South Station Theatre
Summer Street and Dorchester Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Strand Theaters
Previous Names: South Station Terminal Theatre
This theatre was located in a busy downtown railroad station. The South Statio Terminal Theatre was opened by 1932. According to a Boston Globe article published on December 27, 1983:
“In the old days if you had time to kill before catching a train, there was the South Station Theatre which featured newsreels, short subjects, Bugs Bunny and Betty Boop cartoons and ‘March of Time’ films”. It was closed around 1955 and was converted into a chapel.
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Recent comments (view all 24 comments)
Wow — thank you so much for posting this!
Did she meet her future husband at the theatre while working there?
I can’t believe that I’ve been taking the commuter rail to South Station for the past 3 years and didn’t know my grandmother worked there 60 years ago. I’m Lorraine Gaspa’s grandson and I commute to South Station from the Worcester line to go to work. I wish they still had the cinema because I often have to wait over an hour for my train back to Worcester.
Mrs. Gaspa is quite correct that there were 2 entrances to the South Station Theatre when she worked there in the early 1940s. The exterior entrance was on Summer Street and its left edge was only about 8 feet from the corner of Dorchester Ave. Up above and right at the corner was a fancy verticle blade sign which read “Theatre”. There was no marquee but there was plenty of signage around and above the entrance. To the right was the Union Hat Co. store which sold work clothes and sportswear. This half of South Station was demolished 30-plus years ago.
My mother Lorraine Hebert Gaspa met her future husband George while she was working for the theatre. They both lived in Cambridge, Ma across the street from each other. This is where my mother met my dad. My dad George T. Gaspa past away on January 25th, 2005 at the age of 83.
Is anyone collecting memorabilia from the South Station Theatre ? I have an orignal program from the 1930’s that is in perfect condition. It is for the week of July 19th and lists the coming shows for July 26th. It includes everything from Popeye cartoons and Melody Parade to Ruth Etting and Row Mister Row.
Can you scan that in, upload it to some place like flickr or photobucket, and post a link to it here?
I don’t have a scanner. I could upload photos of it to snapfish and send an album; but I think that is only by email addresses. I’m in JP. If someone wants to borrow it to scan it and upload it here to share with everyone that would be fine.
The Boston Globe – Boston.com – is running a slide show feature of South Station today (12/24/12). It says that the theatre closed and was replaced by a chapel in 1945. The chapel had daily and Sunday services until 1972.
MarkB- the Globe is off by about 10 years. The theater closed about 1955 and was renovated into a chapel, Our Lady of the Railways. This happened while I was a commuter student on the New Haven RR 1954-58.
The Mass. Department of Transportation blog has a short article about the South Station Theatre with two photos: