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Sorry Eric, I stand corrected.
The last film shown at the Gary was “King Kong”…NOT the original, but that hideous remake!
By the late 1960’s and the 1970’s the Astor had really gone down hill. It was notorious for showing “slice and dice” films..complete with gimmicks. For instance, when it played “Mark of the Devil” a Sweedish film set in the 1700’s about witchcraft, it passed out airline type “air sickness bags” as you entered the theater. It showed other films “so terrifying” that it had an ambulance parked out front during all performances. I do not recall the name of another film, but the radio advertisement stated that it was so scary that a doctor and a nurse would be in the lobby during all screenings should anyone expire from the terror. Such was the schlock of the Astor toward the end of its days. In the late 1970’s it became a “juice bar” catering to minors in particular. That activity was promptly ended by the city.
Does anyone know anything about the Rialto Theater in Roslindale Square? I do know that it was demoslished in the 1970’s. I remember going there on a Saturday and seeing 15 cartoons for twenty five cents. That was in the 1950’s.
It was indeed first called the Hancock Village Theater. It was the last theater ever built in Boston to have a stage. I believe it was constructed in the 1950’s. It was in a strip mall called “Hancock Village”, the name of the mall was later changed to “Westbrook Village”, subsequently the theater name was changed to “Westbrook Village Cinema”. While it had a postal address of Chestnut Hill (Brookline), it was in the West Roxbury section of the city of Boston. If you walk one half a block behind the strip mall, you will be in the town of Brookline. I saw such films as “Run Silent, Run Deep” and “It’s a Mad. Mad, Mad, Mad World” there.
Correction. The old Stuart is not now a McDonalds, but is right next to it. The most vivid memory I have of the Stuart was the smell of Lysol which permeated it. As a side note, the storefront which is now a McDonalds was in the 1930’s the Boston office of the “Daily Worker” newspaper, the official mouthpiece of the American Communist Party. How times have changed.