84 Beach Street,
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China Cinema occupied the ground floor of a huge, ugly parking garage, just across the Central Artery from the Chinatown Gate. I do not know when it opened, but the garage looks like a 1960s building, and I’ve found advertisements for the cinema in 1971 issues of the MIT student newspaper.
It was the most long-established of three Chinese-language cinemas that operated in Chinatown in the 1970s and 80s, and it appears to be the only one built especially for that purpose. Martial-arts films were especially popular.
The China Cinema closed in 1987, according to a Boston Globe article published August 20, 2006. It and the other Chinatown cinemas could not compete with the growing popularity of home video rentals.
A Chinese restaurant now occupies the former location of the China Cinema. A movie poster board still faces west from the side of this building, but it now advertises standard Hollywood studio fare playing elsewhere.
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