One East India Square,
Salem, MA 01970

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da_Bunnyman on March 8, 2018 at 7:29 pm

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.

CSWalczak on December 6, 2012 at 12:48 am

As is the case with so many small, independent theaters, this theater’s survival is threatened by the need to convert to digital and has launched a fund-raising drive: View article

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm

The website says it has 4 screens, and lists 4 films starting at times between 7 and 8 pm.

BUT, one of the films is listed as “Presented in our intimate 18-seat screening room”.

nspunx4 on April 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Cinema Salem has 3 screens. Always have and always will (unless the mall does a major remodel or the theatre is torn down) and I should know I installed the 35mm projection and sound equipment for Cinema Salem when they reopened it.

chitchatjf on May 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm

They now have 4 screens

PopcornNRoses on July 31, 2008 at 4:12 am

I just want to say that while we haven’t had a chance to visit CinemaSalem yet to review it for our site’s ongoing MetroBoston CinemaTour, their weekly newsletter is a scream! Paul Van Ness does a fantastic job of talking up each week’s fare, and he’s absolutely hilarious much of the time. I’ve had some e-mail contact with him as well, and he’s truly a cinema lover, so lets hope CS can continue on and on from this point on…

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 3, 2006 at 2:36 am

This theatre reopened last night, according to news reports and the theatre’s web site. The following information should be changed:

Name –> CinemaSalem
Status –> Open
Function –> Movies!
Address –> One East India Square, Salem MA 01970
Phone –> 978 744-1400
Official Website –>

The first week’s features: The Break-up, Over the Hedge, and a revival of The Wizard of Oz. Also, an independent documentary, Hand of God, will be shown next Thursday only.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 26, 2006 at 4:58 pm

Wow! This is great news!

vanness on March 26, 2006 at 3:14 pm

Curtain will rise again at downtown theater

Friday, March 24, 2006

CinemaSalem, a new independent movie theater, will open later this spring in the Museum Place Mall. The theater will occupy the space formerly occupied by Patriot Cinema.
The new owners are planning a major renovation and, for now, are targeting June 1 as opening day.
“We’re redoing the space to create a more friendly, contemporary atmosphere,” said Paul Van Ness of Beverly who, along with Bill Collins of Gloucester, will operate the new cinema. “It’s rare to find a great theater in the middle of a vibrant downtown like Salem, and we want to take full advantage of that by creating a fun, community-oriented experience."
As an independent movie theater, CinemaSalem will have the freedom to offer creative film programming.
"We’re going to show a wide variety of quality films,” said Van Ness. “We’ll always want to be playing a great family film, an innovative art film, and a quality film out of Hollywood."
The new owners heard about the opportunity from Salem Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rinus Oosthoek.
"I’d worked with Rinus at Beverly Main Streets and Film North,” said Van Ness, “and we were one of the groups he called when the theater became available."
Van Ness and Collins are principals of Van Ness Creative Group in Beverly, the former as director of photography, the latter as editor.
"We hadn’t been looking for opportunity to run a theater, but when Rinus let us know it was available, it started to excite us,” said Van Ness. “It’s not a different line of work as much as an adjacency because we’re into independent filmmaking."
Van Ness and Collins are encouraging Salem and North Shore film-lovers to help them shape the theater’s direction over the next couple of months.
"We’re really excited about being a community theater,” said Van Ness, “so we want to get to know people, have them get to know us, and tell us what they want their theater to be like."
Toward that end, the theater’s Web site, features a survey to allow community members to contribute ideas and suggestions for CinemaSalem.
"As far as we’ve been able to determine, this is the first time this movie theater has been operated independently, by local residents,” said Collins. “This gives us a great opportunity to create a theater that’s a popular meeting place for the community.
"After all,” he added, “for most people in Salem, Beverly, Marblehead and Swampscott, it’s easier to get to this theater than the cineplex."
CinemaSalem is upgrading the projectors and installing brand new surround-sound systems in each theater, enhancing the visual and audio aspects of the movie-going experience.
Van Ness and Collins have worked in related industries throughout their careers, the former in film and video production, and the latter in video broadcast engineering.
"There’s nothing like watching a great movie on the big screen with your family or a bunch of friends,” said Collins. “That' s what CinemaSalem is all about.”

bunnyman on November 8, 2005 at 10:30 am

Sounds like that troubled mall is getting ready to be re-done again.
It had major renovations a few years ago so perhaps the owners are trying again to save the mall itself.

jph on November 7, 2005 at 4:48 am

perhaps the closing had to do with the end of a monthly lease that was on an odd day?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 4, 2005 at 5:25 am

I still wonder why it closed on a Tuesday — usually theatres close either on a Thursday night (right before the Friday changeover) or a Sunday night (after the weekend is over).

The closing leaves quite a large area of metro Boston without any movie theatres. There are no longer any in neighboring Swampscott, Marblehead, Lynn, Saugus, or Peabody. Beverly still has the single-screen Cabot Street Cinema. Danvers has two large multiplexes (Loews and Hollywood Hits), but they are not nearly as conveniently located as this one in Salem’s downtown.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 4, 2005 at 5:17 am

The Salem News had an article, but it’s not online (except maybe if you’re a paying customer), and I haven’t found a hardcopy yet.

The Boston Globe published this on October 30:

Salem theater closes suddenly

Salem may be the Halloween Capital of the World, but it’s not a place for Hollywood flicks. At least in the view of Patriot Cinemas.

The Hingham-based movie chain closed Museum Place Cinemas last week, 10 years after taking over the former Salem Flicks from Sony Loews in downtown Salem. The theater, which this summer hosted a first-run showing of the ‘'Bewitched" movie, fell dark last Tuesday.

David Scott, the company treasurer, declined to comment on the closing.

Rinus Oosthoek, executive director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, said the closing is a surprise. ‘'I don’t think many people expected it,“ he said. ’‘I hope another movie theater will open there. A small cinema is a great thing for a downtown.”

I e-mailed Patriot Cinemas to ask about this closing, and got this reply from David Scott:

“Yes, the theatre is now closed. We are disappointed as well. The future of the theatre is now in the hands of the mall ownership. We were hoping that it could continue to operate as a theatre, but it doesn’t seem to be the plan.”

jph on November 3, 2005 at 9:36 am

Any press about it having closed? Comes as a surprise after 10 years of it running fairly consistently…

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 26, 2005 at 3:34 pm

That’s sad to hear. I hope someone else can repoen it, but I have to wonder — if Patriot couldn’t make it here, who can?

moviefreak on October 26, 2005 at 12:15 pm

As in 1693 Salem is now cursed with no theatres. Patriot Cinemas at the Museum Place Mall has been closed!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 20, 2005 at 10:16 am

I never knew this theatre ever showed silent films with live musical accompaniment. How common are such events here?

cinemajunkie on June 10, 2005 at 3:14 am

For a pitcure of Patriot Cinemas at the Museum Place Mall

jph on June 10, 2005 at 2:00 am

Actually I remembered the exact dates — it closed as a Loews on January 31, 1995 and then reopened as a Flick on July 7, 1995. One amusing thing was that the original marquee on the side of the garage never took away the “Sack” lettering right up to 1995, they had just kept it that way until the marquee was changed to its current location.

jph on June 9, 2005 at 7:30 pm

This closed down as a Loews in December, 1994 and reopened as a Flick in July, 1995.

The arcade stayed on (although not directly affiliated with the cinema) until the East India Mall underwent extensive renovations in the late 90’s (around 1997 or so) which, among other things, gave the cinema a seperate entrance from the rest of the mall. It reverted to first run films a year or two ago.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 9, 2005 at 5:02 am

This originally opened as a Sack theatre in 1982. Here’s a Boston Globe article about it at that time:

Boston Globe – October 8, 1982
By George McKinnon, Globe Staff

Pac-Man versus the movies. Or a $3-billion-a-year ticket sale for films against a projected $7 billion for home video and arcade electronic games.

In an if-you-can’t-beat'em-join'em move, Sack Theaters is combining a new three-screen cinema complex in Salem with an adjoining game center.

Yesterday, A. Alan Friedberg, president of Sack, said: “We’re calling it the Sack Entertainment Center and it will open next Friday at East India Mall in Salem in the heart of the downtown renewal area. It’s the first such theater and game center combination in New England.

“We’ve had a few video games in our theater lobbies, but this is a new concept, a completely separate area next to the theaters.”

Asked if he thought the games would cut into movie profits, Friedberg said: “We don’t think so. We feel that people will go into the center either before or after going to the movies. I think they’ll both feed off each other.”

He pointed out that a New York Times page one story Monday said that arcade and home video games have in the past five years become enormously popular and Hollywood has gone into the games by licensing its successful movies, such as “E T,” to game manufacturers.

When the Entertainment Center opens next week, Sack Theaters will have 57 screens in Massachusetts.

I don’t think Sack ever opened another cinema/video arcade combination. I suspect the arcade part didn’t last that long; it’s not there today.

Sack changed its name to USACinemas in 1985. Loews bought USACinemas in 1988, and eventually got rid of this and other small local cinemas.

Until pretty recently, this was a second-run discount house.