617 Washington Street,
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Architects: Clarence H. Blackall
Previous Names: Park Theatre, Minsky's Park Burlesque Theatre, Hub Theatre, Trans-Lux Theatre
Opened on April 14, 1879 as the Park Theatre in a conversion of the Beethoven Hall. It was across Washington Street from the RKO Boston (Cinerama). It had around 700-seats located in two balconies and four boxes adjacent to the proscenium. It was renovated during the summer of 1889. The Park Theatre screened its first motion picture in May 1912.
It was taken over by Adolph Zukor and was remodeled, gutting the interior and removing the two balconies and stage boxes, and inserting a single balcony. It reopened as a 1,200-seat movie theatre on December 7, 1914 with Bessie Barriscale in “The Rose of the Rancho”. The theatre was decorated in an Italian Renaissance style. It was equipped with an Austin 2 manual 19 ranks organ.
In 1929 the Park Theatre was given another remodel and classed itself as a movie palace. In November 1933 it became Minsky’s Park Burlesque Theatre. In 1937 it received another remodel and reopened as the Hub Theatre with 764-seats. By 1950 it was the Trans-Lux Theatre and finally State Theatre.
Always an adult house since I remember it from 1960. It was around the corner from the Avery Hotel and I believe there was an underground tunnel to the hotel for performers way back when it was a live house. The State Theatre was demolished in 1990 and the site became a temporary parking lot. It has since been redeveloped.
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