Allston Theatre

128 Brighton Avenue,
Boston, MA 02134

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: M & P Theaters

Architects: George N. Meserve

Nearby Theaters

Allston Theatre Interior, ca1915

The Allston Theatre was a mid-size neighborhood movie theatre with an attractive facade in the Allston section of Boston, to the west of downtown. It was opened in 1914, and at one time run by M & P Theatres, a Paramount affiliate. Further information welcomed.

Contributed by Ron Salters

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 30, 2007 at 10:30 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Allston has an exterior photo dated April 1941. It was an imposing building with an attractive classical facade. There was a long, fancy, rectangular marquee with a vertical blade sign above. The attraction posted is “Boom Town”. The Report states that the Allston has been showing MGM product for over 10 years; that it’s over 15 years old (in 1941), and, surprisingly, in “Poor” condition. There were 681 seats on the orchestra floor and 445 in the balcony, total: 1,126 seats. In the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook, the Allston Theatre is listed as having 1400 seats and being open 7 days per week. The Allston is listed in the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac as being part of M&P Theatres of Boston, a Paramount affiliate. M&P also ran the Capitol Theatre in Allston.

BrooklynJim on June 19, 2008 at 1:04 pm

If one should go to eBay during the next 5 days, enter “trolley books” in the search engine and scroll down to this entry: Clarke, the Boston Transit Album – 1977 – trolleys. The book seller has reproduced several good photos from it, the fifth of which is a clear shot of the Allston in the near background. Taken during MTA construction on 3 Aug 1949, the photo features a new PCC T-line trolley passing in front of the theater on Brighton at Harvard. The main marquee is blocked from view, but the tall one on the front of the building is visible. Perhaps someone could reproduce it and scan it on this page…

BrooklynJim on June 20, 2008 at 5:20 pm

If anyone could get an uplink here that fast, it hadda be good ol' LM! Whoa!

[Will be in NYC again very soon. Booking a flight today. If you don’t have my e-addy, you can get it from PKoch or Bway Chris…]

BrooklynJim on June 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Lost Memory, it appears your 19 Jun link above managed to last as long as the auction for the book. Hope some of the Boston movie theater fans got to see it (or copied it to disc) during the week before it went sayonara on us all…

Thanks again!

BrooklynJim on June 25, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Fortunately, I did save it to a floppy and I’ll get it to you somehow when I’m in Brooklyn this summer.

The notification feature has been working for me. Give the box at the bottom another click when you retrieve this one.

MPol on September 25, 2008 at 1:49 pm

I remember the Allston Theatre very well. It was a small, but comfy theatre. Back in the early 1980’s, during my last year of college, I lived in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner, very close to the Allston-Brookline border, and therefore within walking distance to that theatre. I recall seeing “West Side Story” and afew other films in that theatre.

Then, it eventually became a “Bollywood” Cinema before closing down completely (correct me if I’m wrong on this one, anybody)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm

MPol- are you confusing the old Allston Th. with the Allston Cinemas on Harvard Ave.? (that was the one which became a Bollywood house).

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm

The street directory section of the 1918 edition of the Boston Register and Business Directory, Issue 83, says: “Allston Theatre, 130 Brighton Avenue” (near Harvard Avenue).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Moving Picture World of December 20, 1913, carried the following item about the proposed Allston Theatre:

“R. W. J. MCDONALD, of 96 Milk street, Boston, reports the erection and sale of the Allston Theater, 128 Brighton avenue, near the corner of Harvard avenue. The plans, by Architect George N. Meserve, call for the erection, for Walker & Watson, of an absolutely fireproof theater, costing $100,000, with a total seating capacity of 1,200. The building is to be of brick, stone and concrete, with a frontage of 70 feet, and a depth of 132 feet. The stage has a width of 70 feet and a depth of 27 feet, with a proscenium opening 35 feet wide and 25 feet high. The stage is to have all the latest improvements for the presentation of pictures and vaudeville. Special attention has been given to the acoustic properties, ventilating plant and the electric lighting, which is to be the ‘direct-indirect’ system. The safety of patrons has been given first consideration; the theater being open on all four sides, with twice as many exits as the law requires. The auditorium floor will be of concrete, with no basement, making it absolutely non-combustible. The mezzanine floor contains the ladies' waiting rooms and offices. The front is to be of classic style of architecture, built of Norman brick, with Indiana limestone trimmings, and a marquee of 42 feet long will extend the entire length of the sidewalk.”
The December 27 issue of the same publication reported that construction of the new theater on Brighton Avenue was underway. I haven’t found any announcements of the opening of the Allston Theatre, but it must have been in 1914.

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