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Oriental Theatre

Oriental Theatre

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

First Opened: 24th October 1930 (91 years ago)

Closed: 1971

Atmospheric Style: Chinese

Architects: Krokyn, Browne & Rosenstein

Status: Repurposed

Address: 1601 Blue Hill Avenue, Boston, MA 02126 Link opens in new window


Overview

Originally the Oriental Theatre was going to built in Waltham however ended up in Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood.

The Oriental was a showplace of its time with twinkling stars and moving clouds. It opened in October 1930 and was designed by the Boston based architectural firm Krokyn, Browne & Rosenstein.

The auditorium, now used as storage space
The auditorium, now used as storage space

The Chinese themed interior recreated such notable Chinese structures as the Street Gate of Tsinanfu and the façade of the Wan Shou Tsu Temple. Seating was on a stadium plan, with a raised section at the rear instead of an overhanging balcony.

The Oriental Theatre was the subject of a foreclosure sale in late September 1971, and the last movie ad found thus far was dated 1st October 1971 for McCabe & Mrs. Miller Link opens in new window. Other sources say the Oriental closed after a run of the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever Link opens in new window (general release 22nd December 1971), however no local newspapers of the time can be found advertising it as playing at the theatre.

A furniture outlet store currently occupies the original lobby space facing onto the street, and uses the auditorium as storage. Virtually none of the original auditorium decoration survives.

Information in part sourced from Cinema Treasures Link opens in new window.

Further Reading

Online

Historic Photos & Documents
News of the theatre’s opening, as printed in the 25th October 1930 edition of <i>The Boston Globe</i> (460KB PDF)
News of the theatre’s opening, as printed in the 25th October 1930 edition of The Boston Globe (460KB PDF)
Longitudinal section as designed (JPG)
Longitudinal section as designed (JPG)
Auditorium sidewall circa 1930 (JPG)
Auditorium sidewall circa 1930 (JPG)
Auditorium circa 1930 (JPG)
Auditorium circa 1930 (JPG)
News of the foreclosure sale of the theatre, as announced in the 22nd September 1971 edition of <i>The Boston Globe</i> (220KB PDF)
News of the foreclosure sale of the theatre, as announced in the 22nd September 1971 edition of The Boston Globe (220KB PDF)
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Photos of the Oriental Theatre

Photo credits are noted where data was available at the time of inclusion. Photos displayed here may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media and contact us Contact Us with any concerns.

Interior Photos

All photos are from After the Final Curtain Link opens in new window; be sure to check out their photo visit to the old Oriental Theatre!

Oriental Theatre: Auditorium used as storage space
Auditorium used as storage space
Oriental Theatre: Auditorium used as storage space
Auditorium used as storage space
Oriental Theatre: Auditorium detail
Auditorium detail


Photographs copyright © 2002-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos unless otherwise noted.

Text copyright © 2017-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos.

For photograph licensing and/or re-use contact me here Contact Us.





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