New life for the Modern Theatre

“Those of us involved in this reconstruction feel that it’s a really dramatic and interesting thing to do – to take down, restore and reassemble a facade. … and there will be theater again on Washington Street.” 

--Judith Selwyn, Preservation Technology Associates


Restoration of Modern Theatre Façade: The restoration team inspects a column from the Modern Theatre. Suffolk University had the historic façade completely disassembled, labeled, cleaned and restored, and then rebuilt as the front of an entirely new theater on the same Washington Street site. Photo by Renée DeKona

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Work of Art: John Lee Beatty, one of Broadway’s most respected and prolific designers, created original murals for the Modern Theatre stage house walls. Many of the murals’ design elements are modernizations of distinctive features from the original façade and interior. Photo by Renée DeKona

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Modern Theatre Rises Again: Workers reinstall the Modern Theatre sign that had been removed, cleaned, and repaired as part of Suffolk University’s restoration of the historic theater’s façade. Photo by Renée DeKona


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Modern Marquee: The theater’s original sign spelled out the Modern Theatre name in light bulbs, and the contemporary version reflects that design through use of letters and outer borders formed with "bulb-like" LED lighting. Photo by Ken Martin

Suffolk University restored a landmark and brought a new theater to downtown through its Modern Theatre building project. The theater’s historic facade was restored and once again graces lower Washington Street after reconstruction on the same site.

New life for the Modern Theatre