Located at 545 Washington Street, Bijou Theatre was formally known as Lion Theatre in 1836 before being renamed to the Bijou in 1882. The Bijou was located on the second floor of the theater and featured a wide number of performances such as musicals, operas, and plays. It was also the first theater in the US that was entirely lighted by electricity, and its installation was even supervised by the great Thomas Edison himself.
In 1886, ownership of the theater was passed to B.F. Keith, a showman who created one of the first vaudeville theaters in the country and is often credited as the "father of American vaudeville". While operating at the Bijou, Keith set strict standards for his performances and forbade vulgarity and obscene gestures in his acts so that women and children could enjoy his performances. The Bijou was a tremendous success and truly set the stage for vaudeville, as Keith enforced similar standards in all subsequent performances.
From the collection of Fred Bodin of Gloucester, MA. Fred was a long time resident and well-known photographer of Gloucester and had one of the best private collections of New England nautical photographs in private hands. Fred was a photojournalist having graduated with this degree from Syracuse University and worked for Yankee Magazine. Fred passed away in 2016 and HIP purchased his collection from his estate.