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CHINATOWN


THE GAIETY THEATRE

by Noriko Kitano

 

- Historic theater awaits wrecking crane in neighborhood ambivalent about its loss

- Rich history on the stage

- The Gaiety today

 

Unless otherwise stated, photos appear courtesy of Friends of the Gaiety

The Gaiety today

Although the Boston Landmark Commission in 1979 stated that "The Gaiety is notable as one of fourteen Boston theatres by leading American theater architect Clarence Blackall," no performances have taken place there since World War II.

Inside the Gaiety theatre

The six-story red brick theatre was purchased in 1986 by Kensington Investment Co. for future development and has been vacant for nearly 20 years.

So although the Landmark Commission in its 1979 report noted that "the auditorium is virtually intact and could be restored to its original glory," severe water damage and neglect have wiped out most of that glory since.

Much of the theatre's uniqueness, found in its ticket booths, marble dado panels, French doors and architectural drawings, is gone. One plaster bust of Gaeity Girl sits quietly next to the balcony, representing the glory years of the Gaiety.

A plaster bust of Gaiety Girl.

In order to be saved, the aiety would have needed to be recognized as an historic landmark by the Boston Landmark Commission or listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It must be rated at least a III by the commission to be considered a significant object.

But the Gaiety's current status is a IV and the Friends of the Gaiety have exhausted every avenue of city appeals and is now looking to the state to try and protect the theater.

GO...

LINK IT

- Boston Landmark Commission

- reviewing its proposal

- Campaign Protect
Chinatown

- The Chinese Progressive Association

- Boston Zoning Code

- Chinese Progressive Association

- Liberty Tree Park

- The Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra

- The Sampan: a Chinatown newspaper in Boston

- PictureStory: a webpage about Chinatown

- The Majestic Theater

- The Colonial Theatre

- The Wilbur Theatre

- The Wang Theatre

- Temple Israel

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