Apollo Theatre

1050 Washington Street,
Boston, MA 02118

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Apollo Theatre

Donald C. King’s new book “The Theatres of Boston: A Stage and Screen History” describes this as “a 700-seat one-floor motion picture house opposite the Columbia Theatre, next to the Cobb Theatre”.

He goes on to call the Cobb and Apollo of the Depression era “once nickelodeons but then truly crap-cans, playing the very last runs, admission 10 cents at all times. Several nearby restaurants offered a complete meal for 25 cents, which was salvation for the Depression’s unemployed, who slept in those nearby dime movie houses”. King says that they both lasted into the 1940’s.

According to J. Paul Chavanne of the South End Historical Society, Dizzy Gillespie and his band played at the Apollo Theatre in the 1950’s “through a freak booking”.

Contributed by Ron Newman

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 25, 2005 at 8:20 am

King’s book says this theatre opened “circa 1910”.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 21, 2006 at 11:58 am

If this 1928 map is correct, then King’s book is wrong. The map shows the Apollo Theatre on the same side of Washington Street as the Columbia, but three blocks further south (between Davis and Florence streets).

Today, this is an industrial zone which no longer looks anything like what is shown on the map.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 22, 2006 at 10:09 am

The 1927 Film Daily yearbook lists the Apollo with 700 seats. The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Apollo has a photo taken in May 1941. Under the marquee is a hanging sign which says “All Seats 10 cents”. The Report states that the theater is not showing MGM films; that it was built about 1910, that it’s in Poor condition, and has 700 seats, apparently all on one floor.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 22, 2006 at 10:22 am

The Apollo, 1050 Washington Street, Boston is listed as open in the 1950 edition of Film Daily Yearbook…seating still 700.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 11, 2007 at 10:03 am

Boston film pioneer Joe Cifre, in his long article “Saga of the Movie Industry in Boston” says that the Apollo was one of Boston’s early film venues in the post-1906 era.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm

An item in the January 17, 1942 issue of Boxoffice magazine stated:

Parker into Chepachet, RI.
BOSTON – Fred Parker, operator of the Apollo in Boston, and owner of the Bellingham Auto Theatre in that town, has taken over the Chepachet in Chepachet, Rhode Island. Parker, who has acquired the former Grange Hall, has extensively renovated the house.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm

In a 1918 Boston street directory, the Apollo Theatre is listed at 1050 Washington Street in the South End, east side of street, between Davis St. to the north and Florence St. to the south.

MarkB on March 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm

The Apollo first shows up on a 1917 map. The building was owned by Arthur Stameris.

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