Posted by: Daniel Lavoie
March 2, 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Boston Phoenix! In 1965, the paper began as “Boston After Dark,” a four-page insert in the Harvard Business School’s newspaper The Harbus News. On March 2, 1966, Boston After Dark became a free, independent newspaper – “Boston’s only complete entertainment weekly.” The paper featured event, music, theatre, and film listings and reviews. Theatre reviews were penned by Larry Stark, a prominent local journalist who later was nicknamed “Boston’s dean of theatre critics.” The first issue features a review of “The Subject Was Roses” at the Wilbur Theatre in which he writes about its long run as “perhaps the cast is a little tired by now, but the script was a little tired to start with.”
In 1972, Boston After Dark acquired the Cambridge Phoenix and was reborn the Boston Phoenix. It became an invaluable source of reporting on not just Boston’s arts and culture but major local subjects—from school desegregation to LGBTQ issues to Occupy Boston. Over its 47 year run, the paper received multiple awards in journalism from the New England Press Association, the Penny-Missouri Newspaper Awards, and the American Bar Association Gavel Awards.
The Boston Phoenix Collection can be viewed at Northeastern University’s Archives and Special Collections. The first issue can be viewed or downloaded in Northeastern University’s Digital Repository Service.
Posted in: Archives and Special Collections