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A Beautifully Restored Vaudeville-Era Movie Palace That Now Hosts "The Nutcracker" And Major Broadway Productions
The Boston Opera House (originally known as the B. F. Keith Memorial Theatre) is one of the finest examples of the vaudeville circuit palace at the pinnacle of its development. Designed in a combination of French and Italian styles by Thomas White Lamb, one of the foremost theatre architects of his day, it was erected under the close personal supervision of Edward Franklin Albee (1857-1930 and great-grandfather of the playwright of the same name) to memorialize his late partner, Benjamin Franklin Keith (1846-1914). It first opened in 1928.
In 1995, the Boston Opera House was placed on the Nation Trust for Historic Preservation’s "11 Most Endangered Buildings" list. With the assistance of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Clear Channel obtained the necessary building permits in late 2002 and commenced work to completely renovate and restore the Boston Opera House on a very tight 18-month schedule. On June 28, 2004, the Boston Opera House re-opened with "The Hard Hat Concert: A Boston Vaudeville," a tribute to the hard work of the entire project team and a nod to the theatre’s vaudeville origins. On July 16, 2004 the Boston Opera House opened a 6-month run of "The Lion King," and the schedule since then has featured a steady rotation of touring Broadway productions, Boston Ballet Nutcracker holiday presentations and other shows by performing artists, comedians, troupes.
With Broadway In Boston and Boston Ballet as primary tenants, and a host of other presenters lining up dates between those runs, the Boston Opera House will rank as the busiest theatre schedule in New England for many years to come.