Combat Zone, Boston

Combat ZoneThe Combat ZoneBoston "combat zone.Combat Zone in BostonCombat Zone-style
The Combat Zone was the name given in the 1960s to the adult entertainment district in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.wikipedia
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Chinatown, Boston

ChinatownBoston's ChinatownBoston
Today, the area is part of Chinatown and features extensive recent redevelopment.
During this period, city officials also designated an area adjacent to Chinatown as Boston's red light district, also known as the Combat Zone.

Barney Frank

Frank, BarneyCongressman Barney FrankRepresentative Barney Frank
State Representative Barney Frank made a name for himself in the mid-1970s as a political defender of the Combat Zone.
He made a name for himself in the mid-1970s as a political defender of the Combat Zone, Boston's notorious red light district.

Liberty Tree

Tree of Liberty
Originally, there was an attempt to name the area Liberty Tree Neighborhood after the Liberty Tree that once stood in the area, but the name did not catch on.
In 1974, funding was approved for a small park at Washington and Essex, which at that time was part of an area known as the Combat Zone.

Playland Café

Popular gathering spots included the Playland Café on Essex Street, the Stuart Theater on Washington Street, and many others.
The Playland Café was in a part of town that became known in the 1960s as the Combat Zone.

Saint Francis House (Boston)

Saint Francis HouseSt. Francis House
Saint Francis House on Boylston Street, a daytime shelter for the homeless, is still in operation.
It was the visionary, Father Louis Canino, O.F.M., a Franciscan friar and then Rector of the Saint Anthony Shrine, who was the driving force in its founding and the necessary purchase of a building on Boylston Street, the historic Boston Edison Electric Illuminating Company building, in what was then called the Combat Zone.

Scollay Square

The Combat Zone began to form in the early 1960s, when city officials razed the West End and former red light district at Scollay Square, near Faneuil Hall, to build the Government Center urban renewal project.
Combat Zone, Boston

Izzy Ort's Bar & Grille

Golden Nugget
Before the demolition of Scollay Square, there was already at least one strip bar in what would later become known as the Combat Zone: Izzy Ort's Bar & Grille at 25 Essex Street.
Izzy Ort's was one of the first strip bars in what would later become known as Boston's Combat Zone.

Louise Wightman

Princess Cheyenne, another celebrated exotic dancer, performed at the Naked i in the 1970s and 1980s.
Wightman's dancing career began at age 17, when she was known as Lucy Johnson, and peaked when she was a headliner at the now defunct Naked i Cabaret in Boston's Combat Zone.

Emerson College

Emerson College of OratoryEmersonLions
A new Emerson College dormitory (and eventual relocation of the entire campus), Suffolk University administrative offices, a relocated branch of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, a new $300 million development which includes a Ritz-Carlton Hotel and a Loews cinema, and a renovated Boston Opera House all opened in the area in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Shortly after, she submitted a 10-year master plan to the Boston Redevelopment Authority which involved moving the college to the Washington Street Theatre District (also known at that time as the Combat Zone).

Park Square (Boston)

Park SquarePark Square, BostonPark Square (in Boston)
Nearby Park Square and Bay Village were home to several gay and drag bars, such as the Punch Bowl and Jacques Cabaret.
Combat Zone, Boston

Gordon's Olympia Theatre (Boston)

Gordon's Olympia Theatre
The Pilgrim Theater, one of the last old time burlesque houses, was the site of a political scandal in December 1974 when the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, seemingly inebriated, appeared on stage with stripper Fanne Foxe, "The Argentine Firecracker".
* Combat Zone, Boston

Banned in Boston

bannedBostonBoston-area ban
Banned in Boston
Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, a red-light district called the Combat Zone formed in Boston, with many businesses that would have been criminally prohibited only decades before.

Hayden Building

The historic Hayden Building on Washington Street, once home to an adult movie theater and a gay bathhouse, was renovated in 2013 and now houses luxury apartments and retail space.
Combat Zone, Boston

North Street (Boston)

Ann StreetNorth StreetBlack Sea
Ann Street, Boston's red light district in the 19th century
Today's North Street is part of a rejuvenated North End and all of Boston's red-light district is limited to a few bookstores and two strip clubs on Kneeland Street, part of the now defunct "Combat Zone".

Sex industry

adult entertainmentadult industrysex trade
The Combat Zone was the name given in the 1960s to the adult entertainment district in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.

Downtown Boston

downtownCentralheart
The Combat Zone was the name given in the 1960s to the adult entertainment district in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston

Boston, MassachusettsBoston, MABoston, United States
The Combat Zone was the name given in the 1960s to the adult entertainment district in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.

Washington Street (Boston)

Washington StreetWashingtonCornhill
Centered on Washington Street between Boylston Street and Kneeland Street, the area was once the site of many strip clubs, peep shows, X-rated movie theaters, and adult bookstores.

Strip club

strip clubstopless barstrip bar
Centered on Washington Street between Boylston Street and Kneeland Street, the area was once the site of many strip clubs, peep shows, X-rated movie theaters, and adult bookstores.

Peep show

peep showspeep-showpeepshow
Centered on Washington Street between Boylston Street and Kneeland Street, the area was once the site of many strip clubs, peep shows, X-rated movie theaters, and adult bookstores.

X rating

X-ratedXrated X
Centered on Washington Street between Boylston Street and Kneeland Street, the area was once the site of many strip clubs, peep shows, X-rated movie theaters, and adult bookstores.

Sex shop

sex shopsadult bookstoreadult stores
Centered on Washington Street between Boylston Street and Kneeland Street, the area was once the site of many strip clubs, peep shows, X-rated movie theaters, and adult bookstores.

Prostitution

prostituteprostituteswhore
It also had a reputation for crime, including prostitution.

Boston Planning and Development Agency

Boston Redevelopment AuthorityBoston Redevelopment Authority (BRA)Redevelopment Authority
In 1974, in an attempt to contain the spread of adult businesses, the Boston Redevelopment Authority officially designated the Combat Zone as the city's adult entertainment district.

Home video

home entertainmenthome mediavideo album
For a variety of reasons, such as rising property values and the introduction of home video technology, most of the adult businesses in the area have since closed, and the "Combat Zone" moniker has become obsolete.