Kirby Memorial Theater at Amherst College was built with funds from a charitable trust set up by Dr. Ellwood R. Kirby (1854-1920). Kirby, a Philadelphia physician, is depicted administering anesthetic to the surgery patient in Thomas Eakins 1889 painting The Agnew Clinic. The Theater was built in 1938-1939 and was designed by James Kellum Smith of McKim, Mead & White, with the help of S.R. McCandless, a theater designer. The James W. Boyden House, which had served as a college boarding house and cafeteria, was moved from the site in 1937 to 58 Woodside Street to make way for the Theater.
The original Tremont Theatre, on Tremont Street in Boston, was designed in the Greek Revival style by architect Isaiah Rogers and opened in 1827. Many famous actors, orators and singers appeared there over the years. In 1843, the building was purchased by the Free Church Baptists, Boston’s first integrated church, who renamed it the Tremont Temple Baptist Church. Thereafter, it was used as a church, although public events were often held there as well. The church burned and was rebuilt several times. The current building on the site was built in 1896, designed by Clarence Blackall. The church has a large sanctuary on the second floor, which was also used for a time as an auditorium. Originally, there were shops on the ground floor and commercial offices on the upper floors. Revenue from rents and auditorium rentals allowed the Church to provide free seats to all worshipers.