Art Cinema

255 Franklin Avenue,
Hartford, CT 06114

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rivest266 on February 21, 2017 at 2:47 pm

This opened on December 28th, 1951 as Art. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

pathsofglory on March 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Ah, the good old Art Cinema – shades of my misspent youth. In the early sixties a group of us Trinity students would go there, drunk as lords (well, dissolute preppies, anyway) to savor the, uhh…art. In those days skin flick owners (sorry: Art Purveyors) had to dissemble what the Supreme Court called redeeming social value. Couldn’t just run “Sex Kitten in Lust”; had to be something Aristotle would have condoned. Consequently, there was usually a double feature: 1. the one we came to see, and 2. some murky Bergman or Fellini flick we’d have to snore through until it came on. Actually, it wasn' t so bad. I was introduced to some quite good British cinema, and I recall seeing Elvira Madigan there; humming Mozart for days, I was.

Sometimes they’d try to avoid the obligatory “socially uplifting” picture by inserting the RSV in the porn. I recall one of the titles, “A Thousand Ways to Love,” throughout which the only dialogue was Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee?; let me count the ways.” A sheer ripoff. I could count only seventeen.

Dr Emilio Lizardo
Dr Emilio Lizardo on January 6, 2015 at 2:03 pm

The new website for The Art Cinema is now online at . Complete with new photos of The Art, plus upcoming events at the theater.

kylerodgers on October 8, 2014 at 5:42 pm I made a short documentary on the theater. shows the inside and the history of the theater.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

No, there isn’t security. It is a small theatre run only by the owner. People go to this type of business precisely to have encounters with strangers.

NoW on March 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Why or how my friend did not know about the type of films shown here is not the point. My question is about security measures taken. There are sexual predators who go to this theater and people who plan to go there should be aware of that. So I will ask again: isn’t there security here??

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm

How could she possibly unaware that this was an XXX theatre? The movie listings are in the daily newspaper, there are posters all over the lobby showing what is playing, signs about no minors allowed, and it has been showing adult movies for roughly fifty years. There is practically no way NOT to know what this theatre is.

NoW on March 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Beware, my friend was sexually assaulted by some male patrons in this theater and no one stopped it. She was unaware that this was a XXX theater and when the movie started she was pinned to her seat and assaulted. Isn’t there security here??

adult_theatre on September 25, 2013 at 10:44 am

This place is just FANTASTIC.

tgunn on June 17, 2013 at 10:41 pm

New here, and looking to go to art cinema. How is it?? Do many women attend? And do you have any suggestions or helpful hints to help me navigate? Thanks very much …t gunn

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 24, 2013 at 4:08 am

Whose website? The Art Cinema does not have one AFAIK.

thisisjohnbook on January 23, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Their website (which is work safe) features some nice interior shots of the theater. The digital projector is located right off of the upper/center balcony.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 9, 2012 at 1:53 am

This web page about the Lyric Theatre says that its architect, Edward T. Wiley, also designed the Art Cinema.

nritota on January 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Since this was in the same family as the Colonial does anyone know if it was a Lockwood & Gordon house?

John Fink
John Fink on November 2, 2008 at 8:05 pm

One of the venues for this year’s Hartford International Film Festival. I’ll provide a few notes on the theater after my film Artery screens there, this Saturday at 12:15PM (not to put in a shameless plug or anything).

sl7269 on August 19, 2007 at 8:54 am

what are there hours of opereation?

jpcollins on August 6, 2007 at 4:29 pm

On my way back from Cinestudio last night I decided to do a bit of exploring and stumbled upon this theater. Needless to say, I was surprised when I entered the lobby to inquire about the program. Still, a very cool find in an interesting neighborhood.

John Fink
John Fink on May 31, 2005 at 6:14 pm

A few months ago The Hartford Advocate wrote an article on this theatre citing that its missleading from the outside- it looks like it could be an art house cinema. Then again instead of being R.A.W. (Real Art Ways- Hartford’s alternative movie theatre), I’m sure it’s just raw in a gross way.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 2, 2004 at 12:36 pm

When this was a legitimate art house in June of 1966, I made my way here from Providence to see Luchino Visconti’s very moody and doomed-to-be-unseen film SANDRA (a.k.a. OF A THOUSAND DELIGHTS, VAGHE STELLE DELL'ORSA) with the incomparable Claudia Cardinale and the comparable Jean Sorel. This murky yet strangely compelling Italian tale of implied brother-sister incest was oddly paired with the American drug-rehabilitation drama SYNANON.

William on November 19, 2003 at 3:57 pm

The Art Theatre’s address is 255 Franklin Ave.