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Likely this was the last theater operating, at least part time, in Lynn. I can recall seeing it with a much simplified frontage area in the 80s when my bus would pass through Central Square. A marquee flat against the front saying simply “Greek Movies Fri Sat.” There were a couple of Greek specialty stores in the area at the time. Stood empty for years and then was a vacant lot for even more years.
I think I do remember the drive in being moved. Never attended it but I remember being driven by it on the highway. The newer location had its screen so it was right in front of you as you hit a curve. Wonder how many accidents it caused.
The sign for this place stayed in place for years after it closed (seems to be the way for most drive in closings.) Used to see the sign along Route 1 entrance seemed to be direct off the highway. Must have been a real mess when cars were waiting to get in and when the place emptied out.
Pretty sure this had at least one more screen installed before it went under.It was the last of the North Shore drive ins.
During it’s time as The Back Bay Screening Room, it was owned by the same chain that owned the Paris and The Orson Welles Cinema.
Some random memories of Off The Wall.
First time I went there at the original location was for a screening of Between Time And Timbuktu, a film in Boston, PBS production based on some Kurt Vonnegut stories. It seemed to become a fill in film for their schedule for awhile.
The famous Betty Boop show was a fill in when a show did not draw well. It was supposed to be in for a week or so but became hugely popular and ended up running for a month or two.
They were also one of the first places to revive the film Head starring The Monkees.
A nice enough place to see a movie but too long and thin an auditorium. Looked almost like the bowling alley twins that resulted from theaters being split.
A newspaper story about the King of Hearts 5 year stay mentioned that the theater had used up all the available prints of the film. They contacted the director who not only supplied a print but assured them they would be able to get prints when they needed them for the rest of it’s run.
Not sure it’s mentioned in the comments but The Brattle was considered the birthplace of the Humphrey Bogart cult of the 60-70s. No revival house was without a Bogie double feature somewhere on it’s schedule.
Was also used as the room for exhibitor screenings where theater chains would put in their bid to play a film after seeing it since Boston had an anti blind bid film exhibition law.I recall seeing Raiders of The Lost Ark weeks before the public would see it. Even saw Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan in an incomplete version with The Enterprise attached to attached to a long rod so it could be moved onscreen
Missed opening day but was there the second day for the original Star Wars run. They were still giving out “May The Force Be With You” buttons and had them there for the taking on a small table. I’ll always regret not taking a few, the one I did take was later lost.
A nice enough theater but a weird setup when it was not busy. You had to buy tickets downstairs in the main lobby for Cinema 3 then go back upstairs and down a fairly long corridor to get to #3. Saw Stallone’s Paradise Alley there and the theater was flooded with big puddles caused by heavy rains flowing down from the above garage.
There was a single screen cinema operating in Wolfeboro in the 70s. I remember seeing Woody Allen’s film Love and Death which was out in 1975. Seemed to be run by some cinema enthusiasts as I recall their schedule mentioned extra speakers being installed for the movie Tommy.
This explained a memory I had of seeing a double feature at The Salem of The Old Dark House and Maniac (1963 versions of both titles)and seeing another theater marquee almost next door as I came out. So The Empire was still standing then.
First theater I ever visited when my mother took me to see Disney’s Toby Tyler which would make it 1960 or 61.
Visited it one more time in 1968 but by then it was fading fast. Movie palaces seemed to lose all interior color as they got older.
I do remember the fake opera boxes and also seeing outlines on the walls where pipes for the Wurlizter had once been.
Sack Theaters opened this triple with a fairly big arcade next door. The arcade was never kept up to date and looked fairly run down after a few years. Not sure when it closed but the space was converted to another store by the mall.
Before being rebuilt into the 2 floor mall the Hew England Shopping Center in Saugus had kind of a weird setup. Looking in from highway there was the parking lot and a big Sears on the left and then there were sort of 2 strip malls slanted like a “V” but not meeting to complete the letter. Between the strip buildings was a concrete walkway which led to another parking lot. This was the lot for the theater which was not visible from the highway.
Pretty sure at one time the Strand was part of the General Cinema chain. I remember the newspaper ads for the chain and The strand was the only single house, all others were at least twin cinemas.
They just finished re-doing the theater lobby which was long overdue since they still had Loews fixtures and a coffee bar that they never used. Added a small bar/restaurant. Also re-did all the theater seating with power recliners which likely reduced the seating capacity. They’re now all reserved seating and upgraded one house to the Dolby Cinema system which is almost like Sensurround in each seat. But beware if you’re in the theater next to it especially if you’re seeing a quieter film as the sound bleeding is pretty bad.
An article I will always regret not saving (might’ve been in the Real Paper or The Phoenix) involved someone venturing into the Pilgrim at it’s worst X-rated phase. A very Dante into Hell type adventure for the uninitiated (though the author seemed to know what they were getting in to.).
Unconfirmed story told to me by a manager who worked the Gary. He said part of the heating system involved steam that would be sent along the floor of the theater. Joke was that folks would leave the theater with their pants pressed.
I noticed a comment mentioning sitting in the Saxon and seeing light coming in from behind the screen. There was a skylight backstage that leaked rather badly. So during rainstorms there was water dripping among the huge electrical switches back there.
Never had to do it but was told only way to replace lights that were at the top of the interior dome was to send someone up above and into the ceiling interior. The light unit would then have to be lowered to the floor on a rope and the bulb changed.
It may just be a team stripping everything from the place but I’ve seen 5-6 cars parked out in front of the theater for the last few weeks. No trucks or vans to haul stuff away though.
Covered in the booklet were Heart Like A Wheel, That Sinking Feeling, This Is Spinal Tap, Privates On Parade showing with American Gothic., El Norte, Wuthering Heights (Bunel version.)Plus a promo for The Premier Boston Gay GFilm Festival and L'Argent and My Best Friends Girl
The Hollywood Hits theater closed for good on Sept 6, 2016.Cited as the reason was competition and being unable to raise money for improvements to the cinemas.