Images Cinema

50 Spring Street,
Williamstown, MA 01267

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Images Cinema - October, 2010

In the small town of Williamstown —population 6,000 — this small independent movie house continues to thrive. It first opened in 1916 as the Walden Theatre with seating for 530.

But Images is more than a movie house – it’s part of the community.

The Images Cinema isn’t the most ornate, but it is the home of a vibrant community of movie lovers sustained by a great little cinema, that’s somehow still alive even with the megaplex just down the road.

Contributed by John Kemp

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 30, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Sorry- I meant 6 or 7 letters. Is there a historical society in the area, or a library with 1941 newspapers on file? The question is When was the name “Walden” dropped and what replaced it, if anything, prior to the names “College” and “Nickleodeon” ?

jvankin on December 3, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Perhaps the “hen scratches” have nothing to do with the name. I’ve been in town for forty six years and it was Walden when I came. College and Nickelodeon and now Images are all to my knowledge.\
By the way thanks to renovation in a couple of weeks one will once again be entering the cinema from the old entrance and lobby. Inside a new bathroom has been added, new seats and general sprucing up. It’s a great place to spend an evening. See you there!

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 14, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Jean Vankin- if you moved to Williamstown 46 years ago in 1962 and the theater was called the Walden at that time, then I say that we can ignore the fact that the name Walden was crossed out on the 1941 MGM Report and something unreadable was hen-scratched next to it. The MGM Reports are full of errors and this appears to be another one of them. It’s good to know that renovations are taking place there now.

jvankin on April 30, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Images has been renovated: new seats, carpet and fresh paint. The entrance has moved back to Spring St. and there is a lobby used for all sorts of gatherings.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 2, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Both photos posted by Lost Memory show the same front of the building which was also photographed in the 1941 MGM Report when it was the Walden Theater.

nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Images is the sort of place that could never survive if not for a prestigious and “intellectual” college a block away, where students will want to see films that won’t show up at the local multiplex.

I lived nearby in ‘78-'79. In those days, there were no other theatres around, unless you wanted to drive to North Adams or Bennington, Vermont. Images was always on a semi-weekly schedule then, alternating foreign films with high-quality Hollywood releases, each running three or four days (sometimes on double- or even triple-bills). The biggest draws would last an entire week. It was a matter of “if you don’t like what they’re showing, wait a few days.”

CSWalczak on November 24, 2012 at 5:19 am

The Images Cinema is making the switch to digital projection. View article.

Jmarklin on February 13, 2016 at 2:02 am

Images is celebrating it’s 100th year of being a continuously exhibiting film theater. We would love to hear your stories!

adsausage on April 20, 2016 at 12:19 am

The College Cinema (phone 458-6512) played Medium Cool and Rosemary’s Baby in December ‘69!

Greg_Faris on February 4, 2018 at 10:52 pm

I worked there as a projectionist through the mid to late ‘70s, at the time it was acquired by a new, Boston owner, and its name changed from Nickelodeon to Images. The projection room had an ornate, tin ceiling, and featured some of the oldest projection equipment of any theater in the area: Carbon arc lamps, old “straight” Simplex projectors (pre-“Super-Simplex”) projector bases converted from Vitaphone record disc players to optical sound heads, and a vacuum tube amplifier. The power supplies for the carbon arcs were also vacuum tubes. All of those Fellini, Bogdonovich and usual college-town fare were projected on this historical setup. I worked part time at the Mohawk in North Adams at the same time, and at Bennington’s Harte Theater.

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