Dorchester Illustration 2325 Magnet Theatre

2325 Magnet Theater Dorchester Historical Society

Dorchester Illustration no. 2325        Magnet Theatre

The Magnet Theatre was located at 301 Washington Street, north of the intersection of Bowdoin, Harvard and Washington, on the west side of Washington opposite Mt. Bowdoin.  The site is now the home of a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Many neighborhood theaters used the spelling theatre, but in the US we now usually use the spelling theater.  In the early years of the 20th century moving pictures were shown in already-existing halls.  Then neighborhood theaters became part of the landscape and gave a sense of identity to  communities. Neighborhood theaters presented a full evening with a newsreel, cartoon, sometimes a sing-a-long or a giveaway, and often two features.  Demographic and economic changes forced most of the theaters out of business in the second had of the 20th century in favor of the multiplex.

Dorchester’s other neighborhood theaters included the

Codman Square Theatre at 635Washington Street

Fields Corner Theatre at 215 Adams Street

Franklin Park Theater at 616 Blue Hill Avenue

Hamilton Theatre at 256 Bowdoin Street

Ideal Theatre at 530 Dudley Street

Liberty Theatre at 726 Blue Hill Avenue

Mattapan Theatre at 512 River Street

Morton Theatre at 1161 Blue Hill Avenue

New Adams Theater at 735 Adams Street, near Adams Corner

Oriental Theatre at 1597 Blue Hill Avenue

Strand Theatre at 543 Columbia Road

Uphams Theatre at 568 1/2 Columbia Road.


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