Park Theatre

Washington & Boylston St.s / Boston, MS

The Park Theatre (est.1879) was a playhouse in Boston, Massachusetts, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It later became the State cinema. Located on Washington Street, near Boylston Street, the building existed until 1990.

In 1879 Henry E. Abbey, proprietor of the Park Theatre in New York, opened Boston's Park Theatre.
It occupied the building of the former Beethoven Hall, "reconstructed and practically rebuilt;"
its 1,184-seat auditorium was "60 feet wide, 63 from the state to the doors, and 50 feet high."

It sat on Washington Street at the corner of Boylston Street in today's Chinatown/Theatre district.
In the 1890s it presented "farcical comedy."

Managers and proprietors included Henry E. Abbey; Jack A. Crabtree; Lotta Crabtree; Charles Frohman, Rich & Harris; Lawrence McCarty;
John B. Schoeffel (Abbey & Schoeffel); John Stetson Jr.; and Eugene Tompkins. Louis Baer led the 11-piece orchestra in the 1890s.
In the 20th century the building became "Minsky's Park Burlesque," the "Hub," "Trans-Lux," and then "The State" cinema.

The building survived until its razing in 1990.

Boston Globe; January 20, 1980:

"The oldest playhouse in Boston still operating as a theater has seen better days. The State, now a Combat Zone flagship
for porn films, opened in 1879 as the Park Theater. It was built by famous actress Lotta Crabtree who also had constructed
a private tunnel from the theater to the nearby hotel where she lived. Edwin Booth and Richard Mansfield were among the
great stars who played the theater as did Jeanne Eagels in her famous role of Sadie Thompson in 'Rain.' The theater did
a slow slide into burlesque where Gypsy Rose Lee made her only local strips, and into second runs and down to porn."

1886 map showing Park Theatre in relation to Boston Commons

Reference: Wikipedia

Programs available from this theatre:

  • The Galley Slave (1881)
  • The Man From Mexico (1898)
  • A Dangerous Maid (1899)
  • The Other Girl (1904)

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