The 10 Best Historic Theaters in Massachusetts!

Old buildings tell the tales of days gone by. Old theaters tell the stories of performers or films of old. Sometimes newer theaters are housed in old buildings. The combination of historic details in these cases is magical. Check out the following historic theaters in Massachusetts. You’ll surely find the performance and the history fascinating.

1. The Historic Strand Theatre, Movie House & Grille, Clinton, MA

Built in 1924 as a movie house, the Strand Theatre is a family-friendly venue with the interior fully restored. See movies and enjoy food from the grille at the same time in one of the oldest movie houses in the region.

2. Capitol Theatre, Arlington, MA

Built in 1925, Arlington’s Capitol Theatre originally seated 1,600, and even had a pipe organ. While much of the interior has been restored to reflect its origins, the owners added a 3D theater and more comfortable seating in recent years.

3. Boch Center, Boston, MA

Formerly the Wang Theatre, the Boch Center has a long, rich history in the Boston arts scene. Built in 1794 as a playhouse, it became the Metropolitan Theatre in 1925 and the Music Hall in 1962. Throughout the past 200 or so years it has seen stage productions including operas, the Boston Ballet, musical theater productions and internationally-renown musical acts.

4. Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA

Built in 1914, the Somerville Theatre was initially used for vaudeville acts, stage shows and operas. It featured a ballroom on its second floor and a bowling alley in the basement. These days it’s a movie theatre, although live performances still take place. U2 performed there in 2009. Bruce Springsteen, Cheap Trick, Norah Jones, and other famous musical acts have appeared there as well.

5. Dedham Community Theatre, Dedham, MA

Built in 1927, the Dedham Community Theatre was once the center of Dedham Square. These days it’s an awesome discount movie house, where families can view recent films for less than many of the megaplex cinemas charge.

6. The Charles Playhouse, Boston, MA

Built in 1839 as a church, the Charles Playhouse became a synagogue and nightclub before fire gutted much of the building. In 1957, the Actors Company of Boston bought it and transformed it into a theater. Today it is home to the ongoing Boston production of Blue Man Group.

7. Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

Built as a church in 1906, the Coolidge Corner Theatre became an Art Deco movie theater in 1933. Since then it’s become a center for arts and culture, with independent films from around the world shown regularly.

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8. Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

Built in 1890, the Brattle Theatre is located on the Harvard University campus. Live theater groups used the building for year, and now it’s a house for classic films, as well as foreign and indie films.

9. The Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA

Built in 1852, Boston’s Orpheum Theatre is one of the oldest theaters in the United States. Originally called the Boston Music Hall, it is the original home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. These days it hosts nationally-renown musical acts in a small concert setting.

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10. Hanover Theatre, Worcester, MA

Owned by the Worcester Center for Performing Arts, the Hanover Theatre opened in 1902 as the Franklin Square Theatre. It featured burlesque shows and Broadway tours. By 1912 it was showing silent films. These days it hosts nationally-renown musicians including Daughtry and Englebert Humperdink, as well as musical theater productions for children.

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41 Foster Street Unit 5, Arlington, MA
Established in 1991, Arlington Children's Theater of Arlington, Massachusetts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating positive theatrical... Read More
64 Common Street, Barre, MA
Barre Players Theater is a non-profit theater organization based in the community of Barre, Massachusetts. Our season consists of 4 plays including... Read More
7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA
Built in 1916, the historic Regent Theatre remains true to its roots as a vibrant vaudeville house. An intimate 500-seat performing arts center wit... Read More
30 Forest Street, Medford, MA
Located in Medford, Massachusetts, the Chevalier Theatre is one of the Boston area’s hidden gems, an historical landmark, a memorial to a her... Read More
3171 Main Street, Route 6A, Barnstable, MA
Our theater carries with it a great tradition. Our theater's pieces often reflect the times we live in. In 1940 our theater performed Margin of Err... Read More
140 Pearl Street, Framingham, MA
Mission Statement:The mission of the Performing Arts Center of MetroWest (PAC) is to promote, encourage, and nurture performing arts for the purpos... Read More
45 Pauline Street, 3rd Floor, Winthrop, MA
W.S.P.A. was founded over 25 years ago and offers students a well rounded program that includes Dance, Acting, Voice, Piano and Guitar. C... Read More
40 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA
History of ImprovBoston In 1982, Ellen Holbrook, a former student of Chicago's famed Second City, put together the first incarnation of ImprovBost... Read More
450A Main Street, Sturbridge, MA
11 Years and Still Growing Yes, its been 11 years since Stageloft first opened its doors, or should I say, "barn door." Those first fiv... Read More
100 Shawsheen Road, Andover, MA
 J. Everett Collins Center for the Performing Arts is a 1203-seat theater annexed to Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts. Read More
14 Massachusetts Avenue, Harvard, MA
The Harvard Community Theatre is a non-profit theatrical organization dedicated to bringing quality, affordable entertainment to Central Massachu... Read More
50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA
Mission - History: Founded in 1979 by a group of committed community leaders, MRT’s mission is “to advance the cause of human understan... Read More
1335 Massachusetts Avenue, Lunenburg, MA
Paul L'Ecuyer, puppeteer, artist and musician became interested in puppetry at the early age of four years old while visiting a local puppet theate... Read More
30 Forest St., Medford, MA
From our Articles of Incorporation. (Massachusetts Charity Chapter 180) Our mission is to restore, install and maintain a 9 rank, 2 manual Wurlitz... Read More
238 Bradford Street, Provincetown, MA
The Provincetown Theater opened in June of 2004 to rave reviews from both the community of Cape Cod and the greater New England area. Provincetown ... Read More
111 Main Street, Southbridge, MA
Mission:Gateway Players Theatre, Inc. is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the support and encouragement of the arts and the devel... Read More
6 Meetinghouse Hill Road, Sterling, MA
Mission Statement: To provide an outreach of fellowship and cultural enrichment by facilitating a quality theater/arts oriented experience within ... Read More
P.O. Box 80091, Stoneham, MA
About Us: Theatre To Go was formally founded in 1998, by Priscilla Hendrick (of Wakefield), Alex Lucchesi (of Everett), Jenn MacRobbie and Rob ... Read More
P. 0. BOX 1893, Vineyard Haven, MA
Mary Payne founded Island Theatre Workshop in 1968-as summer workshop for children,called The Children's Theatre. The overall program quickly... Read More
24 Church Street, Vineyard Haven, MA
The Vineyard Playhouse is the only year round professional theater on Martha's Vineyard. We are dedicated to the collaboration among professional a... Read More
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