Apple Cinemas

168 Alewife Brook Parkway,
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Showing 26 - 46 of 46 comments

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on January 24, 2006 at 1:53 pm

Actually, I think Peabody may have been their first twin.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on January 24, 2006 at 1:52 pm

You must have known Henry Cummings!

dickdziadzio on January 24, 2006 at 12:21 pm

I believe this was a single when first opened.
I think when it was twinned General Cinema used
it to experiment with their early automation systems
as a test house.

I think General Cinemas first built from the ground up
twin was inside Burlington Mall (which was later quaded)

At the time I was a projectionist at their only
Theatre in Western Mass. at Eastfield Mall in Springfield.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 24, 2006 at 11:43 am

I have it on pretty good authority that this theatre is closing after those Thursday evening shows.

Whether it’s because AMC doesn’t want the property, or because they couldn’t reach a new lease agreement in time, I’m not sure. Also unclear is whether it might eventually reopen under different ownership. Stay tuned…

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 23, 2006 at 2:14 pm

This theatre has no showtimes after 7:45 pm for Thursday, January 26. Since that’s supposed to be the night for changing all the Loews theatres over to AMC, I wonder what’s afoot.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on October 27, 2005 at 2:20 pm

The shopping center owns the land, and someone buying the Cinema would only own the business and furnishings, with a lease that gives the shopping center a percentage of the profits. (kind of like buying a condo) If it’s for sale, you’d want to know what the terms of the lease are, with the shopping center, to determine whether it’s going to be a profitable plan. The shopping center may have other plans for the property and be looking to end the lease, and sell the location to another type of business, thus maybe the lease is coming up for renewal and the operator wants out. Since the concessions are owned by someone else, it’s one more detriment to the viability of the place as a theatre.
As for cost, the Assessor’s Office in the city of Cambridge could help start some research.

metalrokr9985 on October 27, 2005 at 11:29 am

does anyone have any idea how much a theatre like this would sell for? i recently heard that it was up for sale and im doing a class project that could benefit from this information. any rough guesses would be helpful.

MSM on September 3, 2005 at 3:05 pm

I"m trying to find out exactly when the movie “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World” played at Fresh Pond Cinema. Sometime aroudn 1969 or 1970. Can anyone help?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 13, 2005 at 3:54 am

You’ll be pleased to know that the Alewife bridge was reconstructed a few years ago and now has sidewalks on both sides. Also, the #83 bus now runs every day of the week. Much larger and stronger fences now line the railroad tracks, so I don’t think people cut across them anymore.

LeiLei on March 12, 2005 at 10:05 pm

When I was growing up in Rindge Towers back in the late 70s, we could afford to see movies on our allowance. At that time it was Fresh Pond Cinemas, twin screens, second run movies and $1.50 at all times. That was when Harvard Square was the last stop on the Red Line and you had to catch the 83 Rindge Ave bus (which did not run on Sundays). That part of North Cambridge was pretty isolated. The bridge did not look nearly as stable as it is now. The popular path then, was to enter through Rindge Towers, go through the parking lot, through a hole in the fence, and cross about two sets of commuter rail and Amtrak train tracks. Yes it was extremely dangerous, since there is a lot of high speed traffic, but it was safer than going across that bridge. Sorry to ramble, but I loved that theater.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 10, 2005 at 3:17 am

I looked through some Boston Globe microfilm from September 1966, and saw that this theatre (then a General Cinema) had a single screen back then. I don’t know when it was twinned.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on February 10, 2005 at 9:06 pm

Is Boston Concessions Group previously known as Theatre Merchandising?

IanJudge on February 10, 2005 at 8:41 pm

Boston Concessions Group operates or manages many theaters in the Northeast. Some others I know of are the Opera House in Newport, RI and the Holiday Cinema in Newport. They have theaters throughout Maine and New Hampshire, CT, and control many other concessions in resorts, event centers, etc.

They tend to finance theaters and as a condition of financing, they operate the concessions. When the theaters can’t pay their bills, BCG takes over the theaters. This is a common business structure in many other regions.

I don’t know the details of their deals with Entertainment Cinemas, but Bill Hanney is still running that company, and BCG has concession rights to a lot of (if not all) their theaters, and possibly more control than that.

They are pretty huge, but most people have never heard of them, not least as theater operators.

br91975 on February 10, 2005 at 7:12 pm

Entertainment Cinemas, according to their web site (, currently owns theatres in Edgartown and Leominster, Ma.; Concord and Lebanon, NH; South Kingstown, RI; and Bloomfield and Seymour, Ct.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 10, 2005 at 5:58 pm

Does Entertainment Cinemas still exist at all? Their Quincy cinema became a Showcase for awhile, and is now a Flagship Cinema showing third-run films for $2.50. The Stoughton cinema pub no longer carries the Entertainment name, and I think their other former South Shore properties are now run by Patriot Cinemas.

What theatres in this area does Boston Concessions Group own?

IanJudge on February 10, 2005 at 4:44 pm

I believe that Fresh Pond was originally one auditorium upstairs and another down.

I also seem to recall it had some kind of fire there before it reopened.

One of the odd things about Fresh Pond is that the concession stand is handled by Boston Concessions Group (which owns many theaters in New England and manages concessions at more still, including most of the Entertainment Cinemas). This was a contract held over from the Entertainment days and it (understandably) rankled Loews – they don’t make as much off of the stand as they could if they ran it themselves (though they do technically run it with their own staff, etc).

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 10, 2005 at 4:24 pm

I recall it being entirely boarded up, in white, during the years when it was closed.

br91975 on February 10, 2005 at 4:19 pm

When the Fresh Pond was a twin, what was the layout – of the auditoriums and the theatre itself? Was the exterior vandalized or maintained in decent condition between the time General Cinemas closed it and Entertainment Cinemas leased the property?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 10, 2005 at 3:55 pm

When it was a General Cinema in the 1970s, I recall newspaper ads referring to it as “Cinema Cambridge” rather than “Fresh Pond”. This may have been to avoid confusion with the nearby Fresh Pond Drive-In (which deserves its own listing here).

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on February 10, 2005 at 3:53 pm

Fresh Pond was a tough theatre to manage, as was the strip mall. This was because of the low-income high rises behind. There was a constant problem with vandalism, and petty crime, and thus the reason the area isn’t very pleasant. Originally, the front had the two story picture windows, seen in many General Cinema and Showcase theatres built in the 1960’s. These windows had to be blocked up with concrete block. It was a “buck house” playing film subrun along with Stoneham, Saugus, and Waltham.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 10, 2005 at 3:53 pm

If anyone knows, I’d like to find out when this opened, when it closed as a General Cinema, and whether it was originally a single-screen or a twin. I know that it was still open in September 1982 when the Boston Globe included it in an article about discount second-run movie houses. Did General Cinema always operate it as a second-run house?

When Entertainment reopened it with ten screens, the Globe praised it as “a model of slick mainstream moviegoing. The complex features chairs with raised backs and cupholders; three concession stands; a three-tiered atrium lobby with a glass elevator and a waterfall; and a glass wall behind which one can observe the workings of a projection system. Also, customers can order tickets by telephone.” It quoted Entertainment’s Bill Hanney as saying, “You’ve got to give people a nice place to go if you’re going to pull them out of their living rooms.”

Another Globe article published around the same time said, “to movie buffs nothing is as important as good-sized screens and the proper projection of unblemished prints in soundproofed rooms. Fresh Pond, a state-of-the-art operation under enthusiastic management, is making moviegoing the pleasure it ought to be. May it long continue to do so.”

An earlier article, published the previous year before it opened, said that its largest screens would have 70mm projectors and six-track Dolby sound.

It’s my impression that Loews has not kept this place up to the standards envisioned by Entertainment Cinemas. On the Copley Place page here at CinemaTreasures, there’s a lot of speculation about whether the Fresh Pond will soon close.