Orson Welles Cinema

1001 Massachusetts Avenue,
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Showing 26 - 50 of 126 comments

wea74 on August 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I’m trying to date the Orson Welles retrospective that the Orson Welles had, as well as the Western retrospective that they screened. Didn’t they also have a Film Noir retrospective? I’m guessing these were between 1969 and 1973.

MPol on July 4, 2010 at 10:56 am

Thanks, Gerald. That’s good to know, although nothing beats a huge movie theatre screen.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 4, 2010 at 8:57 am

Though 16mm has been pretty much replaced by DVD and other digital formats, there are plenty of archives and educational institutions I know of that still maintain large collections of 16mm film prints.

wombatzone on July 4, 2010 at 6:17 am

There’s a facebook page for the Orson Welles…

View link

MPol on March 7, 2010 at 1:31 am

Thanks for the info, billchayes.

btw, I don’t think they use 16mm films anymore. At least I haven’t heard of that, but I might be wrong.

billchayes on March 6, 2010 at 8:46 pm

the film school was part of the theater complex. google leacock and marshall. leacock helped to develop the first portable 16mm sync sound equipment and made many of the first and classic verite docs. He founded the MIT film dep’t. Marshall founded the Center for Documentary Anthropology (now Documentary Educational Resources) and was the first to make ethnographic films that presented indigenous societies as being made up of people with individual personalities just like us, rather than as a bunch of natives dancing around a fire or making baskets. His films are still staples of Anthro 101.

MPol on March 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm

There was an Orson Welles Film School? That I honestly didn’t know about. Some of my classmates in undergrad school during the mid-1970’s, used to call it the “Orson Smells”. Familiarity and recognition, and memories abound. I don’t know who Ricky Leacock and John Marshall were, but it must’ve been interesting for you, as a film teacher, to hear them lecture.

billchayes on March 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm

hoo boy…what memories. I taught for a while at the Orson Welles Film School…must have been around 1971. I remember Wayne Wadhams (quack)(now deceased)used to call it the “Awesome Smells”. Grat things did happen there though. Ricky Leacock and John Marshall would come and talk to my classes.

MPol on February 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm

The Orson Welles Cinema….I still miss that place. The old days are gone, and sometimes I wonder if they’re better left alone.

LaConnection on February 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

The last CONTINUING vestige of the Orson Welles, the Annual Science Fiction Film Marathon just completed it’s 35th year! Here was this year’s lineup: View link

The films were shown in this ORDER: MOON. COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT ! The animated 2009 film 9 THE GIANT GILA MONSTER ! Jim Henson’s LABYRNTH .FAMOUS MONSTER: FORREST J ACKERMAN. DISTRICT 9! John Carpenter’s THE THING. The PBS Ursula Le Guin adaptation THE LATHE OF HEAVEN. NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. David Cronenberg’s RABID ! DAY THE SKY EXPLODED! NIGHT OF THE COMET! and SLEEP DEALER plus shorts, live performances, trailers, contests and more.

TLSLOEWS on February 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Gone but not forgotten.

MPol on August 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm

The good old Orson Welles Cinema! Ahhhh…who could forget it? Another one bit the dust ages ago, so there’s fewer movie art-repertory movie houses in this area as a result.

As I said, though, I still miss it.

DCC on August 2, 2009 at 11:50 am

Here are more films shown at the Orson Welles:

A Hard Day’s Night
The Harder They Come
Harold and Maude
Harry & Tonto
Hi, Mom!
The High Sign
His Girl Friday
House of Strangers
House of Wax
I Wake Up Screaming
I Was A Male War Bride
Idi Amin Dada
Illicit Interlude
Imitation of Life
Immortal Story
In a Lonely Place
The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Informer
The Invisible Man
It Came From Outer Space
It Happened One Night
Jane Eyre (1943)
Johnny Guitar
Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000
Journey Into Fear
Jules and Jim
Just Before Nightfall
The Kennel Murder Case
The Killers
Kind Hearts and Coronets
King Kong
The King of Marvin Gardens
Kiss Me Deadly
Knife in the Water
The Lady Eve
The Lady From Shanghai
The Lady Vanishes
The Ladykillers
Lancelot of the Lake
Last Tango in Paris
The Lavender Hill Mob
The Little Shop of Horrors
Life of Oharu
Little Murders
The Lodger
Lord of the Flies
Lost Horizon
Love and Death
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
The Magician
The Magnificent Ambersons
Make Way For Tomorrow
Le Magnifique
The Man in the White Suit
Man on the Roof
The Man Who Fell to Earth
The Man Who Knew Too Much
The Marquise of O …
Meet Me in St. Louis
The Middle of the World
Minnie & Moskowitz
Mr. Arkadin
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
Mr. Lucky
Moby Dick
Modern Times
Monkey Business
Mondo Cane
Morning Glory
Murmur of the Heart
Mutiny on the Bounty
A Night at the Opera
Night Moves
The Night of the Hunter
Night of the Iguana
Night of the Living Dead
Night Moves
92 in the Shade
None But the Lonely Heart
North by Northwest

Best to all,

MrDJDude on July 31, 2009 at 12:15 am

Here is a real treat for everyone.

This is a 1970 radio aircheck from WBCN. If you forward to 1:15 in, a commericial advertising The Orson Welles' one-day-only offerings for that day begins(with a musical interlude, spoken ad starts at 1:50 in).

The movies show on this particular day were I’M A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG(1932) and LARCENY INC(1942). The ad also mentioned the The Orson Welles Cinema Bookstore, and notes that both are located at 1001 Mass Ave in Cambridge.

Here is a transcription of the ad.

“Gangster movies and prison movies at The Orson Welles. Today Only: I’M A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG and LARCENY INCORPORATED. The Orson Welles Cinema and the Orson Welles Cinema Book Store are located at 1001 Mass Ave in Cambridge.”

As an added bonus, this is an aircheck from Charles Laquidara’s show. Talk about Boston radio history. Enjoy!

Note: You can right-click and download the airchgeck, or just click the link and stream it.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 17, 2009 at 8:38 am

The marquee in the 1986 photo reads CLOSED DUE TO FIRE. To the left of the theatre and downstairs was a Videosmith store, which I think was damaged but did reopen for a while. Further left is Chi-Chi’s restaurant, which I think replaced The Restaurant At The Orson Welles. It too was damaged in the fire and I don’t think it ever reopened.

LaConnection on May 14, 2009 at 11:39 am

A new article in MOVIE COLLECTOR’S WORLD (June 2009, Issue #732) references the Schlock Around the Clock marathon and the Orson Welles. I co-wrote it. You can find it at newstands or in pdf form here (article begins on page 12): http://www.mcwonline.com/assets/MCW732.pdf

billwhite on March 1, 2009 at 5:44 pm

the science fiction marathons were fun, but “schlock around the clock” offered more variety..
from santa claus conquering the martians to russ meyer…..
anybody remember those?

LaConnection on March 1, 2009 at 10:20 am

It was actually February 1978 at SF/3, the 3rd year of the event. As the event still continues (http://sf.theboard.net/), we’ve thought about showing it again 3 decades later. With all the gore and nudity in films today, it will likely cause nary a ripple. Of course, Cronenberg’s films have a way of getting under the skin that few others can match.

And, yes, the film was withdrawn from showing at Cinema Two after the reaction to it in Cinema One!

Now, trivia buffs. What film replaced THEY CAME FROM WITHIN in Cinema Two that year??

re: “I went to several Sci-Fi Marathons at the Orson Welles Cinema. I believe it was in 1977 that they scheduled They Came From Within in both theaters. Knowing how controversial Cronenberg was I decided to watch it first in the theater showing it first. Just before the film started I was the guy who shouted out, "Get the kiddies out of here.” No one listened to me. After the film was over the manager came in to apologize for showing the movie and announced that it would not be shown in the other theater. As I remember it all these years later I think it was the most uncensored version shown.“ -posted by Shivers

posted by Shivers

MPol on March 1, 2009 at 12:13 am

Ahhhhhh….the Orson Welles Cinema. That was a cool place, which I still miss to this very day. I used to go there a great deal in the seventies as a student, and in the early to mid eighties, after finishing school, and before it and the restaurant burned down. Movies that I saw there included Pink Floyd: the Wall, Performance, Bonnie and Clyde, Road Warrior, Blade Runner, The Harder They Come, Southern Cross, and, last but not least, to name a bunch of others, my alltime favorite film, West Side Story.

For a number of years after I finished school, I lived right around the corner from the Orson Welles Cinema and went there quite often. It was a cool place, with cool people working there.

amarsh on February 28, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I went to several Sci-Fi Marathons at the Orson Welles Cinema. I believe it was in 1977 that they scheduled They Came From Within in both theaters. Knowing how controversial Cronenberg was I decided to watch it first in the theater showing it first. Just before the film started I was the guy who shouted out, “Get the kiddies out of here.” No one listened to me. After the film was over the manager came in to apologize for showing the movie and announced that it would not be shown in the other theater. As I remember it all these years later I think it was the most uncensored version shown.

DCC on February 25, 2009 at 2:33 pm

More films shown at the Orson Welles:

Damsel in Distress
Day for Night
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Dead End
Dead Reckoning
Destry Rides Again
The Devil’s Eye
Dial ’M' for Murder
Dinner at Eight
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Dr. Strangelove
Don’t Look Now
Double Indemnity
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
East of Eden
8 1/2
Electra Glide in Blue
Elizabeth and Essex
F for Fake
Farewell, My Lovely
The Fire Within
Fists of Fury
Five Easy Pieces
Forbidden Planet
Force of Evil
Foreign Correspondent
French Provincial
The Freshman
The General
The Glass Key
Go West
The Godfather Part II
Gone with the Wind
Goodnight, Nurse
Grand Illusion
The Great McGinty
Gun Crazy
Gunga Din

Best to all,

Aleta on February 21, 2009 at 10:26 pm

I believe I first saw “Thank You Masked Man”, the Lenny Bruce animation at the Orson Wells.

LaConnection on January 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm

The Boston Science Fiction Film Festival and Marathon will hold it’s 34th Annual Festival on Feb.15 & 16 at the Somerville Theater. The event began at the Orson Welles in February 1975 and was held there until the Welles' demise.

Here are the films showing this year:
THE THING (1951),
CHRYSALIS (Premiere),

Visit our messageboard and make your comments: www.sf.theboard.net

MPol on January 15, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Aha…The Orson Welles. Memory lane! I miss that place. Too bad about what happened to it.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 15, 2009 at 11:30 am

In his posting above of Feb. 3, 2006, pbrooke writes of one Dean Gitter who was associated with the Esquire/Orson Welles in the 1960s. Dean Gitter was the chairman of the Howard National Theatre Museum Committee in Cambridge in early 1961. Their goal was to preserve the historic Old Howard Theatre in Scollay Square, Boston (1846-1962) and to turn it into a theatre museum and performance center. A copy of the committee’s proposal, written by Dean Gitter and dated March 1961, is in the archives of the Theatre Historical Society in Elmhurst IL. I had no idea that Dean Gitter was associated with the Orson Welles cinema.