This Friday, Boston’s Theater District gets “Modern.”

Suffolk University is officially unveiling its full restoration of the Modern Theater, a jazz age movie house, now a multi-use performance space and student residence in the heart of Downtown Crossing, 525 Washington Street, just steps away from the newly renovated Paramount Center. On Friday, November 5 from 12PM-6PM, the public is invited to any open house at the Modern and will be treated to “special entertainment,” according to a press release.

An officially designated “Boston Landmark,” the Modern Theater was the city’s first venue designed specifically for showing motion pictures. Originally built as a warehouse and retail space 4 years after the Great Boston Fire had destroyed its neighborhood, The Modern was converted into a movie house in 1914. The newly renovated Modern, a LEED-certified building decked out with a marble and sandstone façade, a new frieze in its lobby and a new mural painted on its stage house walls, seats 185 and will host films, live performances and discussions.

Its inaugural season boasts a reading by multiple award-winning film star F. Murray Abraham, a staging of  “Antony and Cleopatra” by Actors’ Shakespeare Project, a documentary film series with DockYard Productions, and “conversations” with comedian Lewis Black, Daily Beast political journalist Peter Beinart, Globe columnist, James Carroll, psychiatrist and author Robert Jay Lifton and esteemed novelist, Maxine Hong Kingston. It will also be used to develop “Car Talk: The Musical!” based on the beloved locally produced NPR show, which will feature voice overs from Click and Clack themselves as well as celebrity call-in guests.

A promising start for the Theater District’s Modern Era.

About The Author

Jason Rabin is a Blast contributing editor

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