History Repeats Itself

The early 20th century was the heyday of theater in Boston. Over 20 theaters offered a diverse range of entertainment from plays, vaudeville, burlesque, comedies and dramas to Turkish dancers and “Follies of the Day”. The Kensington is located on the site of The former Gaiety Theater – proclaimed as a “Model of Comfort” and “Boston’s Most
Modern Playhouse”.

The Trocadero Burlesquers opened at The Gaiety Theater on November 23, 1908 to a packed house of 1,700 with standing room only. The show was such a success, performances were held twice a day. Vaudeville had become known as the “theater of the people”.

Today, The Kensington is surrounded by beautifully restored, classic theaters: The Boston Opera House opened 84 years ago and was said to “take your breath away”. With the painstaking renovations in 2004, it still does. The Paramount made its debut in 1932 and was deemed “Boston’s Magnificent Movie Palace”. After a major renovation in 2002, it became the home of the Performing Arts Center for Emerson College. “The Modern” was famous for being the first to show a “talkie”. It won a preservation award in 2011 and is a popular Boston attraction. Referred to as “The Grand Old Lady”, The Orpheum opened in 1852. She now hosts grammy award winners and some of the hottest bands in the country. 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT OUR exhibit AT 665 Washington street and Marty’s way.

Photo credit: Top left: The Gaiety Theatre: A Historic Boston Landmark, courtesy of the Boston Landmarks Commission