Both local and world-class artists are quite familiar with the Regent Theater, the historical performing arts center located in Arlington Center. The theater has been in this location on Medford Street for almost 100 years and has hosted a great variety of shows. “It started as a Vaudeville theater with live entertainment; it was a silent movie house; it was a talkies movie house when sound came into the pictures; and before we took over in 2001, it was a the Bombay Cinema showing exclusively Bollywood films,” said co-owner Leland Stein. Stein has been working hard to revamp the theater and create a unique experience for the theater’s patrons and for performing artists. The niche of the theater is precisely that it does not have one, said Stein. The theater hosts concerts, community fundraising, film festivals as well as children musicals. During a fundraising concert in support of residents affected by a fire at Brookside Condominiums, which raised $1,150, Arlington artists Woody Geissman, Vance Gilbert, Deborah Henson-Conant, Ilana Katz Katz, and John Powhida entertained the crowd with pop-rock, electric harp and folk music. Backstage they talked about feeling at home in the Regent Theater, praised the extraordinary acoustic of the venue, and complimented the charm of this iconic building. All the above are a part of the Regent Theater’s legacy.
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