Underground Theater Discovered Below Boston Piano Store

Though some of the world’s best musicians once performed at the theater, it has been largely forgotten since it closed 70 years ago.

1. Though decades ago it was a concert space for some of the world’s most notable classical musicians, a hidden theater once called Steinert Hall on Boston’s Boylston Street has long been forgotten.

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2. Steinert Hall is located deep below M. Steinert & Sons, a piano store on “piano row” across the street from Boston Common.

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Greig Lamont / Via greiglamont.blogspot.com

Inside M. Steinert & Sons.

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4. Photographer Greig Lamont told BuzzFeed that after a visit in 2011, he learned the theater was so infrequently visited that employees who had worked for the shop for ten years had rarely seen it.

Steinert Hall recently came back into the public attention when a reporter for Emerson College’s radio station stumbled upon it while working on a different story.

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Greig Lamont / Via greiglamont.blogspot.com
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6. The Boston Globe reports the hall opened in December 1896, with the first show attended by “an audience distinguished for its wealth, social standing and artistic reputation.”

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A 1915 Greek-themed wall mural found in the theater.

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8. At one point, the theater, which could seat 650, was also used as a public bomb shelter.

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Greig Lamont / Via greiglamont.blogspot.com
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10. The hall, which is now in complete disarray, was shut down to the public 70 years ago. Since then, it has only been seen sporadically by visiting musicians, including Elton John.

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12. Visits to the hall are discouraged by the building’s owners, and have become more difficult since a freight elevator meant to transport instruments was shut down earlier this year.

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Greig Lamont / Via greiglamont.blogspot.com
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14. As the theater is built far underground, nearby water main breaks caused leaks and flooding that damaged the hall, and the store’s president Paul Murphy estimates restoration would cost $6 million, the Globe reported.

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Greig Lamont / Via greiglamont.blogspot.com

“Pragmatically, it would have to be a labor of love, because a lot of the money you’d need to invest wouldn’t be coming back,” Murphy said.

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