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Everett Square Theatre

August 5, 2014
View of the auditorium from the side of the balcony.

View of the auditorium from the side of the balcony.

The Everett Square Theatre opened in 1915 in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It was designed by Boston architect Harry M. Ramsay for the Littlefield Trust, the original owner of the theater. The 798 seat theater cost $65,000 ($1.5 million in 2014 when adjusted for inflation) to build, and was part of the M&P Theatre circuit.

On May 17, 1936 two men were caught breaking into the theater, and were convicted based on the marks left in the door by their lock picking tools. The police used a new tool called mulage, a plastic substance that makes impressions, to collect the evidence that convicted them.

On May 17, 1936 two men were caught breaking into the theater, and were convicted based on the marks left in the door by their lock picking tools. The police used a new tool called mulage, a plastic substance that makes impressions, to collect the evidence that convicted them.

While the original building permits refer to the theater as a “moving picture house,” it also hosted vaudeville and live music during its early years. Famed vaudeville comedian Milton Berle played the theater on May 25, 1925, and signed his name backstage after he finished performing. In 1933, Everett Square, where the theater was located, was renamed Logan Square, and the following year the theater was renamed the Fairmount Theatre. By the mid-1940s the theater had discontinued the live performances and only showed motion pictures.  

A close up of the proscenium arch.

A close up of the proscenium arch.

The Everett Square reopened as the Nu Pixie Cinema on December 26, 1969. As the theater had less than a 1,000 seat maxi-cinema, but more than a 200 seat mini-cinema, the new owner described it as a “pixie” cinema, and named it such. It was renamed Premiere Performances in the early 1980s, which brought live shows back to the theater. In the mid 1980s it was used as an auction house before being abandoned.

A painting of characters from the Wizard of Oz adorns one of the auditorium walls.

A painting of characters from the Wizard of Oz adorns one of the auditorium walls.

The building was purchased in 1986 by a group of Hyde Park business owners who intended to restore and reopen it. They formed a group called Showtime Restoration Volunteers and mounted two efforts to raise the funds for restoration, but both attempts were unsuccessful. In 2008, Hyde Park Main Streets and Historic Boston Inc. took an interest in the theater. With the help of those organizations, the owners were able to get a $30,000 grant to replicate the original sign and restore the theater’s foyer. A full restoration is estimated to cost between $5 and $10 million.

 

The foyer was restored in 2011.

The foyer was restored in 2011.

The new sign is a replica of the original, and was lighted on Jan 6, 2011 as part of a celebration for the renovation of the foyer.

The new sign is a replica of the original, and was lighted on Jan 6, 2011 as part of a celebration for the renovation of the foyer.

Some equipment remains in the projection room.

The projectors are long gone but some equipment remains in the projection room.

View of the auditorium from the main level.

Showtime Restoration Volunteers cleaned up much of the interior of the theater by removing the old seats and the debris from the crumbling ceiling.

Everett_Square_Theatre_012

A bomb threat was called in to the theater in April of 1962, but after the theater was cleared and searched by the police, it was proven to be a hoax.

A bomb threat was called in to the theater in April of 1962, but after the theater was cleared and searched by the police, it was proven to be a hoax.

© Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2014 10:55 am

    Reblogged this on Koffeefrkeleven's Blog and commented:
    great pictures.

  2. Mark Bender permalink
    August 5, 2014 12:48 pm

    Great commentary with (as usual) great photos.

  3. August 7, 2014 2:22 am

    loved the pictures!!

  4. August 13, 2014 11:18 pm

    I love these pictures!! Abandoned spaces are hauntingly beautiful. My goal is to photograph more abandoned warehouses this next year.

    http://itsjpei.wordpress.com/

  5. August 29, 2014 10:45 am

    I always love the trivia involved in these posts (the lock picking bit especially). It’s great to see volunteers coming together to help clean up and restore this place. I’m sure it was tremendously majestic in its heyday.

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