A visit to the infamous Historic Arts District is a chance to immerse yourself in stunning beauty and architecture. Emerson College’s Cutler Majestic Theatre is no different. This impressive theatre is a sight to behold, both inside and out.
The towering colorful stained glass windows are a beautiful reminder of the creativity of the time. The glowing archways create a vibe of glamour and iconic theatre culture. The classic bulb-lit marquee provides the perfect touch of nostalgia.
Once inside, the expansive theatre doesn’t disappoint. The towering arches continue from the exterior, framing the box seats that provide amazing stage views. The ornate details on the wall show the incredible attention to detail that went into designing the space. Seemingly endless rows of gorgeous seating are a reminder of the many patrons that have had the chance to experience the historic theatre.
Since the turn of the century, many performances have graced the Cutler Majestic Theatre’s impressive stage. Performers have emerged from behind the scarlet curtains to impress the audience for decades. With so much rich history, it’s no surprise that the theater has a few haunting stories of its own.
If you want to go on a ghost story tour in Boson, go here.
History of the Haunted Boston Theater
The Cutler Majestic Theater was the second theatre that would later form Boston’s Art District. It was built on Tremont Street in Boston in 1903 by architect John Howard. Howard was heavily influenced by French architecture and chose an iconic Parisian style for the building. Called the Beaux-Arts style, the theatre was designed with glamorous materials and stunning details.
The theatre was the very first in Boston to be originally built with electric lighting as opposed to gas. This feature may be the reason Howard felt compelled to sprinkle lighting on seemingly every surface. It’s exterior was trimmed in sparkling bulbs that lit up the art district. Inside, the 4,500 sparkling lights illuminated the balconies and ceilings for a truly unforgettable interior.
The 1,186-seat theatre became a test theatre for new shows before they headed to Broadway. However, in the 1920s, Vaudeville shows emerged and quickly soared in popularity. The Culter Majestic Theater adjusted its space to house these variety shows.
Then in the 1950s, the theatre was purchased by Benjamin Sack. Sack renamed the playhouse The Saxon Theater. He closed the balcony and converted it to a single-screen movie theatre. However, by the early eighties, larger multi-screen movie theatres emerged, causing The Saxon Theater to wane in popularity.
Without a steady business, the beautiful theatre began to deteriorate. Emerson College stepped in and purchased the property in 1983. The theatre was painstakingly remodeled and restored to its original glamour and Beaux-Arts beauty. The Emerson College performing arts group staged their first show at the theatre when it re-opened in 1989.
The Cutler Majestic Theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places and became a Boston Landmark in 1986. In 2003, it was further restored to replicate Howard’s original design. Today, the authentic theatre is as close you can get to a visit to the original theatre in 1903.
With all of this history, it’s no surprise that the theatre is known as one of the most haunted places in Boston. It’s been said that many theatre patrons still remain within the walls. Many spooky sightings have taken place at the beautiful building.
A Former Mayor, A Ghost of Emerson’s Cutler Majestic Theatre
One of the most famous theatre guests is one of Boston’s former mayors. It’s been said that he came to enjoy an evening at the theatre, not knowing that it would be the last performance that he would ever see. The mayor tragically died in his seat that night, and some say he’s been there ever since.
The mayor has been spotted in his seat, waiting for the show to start. In fact, he’s the most popular spirit to be seen at the theatre. Oddly, there are no vital records or news story evidence of any mayor of Boston ever dying in the theatre, making these sightings even more mysterious.
The Date that Never Ended And Continued After Death
Tragically, one couple’s date ended in a horrific car crash where they both lost their lives. They were on their way home from a show at the theater when the accident occurred. Apparently, their spirits decided to return to the theater to continue what would be an everlasting date.
The friendly couple eagerly greets anyone that sits near them. They’ve also been spotted wandering the theater’s balcony, hand in hand. However, their spirits seem to drift away halfway through the show so keep your eyes peeled for them during the first act.
A Young Emerson’s Cutler Majestic Theater Goer
A child has been spotted and heard by Cutler Majestic Theatre visitors over the years. Soft crying sounds have been heard lofting through the theater’s high ceilings, and the girl has been seen frolicking around empty balconies. It’s unclear if the girl is the child of the lost couple or is just another guest unwilling to leave the stunning theatre.
Either way, like most children, the girl’s spirit adores gifts. Guests bringing trinkets along can leave them out for the sweet girl. Mysteriously, some have noticed that these presents disappear when no one has been near them.
The Nightmare Room of the Theatre
The supernatural experiences of The Cutler Majestic Theatre aren’t just limited to guests. Cast and crew have also experienced paranormal feelings. Eerily, many of them occur in the same place.
Backstage, there is a small room, perhaps formerly used as a dressing room. It’s likely the most haunted spot in the entire theatre. Many of those that have stepped into the room have felt very overwhelming and scary feelings, causing the space to be known as The Nightmare Room.
When inside, people have experienced terrifying sensations and unexplained breathing difficulties. Some believe the feelings are caused by the lingering stage fright of performers from long ago. Many have fled the room from the horrifying experience.
Visiting The Theater
Today, the theatre is a bustling performance space for both Emerson College and other public performance groups. It offers a diverse show listing including everything from dance performances to lively musicals. There’s truly something from everyone to enjoy at the historic theatre.
When visiting, make sure to make the trip up to check out the theater’s light-lined balcony for a stunning view of below. Keep your eyes peeled for the spirits that also seem to enjoy the same bird’s eye view. Will you encounter the famed couple’s spirits or hear the faint crying of the little girl?
Snagging a seat in rows C or D can be a really amazing experience. The seats have hooks that were used to hold canes that were popular when the theatre was built. Peek until your seat and check out the rack that was originally placed there to hold gentlemen’s top hats.
Historic Boston Haunts
Boston is an amazing city that gives you an unparalleled chance to experience the paranormal. Its rich history makes it a wonderful place to explore for both history buffs and those looking for something a little eerier. The Cutler Majestic Theatre is just one haunt that’s a must-visit amongst the historic streets of the harbor town.
Make sure to check out the other nearby haunts. Will you spot The Lady in Black that lost her life at George’s Island? Can you see the famous ghost of Paul Revere at the old Granary Park Burial Grounds? You can even spend the night at the haunted Omni Parker House Hotel for a truly unforgettable hotel stay.
As one of the oldest theaters in Boston, The Cutler Majestic Theater should definitely be at the top of your list. It’s a great chance to experience stunning architecture, both inside and outside of the building. Plus, you might look over from your show and see a happy couple or a mayor from the distant past, enjoying the performance with you.