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In 1953, the Cinema ran summer stock plays, and was called the County Playhouse for the summer. Maybe you remember Nick Lavidor who managed the Cinema around 1959 or so. I remember going to the movies as a kid, seeing The D.I. with Jack Webb, and Carousel. Do you have any memories of the St. George or Gorman downtown Framingham?
The Long Island folks reading this and are asked to make visitor arrangements, could just take photos themselves, and upload them to Flickr for all of us to enjoy. Don’t forget to send the link here!
The videos didn’t look like transfers, but more like they were taken with a video camera from a screening.
Thank you for the compliment. I don’t know when the marquee was installed, but they had one by 1940. I have a picture taken in 1940, which shows it.
The only interior photo of the St. George I can find, is the one I showed on my web page devoted to the theatre, linked by Lost Memory where the photos and ads are, above. It came from the large book titled “American Theatres of Today.”
Sorry for the error, Frank, I confused Lincoln Mall with Warwick. That’s what happens as the years go by…
The flying candy trailer was produced by George Lucas as a special favor to Paul DelRossi, then President of GCC. If anyone “owns” it, it certainly isn’t Brad Miller who owns Film-Tech.com.
According the the folks at YouTube, someone who runs “Film-Tech” claimed copyright violation and demanded their removal.
I’d be happy to attempt to post your articles, and photos. Just send them to me at
Here’s one that says “Comfortably Air Conditioned”.
Jim, your Father was probably the first Manager of the Cinema. How did he arrive in Framingham Massachusetts, managing Phil Smith’s first shopping center theatre?
Jim, your Father was probably the first Manager of the Cinema. How did he arrive in Framingham Massachusetts, managing Phil Smith’s first shoppinng center theatre?
The Framingham Cinema was also on the edge, not attached to stores. Shoppers World was not a strip mall either, but two levels of stores as you would imagine a Mall, without a roof.
To Bud Shepard, the Cinema at Shoppers World was primarily a movie theatre, used for summer stock only, July and August of 1952 and 1953. (I have individual programs for each weeks presentations). Boxoffice Magazine of February 16, 1952, features the Cinema on the cover as one of 561 indoor theatres built that year. They also mention the Northgate in Seattle. The article says “There were two distinct trends during the year. One was the growth of the art house type of theatre. The other was in the shopping center theatre.”
Free-standing suburban shopping centers were a new idea in 1951, thus the unique status of the two locations.
It was never a General Cinema. It was originally the Park, and had a new front added, I believe in 1963.
I found this quote referencing the Greendale by a
writer, Nicholas Gage, in a book titled “A Place for
Us” 1989 Houghton Mifflin which talks about growing up
in postwar Worcester:
“I studied the movies for insights into American
culture and real life, and they inspired dreams I
never could have dreamed in my Greek village, where my
wildest fantasy had been that the winter snow would
turn to flour or sugar and we could all have enough to
eat. In America, the movies taught, there is so much
luxury and opportunity that anyone—-a shoeshine boy,
a farm girl, or an orphan—-can become anything:
president, tycoon, radio singing star. In the gloom of
the Greendale Theater I realized that if I just played
my cards right, I could be anything from a mafioso to
a matinee idol—-a revolutionary idea to a refugee
from an impoverished and class-dominated country.”
I think the decision making process effects the transaction time at the Concession stand. Used to be small and large, popcorn, drink, and a candy bar. The chains try to put together package deals like McDonalds, so people have to stand there and think about all the choices they see on the menu board. Food at the movies used to be a snack, and theatre marketing departments think of it as a meal. The efforts to increase per persons have made the process more interesting though.
Hello again, Bob. You were at the Allston about the same time as I was at Chestnut Hill. I thought of the Allston as a place they gave films an extra few weeks after the Circle. It could have been a great neighborhood spot, I wonder why they didn’t try it.
The owner may have been in another room and planning on leaving by the exit found propped open, or maybe had stepped out for a coffee and wanted to come back via the side door. Either way, thanks for relaying the imformation on the condition inside. Someday, somone will buy the place and convert it to a restaurant, or something similar.
Ron, thanks for confirming Joe DiCarlo’s number on seats. The balcony was actually street level. I’d love to see a photo of the theatre,
We both worked at different Cinemas as ushers around the same time. I was at the Framingham Cinema as an usher from 1966 until about 1968. We weren’t as formal as the Circle, from the way it sounds. Usher’s jackets were bright orange, tux pants, white shirts, and black clip-on bow ties. (I think General Cinema did it a bit cheaper than Redstone.) The Circle being closer to Boston probably played first run, while the suburbs had to wait 21 days.
I remember watching the end of the Silencers and The Group a few dozen times, standing on the back aisle with a flashlight behind my back. We were taught to ask “where would you like to be seated”, rather than “where do you want to sit?” which I guess sounded less polite.
Actually, Wollaston, heres a link to that picture View link
Here’s a link to the first store, View link and the page it’s from details the history of HoJos.
Thank you for the great description of the way things used to be.
National Amusements is also known as Redstone Theatres, owned by Sumner Redstone. Their home office is in Dedham, and they only had suburban theatres, like Dedham, Woburn, Revere, etc. Nothing downtown Boston that I can think of.
Back in the day, Sumner would get in a helicopter, and fly over an area, pointing out locations to buy land to build theatres. That was the difference between him and Richard Smith. Smith didn’t believe in buying land, thus nearly all the GCC theatres were leased, located in Malls. The Redstone Theatres were close, but not actually in a Mall.