920 Boston University Theatre across from Symphony Hall – not safe. The Wang Theatre and the Shubert across the street – not safe. In Quincy MA, just south of Boston, the very last theater left in the city is now facing demolition (Wollaston Theatre).

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