11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Historic Boston Theaters

Year Listed: 1995
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Threat: Deterioration, Neglect

historic_boston_theaters.jpg

Photo: Peter Vanderwarker

Significance

Located on a single block of Washington Street, the historic Boston theaters trace decades of change in 20th-century entertainment.

The Modern, constructed in 1913 in a Victorian commercial building, was one of the first Boston theaters built exclusively for moving pictures. The sumptuous Opera House, completed in 1928, was one of the last and grandest vaudeville houses in the country. The Paramount was the Boston's most elaborate Art Deco movie house when it opened in 1932.

While the revitalization of historic buildings and neighborhoods made Boston a preservation showplace, the former Theater District languished in the mid 1990s, and all three of these famous landmarks fell victim to neglect.