Apple Cinemas

168 Alewife Brook Parkway,
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Showing 1 - 25 of 40 comments

rivest266
rivest266 on May 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm

This changed its name to Apple Cinemas according to the showtime websites. offical website at http://applecinemas.com/

marco1
marco1 on November 22, 2009 at 7:33 pm

does bill hanney still own it? returning the waterfall?

MPol
MPol on July 14, 2009 at 11:15 pm

I remember that general area before it became a strip mall, when the Fresh Pond Drive-In was there, and afterwards, when the Drive-in Theatre closed and the present Fresh Pond Cinema went up. Movies I’ve seen there more recently (back in the 1990’s and 1980’s) were Titantic, Tomorrow Never Dies, Wizard of Oz, and An Officer and a Gentleman.

One thing I’ve recently noticed, however, when I’ve driven past Fresh Pond Cinema is the fact that the theatre hasn’t seemed as crowded, even on a Saturday evening, as it used to be. Wonder what gives.

centersandsquares
centersandsquares on July 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Without a doubt my favorite memory of this theater – from its single screen days I think – was the ladies room. To this day I’ve never seen its match. Each stall had its own vanity with a sink. Sweet! A super bathroom and a huge screen – you can’t beat that!

nkwoodward
nkwoodward on December 11, 2007 at 10:26 am

I went there too many times in the mid-1990s, and it was easily the worst place to see a movie. The clientele was young and rowdy, the theaters + lobby were dingy, and at least one screen was criminally small.

sweettrini
sweettrini on August 11, 2007 at 11:05 pm

I like this theatre it’s small and never crowded.

zaxxon25
zaxxon25 on June 13, 2006 at 12:43 pm

The Entertainment Cinemas logo has now permanently replaced Lowes on the top of the parking lot sign. However, on the front on the cinema itself all they’ve done is take off the “LOEWS” … it still says “THEATRES” in the Loews font.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on March 4, 2006 at 5:03 am

It was already closed down when Cambridge Seven Architects used it as a prototype to display their new design elements to the executives. It was a one-time deal, not an ongoing program. And not used as a prototype while opened. (grey paint replaced white, grey formica and fabric covered wall panels over old white formica and alpro, and black ceilings, with hanging fixtures, to make the theatre darker. Carpets went from red to blue, and concessions got back-lit back bar graphics. After the executives looked at the makeover, the Cambridge Seven went ahead and did over the theatre in Columbia Maryland, Chestnut Hill, Arlington Texas, Parmatown Mall, and probably a few others, to one degree or another. They also begain to use Cambridge Seven Design when building new theatres. I believe this was around 1986.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 4, 2006 at 2:47 am

North Cambridge’s newspaper The Alewife has a long article about this theatre, its history, and Bill Hanney’s plans to return it to its former glory:

Fresh Pond Mall Cinema redux; Prior owner, waterfall return

Something I didn’t know: “General Cinemas would test new seats, snacks and interior decorations at the location before making decisions for the rest of the chain.”

And something that surprises me: “The other problem was the building’s footprint. Hemmed in by railroad tracks and the rest of the Mall, it was impossible to expand without losing parking spaces.”

That parking lot is rarely more than about 1/5 full. They could easily have expanded the theatre outward instead of upward, and made the walking environment more pleasant at the same time.

zaxxon25
zaxxon25 on February 28, 2006 at 10:32 am

A banner has been placed over the sign, where the “Loews” used to be now it somewhat unintelligibly says “Entertainment Cinemas.” Other than that everything looks the same. The Loews spotlights are still up there.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 5, 2006 at 1:42 pm

The big sign next to Route 16 still has the old Loews Cineplex “spotlights” logo, but the word LOEWS has been painted over, so it now just says THEATRES on top.

The sign looks pretty ratty, as does the exterior of the building itself, which also now just says THEATRES on it.

Bill Hanney’s promised improvements can’t come too soon.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 2, 2006 at 5:23 am

Today’s Cambridge Chronicle says that the theatre will reopen tomorrow as an Entertainment Cinema.
[quote]The lineup will remain first-run movies, but the new operator vows patrons a better experience than under Loews.

“It’s just in rough shape,” said Bill Hanney, owner of Entertainment Cinemas. “It just needs an updating.”

Hanney plans to refurbish the lobbies, install all-digital sound and restore the defunct two-story indoor waterfall.

“It’s been drab. The outside needs a facelift,” said Hanney, who did the original overhaul of the 1950 building back in 1989.

Having an operator with headquarters in Massachusetts will mean better customer service, Hanney said.

“We’re a local company and we’re more hands-on,” he said.

The Fresh Pond cinema is slated to reopen tomorrow. The renovations will be done while keeping most of the screens open, Hanney said. He said the resulting look will be similar to his company’s recently renovated South Dennis theater. [/quote]

dianebrat
dianebrat on January 31, 2006 at 5:46 pm

I went to the theater as a kid (most likely early 70’s) and I clearly remember it being a wonderfully large single screen cinema with a large curved screen and a balcony.

It was very strange when they changed it to a twin, it was split right down the middle by a new wall, and the screens in both theaters still pointed to the middle, there were no changes in the seating layout either, all the seats still pointed to the center of the old layout, not the centers of the new screens

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 31, 2006 at 2:20 pm

If you phone the theatre today at (617) 661-2900 , you will hear a recording announcing that the theatre is “temporarily closed due to a change of ownership.” The recording says it will soon reopen as the “all new Entertainment Cinemas Fresh Pond, with new lobbies, all digital sound, a cafe seating area, and the return of our two-story waterfall.” It does not give a date for the reopening.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 27, 2006 at 9:20 am

I posted about this theatre’s closing to a few local LiveJournal communities. You may find the resulting comments interesting:

LiveJournal: Cambridge, Mass.
LiveJournal: Davis Square
LiveJournal: Boston

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 27, 2006 at 2:32 am

So it’s closed today — but may not stay closed for long.

From today’s Boston Herald:

Loews leaves Cambridge site to new operator
[quote]The Loews Fresh Pond Cinema closed its doors last night, but it may not stay dark for long, as a South Easton-based theater operator plans to take over the site.

Bill Hanney, principal with Entertainment Cinemas in South Easton, says his company has a deal to operate the cinema and plans to show first-run movies, perhaps starting in a week. [/quote]
If I were the one taking over this place, I’d want much more than a week to fix it up and rebrand it. It does not have a good reputation right now.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 25, 2006 at 8:20 pm

From The Alewife, a North Cambridge newspaper blog:

Loews letters lowered; ‘King Kong’ the last picture show

“The letters spelling out L-O-E-W-S at the movie theater at Fresh Pond Mall were removed today before employees reported for work at 3 p.m.”

If you follow the link above, you will in fact see a photo of the façade with those letters removed.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on January 24, 2006 at 8:17 am

That’s correct. The two Framingham booths were seperated, and they did manual changeovers. They also used carbon arcs. I don’t remember exactly when they automated, probably early seventies. They still used two projectionists, as the Cinema II booth was seperated from Cinema I by going down a hall past the popcorn room, up some steps past the balcony Men’s room, then through a door and up some more steps. Not to mention that both projectionists, Walter King and either Herb Kenney or Vin Kane seemed about 70 years old.
I think Henry Cummings briefly ran Worcester Center and Waltham.

dickdziadzio
dickdziadzio on January 24, 2006 at 7:22 am

I first knew Henry Cummings where he was a long
time manager at the Bing Theatre in Springfield.

What I meant on Burlington was it was built with
one projectionist/automation from the initial beginning.

You are right about Peabody being their first twin built all at once with 2 separate booths. I suspect there were 2 projectionists on
at once on manual operation for many years.

The same thing was probably true in Framingham
when they added the second house years later.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on January 24, 2006 at 6:53 am

Actually, I think Peabody may have been their first twin.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on January 24, 2006 at 6:52 am

You must have known Henry Cummings!

dickdziadzio
dickdziadzio on January 24, 2006 at 5:21 am

Ron,
I believe this was a single when first opened.
I think when it was twinned General Cinema used
it to experiment with their early automation systems
as a test house.

I think General Cinemas first built from the ground up
twin was inside Burlington Mall (which was later quaded)

At the time I was a projectionist at their only
Theatre in Western Mass. at Eastfield Mall in Springfield.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 24, 2006 at 4:43 am

I have it on pretty good authority that this theatre is closing after those Thursday evening shows.

Whether it’s because AMC doesn’t want the property, or because they couldn’t reach a new lease agreement in time, I’m not sure. Also unclear is whether it might eventually reopen under different ownership. Stay tuned…

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 23, 2006 at 7:14 am

This theatre has no showtimes after 7:45 pm for Thursday, January 26. Since that’s supposed to be the night for changing all the Loews theatres over to AMC, I wonder what’s afoot.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on October 27, 2005 at 7:20 am

The shopping center owns the land, and someone buying the Cinema would only own the business and furnishings, with a lease that gives the shopping center a percentage of the profits. (kind of like buying a condo) If it’s for sale, you’d want to know what the terms of the lease are, with the shopping center, to determine whether it’s going to be a profitable plan. The shopping center may have other plans for the property and be looking to end the lease, and sell the location to another type of business, thus maybe the lease is coming up for renewal and the operator wants out. Since the concessions are owned by someone else, it’s one more detriment to the viability of the place as a theatre.
As for cost, the Assessor’s Office in the city of Cambridge could help start some research.