Regent Theater

Built in 1916, the historic Regent Theatre remains true to its roots as a vibrant vaudeville house. An intimate 500-seat performing arts center with superior acoustics and comfortable seating, "Arlington's Show Place of Entertainment" features live music concerts, theatre, dance events, family entertainment, comedy, film specials, and more.

Conveniently located just minutes from Cambridge and Boston, the Regent is MBTA and handicap accessible with free parking across the street (nights and weekends after 3pm on Saturday) and a variety of great restaurants and shops within easy walking distance.

The Regent is dedicated to bringing the highest quality events to the area, and while we are a community theater attracting audiences from Arlington and the surrounding towns of suburban Boston, we have a number of exclusive events throughout the year with nationally and internationally known performers-many of whom are bona fide legends.

Covering a wide spectrum of genres, the following groups and solo artists have played the Regent during the past five years: Bellydance Superstars, Mickey Rooney, Paula Poundstone, Johnny Winter, Tower of Power, Taj Mahal, Hot Tuna, Count Basie Orchestra, Riders in the Sky, Beatlejuice, Deborah Henson-Conant, Steven Tyler, Asleep at the Wheel, Mountain, Vanilla Fudge, Rebecca Paris, Edgar Winter, Rory Block, John Mayall, Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer, Mike Smith of the Dave Clark Five, Dresden Dolls, The Von Trapp Children, The Russian American Kids Circus, Bonnie Bramlett, Nektar, Michelle Shocked, Neil Innes, NRBQ, Barry & The Remains, Honeyboy Edwards, Boys of the Lough, John Hammond, Loretta LaRoche, and Odetta.

Historic news pieces about The Regent Theatre

From the Arlington Advocate, April 15, 1916: New Fire Proof Building.

Approaching completion on Medford Street is the most perfect specimen of fire proof construction ever erected in Arlington... Seven stores and eight offices in the second story occupy the front of this ornate reinforced concrete building, while the rear portion contains an up-to-date theatre, in plan, finsh and decoration a rival of the best Boston playhouses... The basement section of this buidling is being fitted up by the Mystic Bowling Alley Co. There are eight full length bowling alleys, unusual arrangements for seating visitors, and every modern convenience will be offered patrons.... Billiard and pool rooms are located in adjoining sections."

From the Arlington Advocate, August 27, 1926: Regent Theatre Opens Monday.

After several weeks of activity at the Regent Theatre, in order to give its patrons a thoroughly revovated and up-to-date picture house, as far as modern equipment is concerned, its doors will be thrown open to the public on next Monday, August 30. The interior has been in the hands of a decorator, who has made changes that give a most pleasing impression as one enters the lobby. The color scheme is blue, buff and gold here, the ceiling suggesting the azure blue of the sky... The ceiling of the theatre is in blue and ecru, while the walls have been tinted in old rose in two tones, with a Grecian border that suggests panels. The proscenium arch has been treated in green gold that blends with the curtains of the stage, but it is the large screen, which is the last word for magnifying the picture, where the patrons will probably find the greatest pleasure. The side lights have been covered with gold colored shades that match the paint used on the radiators and iron stair railings, these latter leading to the balcony. The hangings are in green, while the two hundred reserved seats that may be obtained for the same price as a single admission, are so designated by a striped covering in two shades of ecru. The floor is coverd with Russelloid, a new floor covering, that is recommended not only for its durability, but for its neat appearance. Something over $10,000 has been spent by the put this moving picture house in a condition that is calculated to give comfort to its patrons, beginning at the entrance, where blue and gilt frames hold the pictures of advertised plays, to the ticket window framed in a figured ecru drapery, on through the folding doors past the ticket man, into the theatre, where all has been made ready for the opening Monday.

An ad from a few weeks later (Sept. 17, 1926) cites the Regent as "Arlington's Family Resort ", and advertised the following: Betty Compton in "Ramshackle House" (along with "Stop Flirting") A Metropolitan Production "Forbidden Waters" (along with Edmund Lowe and Madge Belamy in "Black Paradise") Matt Moore in "Early To Wed" (together with "Yellow Fingers" with Ralph Ince)

  • No more Sunday movies (May 2, 1930)
  • Citizens vote against Sunday movies 478 to 115 (Sept. 18, 1931)
  • Selectmen refuse permit for Sunday movies (August 4, 1933)

From the Arlington Advocate January 4, 1940: Regent Theatre Now Being Redecorated.

Arlington's Regent Theatre is now under renovation with the latest in modern appointments being installed. Long regarded as Arlington's intimate theatre, the Regent has recently placed new comfortable plush seats in conjunction with a new sound system. Now with the redecoration of the theatre under way, its patrons will find a complete new interior, including damask on all walls, carpeting, new lighting fixtures, new stage setting, and a lobby of knotty pine design. With these improvements the Regent has contracted for all the pictures from Hollywood's leading studios for the 1940 season. Such pictures as "Golden Boy", "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", Amazing Mr. Williams", to be shown first and only in Arlington at the Regent. Other pictures soon to be shown are "Nurse Edith Cavell", "Jamaica Inn", "Hollywood Cavalcade", "Real Glory", "First Love", "Babes in Arms", and "We Are Not Alone". It is readily understood why the New Regent with its moderately low prices is taking its place as Arlington's Show Place of Entertainment.

From the Arlington Advocate, June 1955:

Police responded to the Regent Theatre when 2,000 Davy Crockett fans showed up to see "Davy Crockett, Indian Scout." The throng spilled over into the streets before police arrived and ordered the youngsters to form lines.