6.22.2008

#4 A Movie Theater

Coolidge Corner Theater, Kendall Square Cinema, Somerville Theater, Brattle Theater, Dedham Community Theater, Embassy Cinema in Watham - These are all smaller independent or community theaters just outside the city of Boston. With the closing of the Copley Place Cinemas a few years ago, our city no longer has a theater dedicated to independent film. Dorchester would be a perfect place to open a new small theater. With the diversity of culture and a growing art community, as well as the neighborhood's dedication to supporting local business, such a theater would thrive. Not only that, people would patronize local eateries and cafes before and after their shows, bringing even more into the neighborhood.

Two examples shine as great models: The first is the Pleasant Street Theater in Northampton, Mass. This two screen theater is not in a traditional movie-house, but instead opened in 1976 in a former shoe store. The second example comes from San Francisco and the 4 Star Theater on Clement Street. Its screen is not very large and they don't have the latest super-surround sound, but its focus on ethnic films (particularly Asian and Asian American films) makes it an asset. Both are no frill theaters that serve as a bedrock of their communities. (In full disclosure, Chris grew up in western Mass. and Erin in the Bay Area and so we have a lot of expeierence going to these two theaters and can vouch for their greatness...)

Do you think this is a good idea? Rate below.




10 comments:

Ned Hinkle said...

hey all,

i agree that it's high time Boston had its own arthouse/independent cinema - in fact, how about more than one! i used to work in dorchester and i too enjoyed the neighborhoods and diversity. I think it would be a really interesting place for a cinema - especially an independent one that has the freedom to do a variety of different activities that appeal to everyone in the city. here's hoping some deep pockets check out this blog and respond appropriately.

Ned Hinkle
Creative Director
Brattle Theatre

Hot Dot heats up! said...

What about Video Underground in Jamaica Plain? They show independent films too. You might want to check out a find model for how this can be done on the cheap and a fine way to start something of this sort.
http://www.thevideounderground.com/about.html

Anonymous said...

Here is a great idea. We went to one of these when we lived in Santa Cruz, CA. If Dorchester cannot open a theater, someone should start a guerilla drive-in showing indie flicks on the sides of random buildings! http://www.guerilladrivein.org/

Sam said...

Two places on the Avenue jump out at me for a theater. The old Lee Kennedy Construction building on the corner of Dot Ave. and Shepton not far from Peabody Square (currently for sale) or the large seemingly empty building north of the Burger King on the same side of Dot Ave.

candelaria said...

There was a theater in Field's Corner. The building still exists although it has businesses in it now. I saw Purple Rain there. The wheel doesn't have to be reinvented - just refurbished.

Chris & Erin said...

Purple Rain in Fields Corner, awesome!

Cate Uber said...

yes. this is the model i would love to see emulated in the dot: http://www.parkway-speakeasy.com/index.php. you're from the bay area so maybe you already know the parkway? i lived in the bay area for 2-3 yrs, and this theatre was the absolute best: second-run movies, sofas, pizza delivered to your sofa during the movie. (p.s. thanks for both your dot blogs!)

Chris and Erin said...

We have never been to the Parkway Speakeasy Theater, but since Erin is from the East Bay, we will have to check it out next time we are in California.

Anonymous said...

closer than the parkway: http://cinematreasures.org/theater/14310/

Elm Draughthouse Theatre in Millbury, MA

jacumming said...

The old National Liquidators Warehouse on Morrissey Blvd would be a perfect location for an art theater - currently the lot is vacant and an eyesore. Bowling across the street, Dim Sum next door...add a bakery and that area would do very well.