Boston Opera House

Admire the old-world craftsmanship of this vaudeville-era reconstruction while you enjoy a performance in opera, theater or dance.

Unable to pay its bills after decades at the heart of Boston’s cultural life, the Boston Opera House closed its doors in 1991 and began physically deteriorating at an alarming rate. Now, however, after a lavish restoration in the early 2000s, the Opera House has a new vitality. Watch a memorable show or come simply to gawk at this magnificent entertainment space.

The Boston Opera House was completed in 1928 as a tribute to Benjamin Franklin Keith, a leading figure in vaudeville, so popular in the United States in the years before. The commission hired one of the most accomplished theater architects of the age and told him to “spare no expense” on the project. Visit the result, a majestic theater, an opulent home for vaudeville shows as well as films.

The building later became home to the Opera Company of Boston, led by the legendary impresario Sarah Caldwell. After hosting highly acclaimed performances, the company fell on hard times and the theater was closed. The Opera House itself sustained serious damage in disuse, seemingly the end of its life.

Yet, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Boston Opera House was reopened in 2004 following an extraordinary process of renovation. As you walk around the space today, look for the touches of old-world craftsmanship that make the restoration so accurate. The Carrara marble, gold leaf finishes and silk wall panels are all completely real, lovingly recreated in consultation with various experts.

Now the Opera House is the main performance space for the Boston Ballet and a favored destination for Broadway Across America. Many other kinds of concerts and shows are held here as well. Check the online schedule to see what’s available. Hundreds of thousands of visitors have been to one of the Opera House’s events since 2004 and it continues to draw a great many lovers of theater and dance.

The Boston Opera House is located in downtown Boston, a short walk from numerous subway stops, of which Boylston is the closest. You’ll find many fine restaurants and bars in the area.