Wang Theatre Is Hosting an Open House
On Friday, October 16—exactly 90 years since its opening night in 1925—the Wang Theatre is hosting a celebratory open house.
The historic venue invites the public to sing on its stage and tour an exhibit of archive photographs, as well as follow the footsteps of rock stars, actors, and the Dalai Lama and leave their mark on a backstage wall, which has been steadily covered with autographs over the years.
Visitors can also win a chance to tour the theatre dome, and those who bring in their written memories of the Wang Theatre can enter for a chance to win two tickets to every performance at the venue through May 31, 2016.
The open house is the first of to-be-announced events hosted by the Wang Theatre to celebrate its 90th anniversary. The celebration comes at a time when, perhaps more than ever, it’s especially poignant to appreciate the beauty of Boston’s theater spaces.
Changes abound in the Theatre District and beyond. Last weekend, the Colonial Theatre held its final scheduled performance—the venue is now closed for up to a year as its owners at Emerson College consider ways to repurpose the space. Boston University, meanwhile, has severed ties with the Huntington Theatre Company, rejecting the troupe’s offer to buy the BU Theatre, where they have performed for 33 years and which BU put up for sale earlier this month.
Plus, Citigroup Inc. plans to end its sponsorship of the Citi Performance Arts Center, which both the Wang Theatre and the Colonial Theatre are a part of alongside the Shubert Theatre.
“We will be fine,” Josiah A. Spaudling, Jr., president and chief executive of Citi Performance Arts Center, told the Boston Globe, stating that the bank’s sponsorship made up less than 10 percent of the venues’ budget.
Naming rights, however, are up for grabs, and it’s not the first time that the Wang Theatre has experienced such a change. On opening night in 1925, it was called The Metropolitan, repurposed as a movie theater from the Capitol Hotel. In 1962, it became the home of the Boston Ballet, and the venue reopened as the Music Hall. In 1983, it was renamed the Wang Theatre after a generous gift from Dr. An Wang. The partnership with Citigroup was then formed in 2006.
The Wang Theatre’s 90th anniversary open house takes place on Friday, October 16, from 2 to 7 p.m. at 270 Tremont St. Admission is free, but registration is encouraged—although not required—at citicenter.org.