Originally planned to be built in Waltham, The Oriental Theatre opened on October 24, 1930 in the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It was designed in the atmospheric style, where the ceiling resembled the night sky surrounded by a town, by the Boston based architectural firm Krokyn, Browne, and Rosenstein. They recreated notable Chinese structures, such as the Wan Shou Tsu Temple and the Street Gate of Tsinanfu, in the auditorium. The 2,200 seat theater did not have a balcony, but had stadium seating with a raised section at the rear of the auditorium.
The Oriental was originally part of Jacob Lourie and Sam Pinanki’s NETOCO theater circuit, then Paramount, followed by M & P, and finally American Theatres Corporation (ATC.) ATC did not keep the theater up, it gained a reputation for being run down, and was eventually foreclosed on, which forced the theater to close. The theater was sold at a foreclosure auction on Friday, September 21, 1971. The last film advertised as being shown was “McCabe & Mrs. Miller.”
In the mid-1970s, the building became home to an electrical supply warehouse. Fred McLennan, a local theater operator, purchased much of the ornamental plasterwork from the theater and installed it at the Orpheum Theatre in Canton, MA, which he renamed to the New Oriental Theatre. A furniture showroom and warehouse replaced the electrical supply warehouse in 2018.
Matt Lambros MA Boston May 01, 2022 Abandoned Places Architecture