1912 MEETS 2020
The 1912 historic building that was originally the Peabody Theater has been transformed into a 21st century event space.
Olio is located on what is formerly the Sutton lawn and was designed by Edwin A. Earp and built by the Structural Cement Company of Lynn. Work began on the theater in 1910 but was abandoned soon after due to the financial difficulties. Finally, a new lease was signed in the fall of 1911 between Madden and McManus, the property’s owner, and the Aechtler and McKinney, who managed Winthrop’s Dream Theatre.
The interior previously had a large stage with an extra story above it, used to hold an olio drop curtain (with a Victorian scene) as well as an asbestos curtain.
The building was one of the country's first entirely concrete structures, and that historical significance remains relevant today. It was built in the Colonial Revival style that was typical for theaters at the time and included many ornate details, including a vaudeville-style façade. The theater was managed by the Strand Theatre group until 1957, at which time it was sold to a private investor and ceased operations.
From 1957 until 2018, the building had a variety of uses and much of the original interior and front façade was dismantled. Most recently, the second floor was divided into compartments and used as storage space.
The opening night of The Strand Theater on
April 9, 1912 launched with a new motion picture entitled, "Across Panama in 1912".
The Strand Theater seated 1,250 people at the time it opened and included a second floor balcony.
The original hammered tin ceiling remained intact in the building until purchased by the current owners in 2018.
There are two heights for the ceiling/roof due to the back "fly tower" area being an extra 20 feet taller to accommodate hanging curtains, screens, and rigging.