AMC Chestnut Hill 5

27 Boylston Street,
Chestnut Hill, MA 02167

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Showing 51 - 73 of 73 comments

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 9, 2005 at 10:56 am

To compete against AMC, Showcase, Loews, and Landmark in this market, an independent theatre needs either strong local community ties or a strong brand identity — preferably both. I’m curious how a newly independent Chestnut Hill Cinema will approach this problem.

IanJudge
IanJudge on May 9, 2005 at 10:48 am

They do not have a chain name; some of their theaters are Entertainment Cinemas, some are Northeast Cinemas, some are seemingly independent.

I don’t know when the change-over will be; I just heard from someone at BCG that they were buying Chestnut Hill (the business, I assume, not the building).

snorwood
snorwood on May 9, 2005 at 10:32 am

Interesting news. I suspect that a 5-screen house (even a successful one doesn’t fit into AMC’s business model of 16-30-plexes. I wonder what was actually “sold”; the building is owned by SR Weiner & Associates, I believe.

I, too, would be interested in any dates and additional details.

BCG apparently owns a number of theatres in various markets. The Tri-Boro Cinema in Attleboro, MA. is one of their houses.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 9, 2005 at 4:28 am

It is still listed as an AMC theatre in today’s Globe and on AMC’s web site. Do you know when the transaction is supposed to close?

The Globe movie guide doesn’t show any local theatres belonging to a ‘Boston Culinary Group’ or ‘Boston Concessions Group’ or ‘Theater Merchandising’ chain. Do they operate under a different public brand name?

IanJudge
IanJudge on May 8, 2005 at 9:48 pm

They are going to continue to operate it as a theater; they operate many theaters in New England.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on May 8, 2005 at 6:25 pm

Sounds more like an insider knows how lucrative the investment would be. Joe ODonnell was a close personal friend of Paul DelRossi, former President of General Cinema Theatres.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 8, 2005 at 6:03 pm

Does this mean it will no longer be a theater?

IanJudge
IanJudge on May 8, 2005 at 5:30 pm

This theater has been sold. AMC has sold it to Boston Culinary Group (formerly Boston Concessions Group and also Theater Merchandising).

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on March 24, 2005 at 2:59 am

There a Container Store in there now.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on March 24, 2005 at 1:39 am

dwodeyla –
What is in the office space next to the theatre where the Home Office used to be?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 17, 2005 at 7:43 pm

Local newspapers don’t agree on what town this theatre is located in. The Boston Globe movie directory lists it under Newton, but the Boston Phoenix says it’s in Brookline. Perhaps both are right, and the town line passes through the property?

(“Chestnut Hill” is not a town, just a zip code and neighborhood name that takes in adjoining parts of Brookline, Newton, and the Brighton neighborhood in Boston.)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 5, 2005 at 1:15 pm

To answer a much earlier question: General Cinema filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2000, less than four months after opening its new Boston flagship Fenway 13.

AMC signed a letter of intent to buy General Cinema in December 2001, and completed the purchase in March 2002. At that point, the General Cinema name disappeared from theatres around the country.

dscheifler
dscheifler on February 5, 2005 at 11:33 am

Ian, it was and probably still is a fun business for a lot of people. Glad to hear you’re enjoying it. I left because I found I could no longer support the overall direction of the film industry (ever-increasing violence, sex, drug use, etc). I still miss it, as evidenced by my finding this site.

I remember when GCC sent out a memo to all theatres (around 1979) with a dollar bill attached, celebrating the chain’s average “per person” concession average reaching that lofty plateau. What is it in theatres now, about $4?

Theatre cleaning varied from market to market and theatre to theatre, as it does now. Some managers didn’t clean at all, and others picked up trash, swept and even spot mopped. In some you would lose your shoes walking down an aisle because the floors were so sticky, and in others I’d have eaten off the floor because they were so clean.

Overall operations improved when GCC’s new (about 1987) President, Paul Del Rossi began the “Reel Excellence” program. It detailed 108 operating standards, including cleanliness, maintenance, customer service, picture and sound quality, popcorn and drink quality, etc. Theatres were evaluated by secret shoppers, area managers, and home office personnel, and theatre teams could reach Bronze, Silver, or Gold award levels.

You want advice? Keep the auditorium temperatures comfortable, the popcorn fresh, the auditoriums clean, the spitwads off the screen, the babies crying in the LOBBY, the concession lines moving FAST, the major showtimes separated to spread out guest arrival, etc, etc. You know it all already, I’m sure. Hire good people, spend as much time training them on what you expect as you can, show them you appreciate their efforts, and have a good time!

IanJudge
IanJudge on January 12, 2005 at 12:53 pm

Mr. Wodeyla / Dave-Bronx –

I find this all to be amazingly interesting – you both worked some great theaters and through quite a bit of industry changes. As a young theater manager today, I’d love to know more, and also, any advice you can give to improve the whole movie-going experience. I have worked my way up from an usher like many in management, and I really love movies and movie theaters (good ones anyways).

I have heard from many people who have been in the business for a while how good GCC used to be, and my own experiences there before the AMC takeover were always very good.

Thanks for sharing all these memories.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on January 9, 2005 at 3:11 pm

Drinks from vending were 12 oz, the concession stand had 14 and 20 oz. Popcorn had plain boxes, small was 10 oz, large 25 oz. (correct me if my memory is off a little). Buttered came in 24 oz and 46 oz. cups.
People still left their stuff under the seats after a show, but there wasn’t as much sold back then.
I think I remember that memo, but in by ‘66, the Cinema in Shoppers World Framingham was already allowing all food into the auditorium.
When I was a kid going to the show there, I remember only buying popcorn and candy, but not drinks.
I think the drink vending machine was owned by ABC Vending, as we had ABC cups with the little character on it.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 9, 2005 at 12:41 pm

I remember seeing a memo from Stan Werthman with a date of 1967 or 68, that stated, in part, “…We have seen a dramatic increase in soft drink sales in theatres where the patrons are allowed to take their drink into the auditorium. Effective immediately, ALL theatres are to allow the patrons to take their drink to their seat…” – up until that time, if you bought a soda at the concession stand or from the vending machine, you had to stand in the lobby and drink it.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on January 9, 2005 at 8:29 am

In the 1960’s and into the 70’s, the variety of concession items was limited to Popcorn, drinks, and candy. (sometimes a dixie cup or ice cream sandwich was sold) Sizes were smaller, too. A small buttered popcorn was 24 oz, large 46. Drinks were 12 oz and 20 oz. Volume of business for concession was less, as I remember Cinemas used to buy butter at the local supermarket to melt in the buttermat. I’m sure ushers in the auditoriums were sent to aisles to sweep up spills in the 1960’s but the need for entire crews to pickup wasn’t there.
Once they introduced buckets of 83 oz and 123 oz, and 32 oz drinks, as well as larger candy sizes, the litter became a problem. If you go back to the earlier years, in the 1930’s and 40’s, I think concession stands were nearly nonexistent, and I’ve been told food was banned from auditoriums.

IanJudge
IanJudge on December 29, 2004 at 7:14 pm

This is fascinating to me as a current theater manager under the age of 30. I love hearing stuff like this! If theaters weren’t cleaned between shows – did the theaters pile up with garbage towards the end of the night? Or were people less messy then? (Certainly theaters didn’t sell all the crap they do now – tacos, pizza, nachos, etc… but popcorn is still messy). I guess people were used to it. They are certainly not today!

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on October 10, 2004 at 3:48 pm

You prompted some memories with that one! I had almost forgotten Timmy. Chestnut Hill had 3 screens, stadium style, which made pickups between shows a little harder. We couldn’t sweep the stuff forward under the seats. We were allowed more time between shows at Chestnut Hill, sometimes 4 shows a day instead of 5, in order to maximize concession time, and this gave us more time to clean, although the lobby would sometimes back up when it was busy. It also took longer to exit the crowds, as they took longer to come down the stairs.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on October 10, 2004 at 12:55 pm

We started having the ushers cleaning the auditoriums in cleveland around 1978, when they put out that ridiculous ‘Timmy the Trashcan’ trailer.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on August 31, 2004 at 10:14 am

The late ‘80s remodel was done by Cambridge Seven Associates, who believed in darker lobbies, and even darker auditoriums, a complete opposite to the original GCC red white and blue everywhere, where every speck of dirt would be obvious. Coincidentally, it was around this time that ushers began cleaning auditoriums between shows, which was unheard of in the Boston area through the '60s and '70’s. (fill and spill, with emphasis on turning over larger crowds, which wasn’t the case in most of the country.)
To mrpibbles, yes, AMC runs it now. GCC went bankrupt. (so much for the volume business…..)

mrpibbles
mrpibbles on July 28, 2004 at 3:11 pm

Is this theater owned by AMC now? And a question i need to know that no one will tell me- does GCC even exist anymore?

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on July 27, 2004 at 10:51 am

When this theatre opened in 1975, it was the first GCC with stadium seating. White walls, and a mirrored ceiling above the circular concession stand, along with a lot of red and white formica, and red velvet seats in the lobby made for a gaudy lobby. It was one of the first to be remodeled in the late eighties, with a gray and dark blue paint job, and backlit concession graphics.