Old Howard Casino Theatre

44 Hanover Street,
Scollay Square,
Boston, MA 02108

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Additional Info

Architects: Clarence H. Blackall

Previous Names: Casino Theatre, Waldron's Casino Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Old Howard Casino Theatre

The Casino Theatre opened in 1910. In the fall of 1928, New England Theatre Operating Company theatres leased the Casino Theatre, putting in a new Wurlitzer organ and featured films and vaudeville in in its program. The legendary Old Howard Casino Theatre was located off old Scollay Square. It was closed in spring of 1962, and demolished later that year. It, along with much of the flavorful historic area, was leveled to make way for the Government Center complex.

The theater achieved fame as a burlesque house featuring buxom girls baring their cleavage. Between acts feature films were shown to round off the programs, very popular with gentlemen audiences.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 41 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm

The photo above was taken during the Casino’s final years when they had a semi-permanent sign on the marquee which read “Follies” in multi-colored letters. You can see what a high-class area this was.

RickB on May 1, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Yes, I’m sure that the creme de la creme of Boston society regularly visited Jack’s Joke Shop to replenish their supplies of itching powder and fake noses.

EdwardFindlay on May 2, 2011 at 4:45 am

Rick, it’s held on in another location after their forced move so it must be in decent enough demand to survive!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 2, 2011 at 11:14 am

Jacks' Joke Shop closed in 2006, in the Theatre District.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Yes, Jack’s was a popular place and moved to the central bus. district after Scollay Sq. was demolished. Everything in that photo is gone today with the exception of the skyline beyond the Central Artery overhead structure in the distance. The Casino’s vertical sign was already old when that photo was taken.

EdwardFindlay on May 3, 2011 at 1:33 am

2006 is still a good 45 years after forced relocation…

The smokestacks are gone, but yes that far distance is the same from Congress Street on.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 8, 2011 at 7:15 pm

In the Street View photo above, the Casino was located straight ahead in the distance, about where the group of trees are, by the low-rise rear wing of the JFK Federal building. (approximate location).

EdwardFindlay on August 3, 2011 at 2:17 am

This is a wider shot of the theatre…


the only actual thing left in the shot is the closed off stairway going down to the Blue Line platform that the guy is sitting on- the stairs are still there from the platform but may not be in service as an emergency exit anymore.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm

What a great shot of Hanover St. Yes, everything in the photo is gone today. Despite being a somewhat low-class area, it was a busy place, full of parked cars and pedestrians. I went to shows at the Casino many times.

DavidZornig on April 15, 2018 at 11:16 pm

April 24, 1957 photo of Hanover Street added, credit MIT Library. Casino blade sign center right.

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