Amherst Cinema Arts Center
28 Amity Street,
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Built in 1926, the Amherst Cinema was created out of an old stable in downtown Amherst, Massachusetts.
For seven decades, the Amherst Cinema delighted audiences with first and then later second-run fare. Competition from the AMC Mountain Farms 4 and the now demolished AMC Hampshire 6 made life difficult over the years. By 2000, Amherst Cinema, along with the nearby Rivoli, closed its doors. Ironically, the theater outlived nearby Hampshire Mall 6, which was demolished months earlier.
The theater, which was owned by Western Massachusetts Theater’s owner Richard Goldstein, was acquired by local residents who had hoped to turn it into a cultural and performing arts center. (The theater was one of many that were once part of the Western Massachusetts Theater circuit that included the Rivoli, Hippodrome (formerly Paramount), Calvin, and more.)
The project was stopped and started numerous times.
When the theater closed in 2001, the town of Amherst, which is home to Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts, lost its only movie house.
In November 2006, the renovated theater was reopened as the three-screen Amherst Cinema Arts Center, featuring both mainstream and independent film. The triplex is a new addition to the building, as the original auditorium was gutted during the renovation to turn into retail shops. In 2012, a fourth screen named the Studio was added which has seating for 25.
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