Culture and Society: Theater District peak and decline


Opulent surroundings offered a sense of luxury for patrons of the Modern Theatre, but as time passed its screen was considered small. Courtesy of Sager Family Foundation Archives


Marquee advertises a sci-fi film released in 1964 and shot in Dynavision, an early special-effects process. Courtesy of John Toto


Newspaper ad shows the new name for the aging movie theater: The Mayflower

The Great Depression took a toll on Boston theaters, and, as Hollywood shifted to larger-format films, the Modern Theatre was limited due to its small screen. The 1950s saw a further decline as television became a major source of entertainment and middle-class migration to the suburbs changed patterns of nightlife in the city.

The Modern was renamed the Mayflower in 1949 and began showing “adult films” in 1967.

Culture and Society: Theater District peak and decline