Cinema City 4

235 Brainard Road,
Hartford, CT 06114

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Cinema City 4

This four-screen art house has been around since opening on July 18, 1973. It showed good programs of foreign and independent films. The location is south of the city and a bit out of the way but with plenty of free parking.

The Cinema City 4 was closed by Bow-Tie Cinemas on July 22, 2010. It was demolished in the later-summer of 2013.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

tmbggirl on December 15, 2008 at 12:05 am

Please indicate that this theater was also once owned and operated by Hoyts. It does not come up as one of theirs in the ‘search by chain’ feature.

tmbggirl on December 15, 2008 at 12:13 am

Very happy that this theater is still around. Yes, the seats are the same, but they are quite comfy. Cupholders would be nice, but ah well. The ‘no advertisement’ policy before the movie starts is refreshing, though I’d be fine with ads if they were needed to keep the theater afloat. Concession prices are reasonable…we took advantage of the $10.00 large popcorn and soda combo (free refills at least on the popcorn). Free parking also makes it preferable to the West Hartford Blue Back Square location.

Went there this Friday to see “Milk”, as they were the only Hartford area theater showing it. Although the 10pm showing had ‘only’ 30-40 people, the 7:30pm showing looked like it was sold out! :)

John Fink
John Fink on June 29, 2009 at 4:24 am

I had an allergic reaction and ended up getting sick a few years ago. I got there on a Saturday night just at the 7PM show of Junebug was starting and had to sit in the front of the theater. It was so musty I barely made it through what was a really great movie. Of coarse – that was Crown Theaters' problem. To be fair – Hoyts, Northeast Cinemas and Crown never really made any major improvements. I’m sure Bow Tie corrected the issue with a new air filter and a proper cleaning.

It’s not a bad place to see a movie and Bow Tie to their credit has continued to offer the most talked about art pictures. I’m a little surprised to hear very little has been done to upgrade the theaters – after all this is the closest thing Hartford has to the Angelika (not like the NYC location is that nice either). You’d think given the upscale audience the films attract an upgrade would be in order, they could even turn it into another branch of Criterion Cinemas the way they did at the Plaza in Greenwich.

I’m glad they kept this theater open. I suspect if this theater had closed, like it did for a week a few years ago and Criterion at Blue Back avoided programing these films, the result would have been Real Art Ways becoming more mainstream. The shame in this is they wouldn’t be able to play the smaller documentaries and art films they are known for, instead they’d be be showing Cheri and Whatever Works. An art theater of this caliber is essential in Hartford, but isn’t it time to upgrade this place? Perhaps the problem isn’t with Bow Tie, but the building’s landlord.

jlabelle on July 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm

The place is looking a little better these days in my opinion.The Lobby has been spruced up a bit.I agree with someones comment that the seats are comfortable although they do look a bit shabby.My wife complains about that every time we go.Cup holders would be nice but not crucial.I imagine the cost of replacing the seats is prohibitive given the amount of business they do.Perhaps a small center section in each auditorium could be replaced.That would handle the amount of people I generally see at each show.Maybe 100 seats in each theatre?

fred1 on July 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Ive been to every Bow Tie cinemas in CT. All theater are clean and pleasure to attend.The staff are friendly.They care about their theaters

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on June 3, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Sadly, this theatre will be closing on July 22.

View link

Yes it says its “moving”, but in reality its going to take up 5 of the 17 screens at the Bow Tie complex across town. How long do you think it will be until those screens get converted back to mainstream fare?

John Fink
John Fink on June 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I hope they do convert an auxiliary snack bar (that are never used) into a coffee bar, tables and pleasant atmosphere. Part of the charm of Cinema City was the patron review board, so adding those touches will give it a sense of community. Ironic that a certain type of patron you wouldn’t mind loitering – whereas others…..well let’s not go there.

I haven’t been to either theater in about two years since I lived in CT but the rare art film that played at the Palace rarely was met with success – I think we were the only ones in the theater when we saw Bee Season there. I think the issue is the perception of the Palace, which attracts a certain kind of rowdy crowd no matter what Joe Masher might believe (it did last I was there). Upscaling part of it and making it into a unique art house would probably help them sell the idea of art pictures at the Palace – or better yet – show them at Blue Back Square. It makes sense since I think that end of town/West Hartford is a little over screened (although the Palace’s 7PM shows on Saturdays did too well – in fact we’d have to budget in a half hour just to buy tickets, other times it was less crazy).

I’m sad to see Cinema City go, it was out of date and really it just needed new seats and masking in the two smaller theaters (it didn’t under Crown, anyway). I have many a good memory from my undergrad years at Cinema City (many times virtually alone at the late show on a weekday night under Hoyts/Northeastern and Crown).

John Fink
John Fink on July 25, 2010 at 12:30 am

Now closed – but excellent news for fans of the seats – they might have a new life at another Bow Tie Cinema: View link

BrianTalbot on October 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Drove by here over the weekend and the right half of the building has been razed.

rivest266 on February 24, 2017 at 12:22 am

This opened on July 18th, 1973. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

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