Selwyn (Globe) Theatre / Boston


" The Globe Theatre is one of the most attractive of the play-houses of the city. The original theatre on this site was built in 1867 for Mr. John H. Selwyn, by Messrs. Arthur Cheney and Dexter H. Follett, and was at first known as Selwyn’s Theatre. Colonel Follett subsequently disposed of his interest to Mr. Cheney. After two delightful seasons of comedy under Mr. Selwyn’s management, Mr. Charles Fechter became manager, and was in turn succeeded by Mr. W. R. Floyd. On Mr. Selwyn’s retirement the name of the theatre was changed to the Globe. In May, 1873, on the morning of Decoration Day, the theatre was destroyed in the extensive fire on Washington Street. For a year after the site remained unoccupied, but in 1874 Mr. Cheney, with the cooperation of one hundred and fifty gentlemen, who paid $1,000 each for the right to one scat each during the eighteen years’ lease, rebuilt it in an enlarged form, and it was duly opened on the 3d December of that year. Mr. Cheney died in 1878, and for a brief season the theatre was conducted by Mr. John Stetson, who had, for a short time preceding Mr. Cheney’s death, conducted it in conjunction with the latter. Then the house was closed for a season, and subsequently, in October, 1880, Mr. Stetson obtained a lease for ten years. Thereupon he freshened the theatre and added several improvements. The auditorium is sixty feet high, and of the usual horseshoe form. It has, besides the parquet, two galleries and an intermediate row of mezzanine chairs. The stage is probably the most perfect one in the country, being furnished with all approved appliances for the perfect setting of scenery. A departure, and it is believed the first, has been made from the otherwise universal practice of constructing stage floors, this being entirely level. The painted drop-curtain is admired by many, as well as the rich decoration and tasteful use of colors on the walls and ceiling, and the elegant drapery of the boxes. Beside the main entrance on Washington Street, there is a handsome one from Essex Street, which runs to the eastward from the former thoroughfare. On Essex street, years ago, Gilbert Stuart lived and painted. In later years Wendell Phillips lived here, near the corner of Chauncy, and only removed in 1882, when his house was taken down to make way for the extension of Harrison Avenue. His home until his death in 1884 was in Common Street, near by."

(This theatre was destroyed by fire in the early 1900s, and was replaced by a second, which was later demolished.)

Programs available from this theatre:

  • Fowl Play / Sept. 1898

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