Saturday, October 19, 2013

Movie Theaters, Boston - 1959

An unknown photographer was mighty taken with the sight of a stretch of movie marquees in Boston. It does make a pretty picture, doesn't it? The lighted signs reflected on the wet pavement are twice as dazzling. Part of the fun is checking out the movies playing at the venues. The Mayflower is showing "The Naked Maja", loosely based on an affair between Spanish painter Francisco Goya and the Duchess of Alba. Ava Gardner, hubba hubba.

Just up the street, the Paramount was showing the Alan Ladd classic, "Shane". Which is odd, because that movie was released 6 years earlier. Ladd must have been red-hot, because the RKO Keith's theater was showing another one of this pictures, "The Man In The Net". Let's go there, it's air conditioned! 

Here's one more view - the photographer took at least 5 more pictures of this scene!


K. Martinez said...

Wow!!! Marquee lights and wet pavement. These are incredible.

"Ava Gardner, hubba hubba." is right.

Nanook said...


Wow-! No wonder the photographer took many images of this terrific street scene. I know that the letters RKO stood for: Radio-Keith-Orpheum, formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Theatre chains were grabbed by RCA, in October, 1928. Who knew they named one of their venues 'Keith's.'

Click Here for a link to a tinted postcard image showing Keith's and the Adams House Restaurant

Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


It's too early in the morning. Try this... Click Here for link

TokyoMagic! said...

I love old movies, but I don't believe I've ever seen an Alan Ladd film. As a kid, I was a fan of his daughter-in-law, Cheryl. Wasn't she the one in the 1970's that asked the very important question, "How do you hide a gun in a bikini?"

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic! -

Have you ever seen Shane? That's an Alan Ladd film and a favorite of mine.

Anonymous said...

That street scene is changed today, although the Paramount (and it's marquee) have been restored as a working theater for Emerson College, the RKO Keith has been beautifully restored and is now the Opera House, home to opera, ballet and Broadway show performances, and other buildings re-purposed for retail and Emerson dormitories.,_Massachusetts%29

Irene said...

With the blurred outline of people walking by, these photos make me think we are looking at ghosts from the past. Great photos.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, they were so unusual that when I found them in the box of random images, I think I actually said "Wow" out loud!

Nanook, I think I found that very same image while trying to figure out where these photos were taken (they were unmarked). For some reason I love the word "Orpheum".

TokyoMagic!, since you were the person who knew about Mildred Pierce, I am surprised that you haven't seen Alan Ladd in anything. Especially (as K. Martinez says) "Shane". They used to air it on Turner Classic Movies fairly regularly.

Anon, thanks for the links and the info about the theaters! I'm glad that the RKO Keith has been restored. An opera house, I'm sure the original builders would have never guessed that it would someday be used for that. Boston seems to be much more respectful of their old buildings than Los Angeles is.

Irene, just in time for Halloween!

Nancy said...

Dazzling is neon...the wet pavement reflection makes it even more magical :-)

210Frwy said...

Outstanding images! I’m not a big Alan Ladd fan but I remember Shane being a really good film. Think I’ll watch it tonight.

Melissa said...

A friend of mine is named Shane in honor of that movie.

Clyde Hughes said...

Thanks for these great photos! I love the marquees and rainy streets! I can just imagine the red velvet curtains and warm, lush interiors within.
"... have been restored as a working theater for Emerson College, the RKO Keith has been beautifully restored and is now the Opera House..."
Now, this has me wondering if Keith Emerson (musician) was somehow involved... ;-)