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Boston's Historic Colonial Theatre Closing Indefinitely03:21
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This picture provided by The New York Public Library shows Katherine Hepburn on stage at the Colonial Theatre during the Boston run of "Philadelphia Story" in March 1939. (AP/The New York Public Library, Richard Tucker)
This picture provided by The New York Public Library shows Katherine Hepburn on stage at the Colonial Theatre during the Boston run of "Philadelphia Story" in March 1939. (AP/The New York Public Library, Richard Tucker)

Boston's oldest continuously operating theater is shutting down at least temporarily because its owner has not been able to find a new tenant.

The Colonial Theatre, famous for its golden ceiling, ornate murals and excellent sight lines, is going dark this weekend after a final performance of "West Side Story."

The 111-year-old theater, owned by Emerson College, had been leased by Broadway Across America-Boston, but that deal is expiring.

Broadway Across America-Boston has found alternate sites after negotiations with Emerson broke down.

Both sides blamed the other. Emerson officials said that Broadway Across America-Boston declined to renew its lease when a deal was offered last November. Broadway Across America-Boston said the offer came too late and that it had already made a deal with the Shubert Theater.

Broadway Across America-Boston has presented popular touring musicals while leasing the 1,704-seat theater for a decade.

Click "Listen Now" for WBUR critic-at-large Ed Siegel on the move. With additional reporting from The Associated Press

This program aired on July 6, 2011.

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