The Empire Garden restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts was originally the Globe Theatre, a historic movie theater that was built in 1903. The theater was designed in the French Renaissance style by architect Athur Vinal and was a popular entertainment venue in Boston for many years.
It was taken over by E. M Loew’s and renamed the Loew’s Center Theatre in 1947. It has the distinction of being run by both Loew’s Incorporated, and the E.M. Loew’s circuits. Over the years, the Loew’s Center Theatre played host to a variety of films, stage productions, and other events. It was a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and it became a beloved cultural landmark in the city of Boston.
The area the theater was in became known as “The Combat Zone” in the late 1960s, and in 1974, the Boston Redevelopment Authority rezoned the area as a red-light district. The Center started showing soft-core pornography and blaxploitation films.
In the late 1980s, the theater was renamed to the Pagoda, and switched formats to show Hong Kong action films. However, it struggled financially and closed in 1995. It was later converted into the Empire Garden restaurant, which has been in operation at the same location ever since. While the exterior of the building has been preserved, much of the interior has been renovated to accommodate the restaurant. The ground floor has been completely gutted to make way for retail space, but the balcony survives and is now the dining room for the restaurant.
Today, the Empire Garden restaurant continues to be a popular destination in Boston, offering a unique blend of history and cuisine. Its location in the former Loew’s Center Theatre adds to its charm and makes it a memorable dining experience for visitors.
Matt Lambros MA Boston Dec 21, 2022 Architecture Food Places to Visit