Boston Opera House

539 Washington Street,
Boston, MA 02111

Unfavorite 25 people favorited this theater

Showing 126 - 144 of 144 comments

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 28, 2004 at 10:44 am

It’s now open and it is still called the “Opera House”.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 9, 2004 at 4:16 pm

The Lion King ads refer to this venue as the “Opera House”.

bruceanthony on May 9, 2004 at 2:05 pm

Have they decided which name they are going to use for this theatre? I hope the BF Keith name is used such as BF Keith Opera House or BF Keith Memorial Opera House or whatever name is going to be used if clear channel sells the naming rights.I hope an electrical Vertical and canopy are retored to this theatre. Please don’t put a boring marquee like was done on the Wang. Remember the fun starts on the sidewalk. I know the theatre is going to be gorgeous after the restoration. Im very happy to see the Clear Channel is going to host The Nutcracker Ballet since the Wang is going with the Radio City Spectacular. I think the BF Keith Opera House will be more suitable for broadway shows and the Wang can concentrate on concerts and other programming.brucec

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 13, 2004 at 7:17 am

Oops, I meant late fall of 2005. Anyway, there will be plenty of other shows in this theater besides the Lion King. Hopefully we’ll get some opera, too.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 13, 2004 at 7:15 am

Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker will move into this theater in the late fall of 2006.

VincentParisi on February 11, 2004 at 12:31 pm

The problem is now one has to buy a ticket and endure the Lion King in order to see this theater. And while every night I lie awake worrying if Michael Eisner is going to lose his job or not I don’t believe it should be neccessary to buy $100 dollar tickets for a show one avoids in New York in order to see an historic landmark. Free the New Amsterdam!

Gregg on February 3, 2004 at 11:16 pm

Clear Channel Communications is restoring the building you can read the pdf here:
View link

dickdziadzio on December 31, 2003 at 6:22 am


Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 11, 2003 at 8:33 am

“The Lion King” reopens this house in July, 2004 (not May).

Until then, the status should be “Restoring”, not “Closed”.

William on November 20, 2003 at 3:08 pm

When The RKO Keith’s Memorial Theatre was a single screen movie theatre it seated 2907 people.

dickdziadzio on November 19, 2003 at 1:13 pm

When Sack Theatres took over and re-named it the Savoy,all they did was effectivly drop the firewall and build a small theatre in the backstage area, never touching the main house. They put in a large screen and curtain in front of the arch.

bruceanthony on October 31, 2003 at 11:18 am

I would like to see the BF Keith name be used after the restoration. Naming rights of historic theatres should include the historic name. A compromise could be made such as the case in Chicago with the “Ford Center Oriental” and in New York with the “Cadillac Winter Garden”. Brucec

andygarner on October 8, 2003 at 2:06 pm

Re the Memorial Theatre Boston.
Taken over by the ClearChannel group for conversion into a live theatre, it is slated for reopening in May 2004 with the Disney production of “The Lion King"
I visited the theatre in Dec 2001 before the renovations were started, and was amazed that the theatre was so structerally sound and completly unaltered,apart from some superficial water damage to the plaster. The WOW factor in the theatre is superb.
Will be a great asset to Boston when it reopens.
regards Andy

Irving on August 5, 2002 at 4:54 pm

Yes, the RKO Keith Memorial became the Opera House during Sarah Caldwell’s time there with her opera company. In the fifties, however, I spent a lot of time in that theater watching my favorite movies. That is a treasure that Boston cannot afford to lose. The city has lost too many already including its sister, the RKO Boston, which had Cinerama movies before becoming a porn house and then being demolished. And of course we have to controversial demolition of the actual Opera House on Huntington Avenue in the fifties. Thank god the Wang family saved the Metropolitan.

jameslydon on April 5, 2002 at 8:29 am

For the last three years I have been retained as a consultant to pursue the public permits for the restoration of the Opera House. Contrary to what some think the theater is in remarkable condition. It is a Thomas Lamb design and in the context of the period in which it was constructed, it was one of the most expensive Lamb theaters to have been built.

The Boston preservation community are staunch supporters of this project.

The theater, in part, was built on the foundation of a 1854 theater called the Boston Theater and when the present theater wads opened on October 29, 1928 the CEO of the owning corporation was none other than Mr. Joseph Kennedy the father of the late president and the current Senator from Massachusetts.

Any questions, or groups that may wish to tour please reach out to me.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 28, 2001 at 5:36 am

During the time that it was the Sack Savoy Theater, it was divided into two screens. This division was undone when it became the Opera House.

There was originally a corridor leading to a second entrance on Tremont Street, but this was demolished about 10 years ago to make way for condominiums.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 28, 2001 at 5:33 am

Restoration of this theater has been delayed for several years by NIMBY philistine neighbors who live in ugly condominium towers behind the theater. They don’t want to lose access to the (worthless, narrow) street that separates the theater from their buildings.

Ian on December 20, 2001 at 12:13 pm

When I visited Boston in March 2000 the Opera House seemed to be under renovation with temporary lights in the foyer and workmen inside. I was told that it had been acquired for theatre use with long running touring shows in mind – such as Phantom of the Opera and Lion King (this was from the manager of the Colonial!). It seems a beautiful building so I hope this true.

Glenn on September 3, 2001 at 2:35 pm

I don’t believe that this statement

“…it became the Opera House, no doubt in tribute to Boston’s Opera House…” is correct. In 1978 Sarah Caldwell’s struggling Opera Company of Boston was performing in the Orpheum, squeezed in between rock concerts. In the fall of 1978 or maybe early 1979, I think, they got access to the “Savoy” which I think Sack Cinemas had closed by then. I believe they intended to make it their home and thus the renaming to The Opera House. I worked on productions that first season in the theater. They were in there for few seasons. I’m not sure if the failing of the Opera company or the need for major renovations or both resulted in the theater being abandoned.

I’ve heard that it is in really bad shape now.