Boston University and the Huntington Theatre Company released a joint press release yesterday announcing they were dissolving their 33-year old partnership. As a result, Huntington will have to vacate their facility at 264 Huntington Ave. BU will immediately list that property for sale, along with the two buildings adjacent.
Over the course of the last year, however, it has become clear that BU and the Huntington both have needs that the partnership can no longer meet. The Huntington needs a more modern theatre in which to present its large-scale productions as well as function space for its patrons. BU needs to better serve its theatre arts students and thus relocate its production, design, and black box facilities to its Charles River Campus. Neither BU nor the Huntington have the resources it will take to renovate and modernize the BU Theatre within the constraints of our current partnership.
According to the Boston Globe, Huntington attempted to negotiate a purchase with BU but they were apparently worlds apart on the price.
BU will require any buyer to guarantee the Huntington’s use of the facility through June 30, 2017. The theatre company will continue to own and operate four theaters at the Calderwood Pavilion for the Arts in the South End.
(Fun fact: One of the three buildings was apparently a twin vertical movie theater last mid-century, the Symphony Cinema.)