Memories of a former repertory theater owner

posted by CSWalczak on August 27, 2009 at 4:40 am

BROOKLINE, MA — Justin Freed, the former owner and programmer of the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, MA reflects on his experience of running a repertory cinema before VHS tapes and DVDs made operating such a theater so challenging in this retrospective.

“Everyone’s a programmer,‘” Justin Freed says with a laugh, describing what it’s like to own a revival house. “When I was running that theater it was like being Theo Epstein [running the Red Sox]. Everyone has an opinion on what you should be doing – believe me! And I’m not sure I was doing it any better than the people who were giving me the suggestions.’”

The “Coolidge'” in question is, of course, the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in Brookline, which Freed owned from 1977 to 1989. Those were halcyon days. Moviegoers were as likely to encounter Norman Mailer introducing one of his films, or the graffiti artists of “Wild Style” spray-painting an exterior wall, as a Fellini double feature.

Read the full story in the Boston Globe.

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