Boston’s Wang Theatre
PhotoWalks has teamed up with Boch Center Tours to provide a private photo tour of the Wang Theatre on Sunday, March 8 from 1 pm-3 pm. (The first tour on Jan. 26, 2020 sold out!) If you’ve ever wanted to view how beautiful the Wang Theatre is without the crowds, this exclusive PhotoWalks tour combines history, art and photography in one experience.
Some of Boston’s best artwork and architecture can be found inside the historic Wang Theatre. Opened on October 16, 1925, the Metropolitan Theatre was labeled the “marvel of the show world” by newspapers. Over 20,000 onlookers crowded Tremont St. hoping to be among the first theatergoers to get coveted seats inside.
Clarence Blackall, the most prominent American theater architect, designed the original building in a grand European style. His inspiration was Paris’ Opera Comique. Blackall’s other designs in Boston included the Emerson Colonial Theatre, Wilbur Theatre and the Copley Plaza Hotel.
During the 1920’s, ushers played an important role in the theatre experience. They were trained by a head usher who was an ex-drill sergeant. Jobs were only given to men who had to adhere to the theater’s stringent rules. They eventually invented their own sign language as a form of communication!
The theater was renamed the Music Hall in 1962 and became the home of the Boston Ballet. Over the years, the once impressive venue fell into disrepair and the theater district became a run-down area. In 1983, a multi-million gift from Dr. An Wang, a Chinese-American computer engineer and inventor who founded Wang Laboratories, saved the building. Dr. Wang’s generosity restored the theatre back to its 1920’s magnificence and revitalized the cultural arts community.
The landmark theater was renamed Boch Center Wang Theatre in 2016. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of Boston’s most distinguished performing arts centers.