Images Cinema

50 Spring Street,
Williamstown, MA 01267

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Greg_Faris on February 4, 2018 at 2:52 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.

adsausage on April 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm

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

Jmarklin on February 12, 2016 at 6:02 pm

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

CSWalczak on November 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm

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

nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 2:44 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.”

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 2, 2009 at 11:07 am

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.

jvankin on April 30, 2009 at 11:37 am

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 December 14, 2008 at 11:45 am

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 December 3, 2008 at 11:40 am

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 January 30, 2007 at 8:24 am

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” ?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 30, 2007 at 7:56 am

No, the theatre name written in on the MGM Report is not “Nickleodeon” either. The hen-scratching appears to be about 6 or 7 words and looks like “Gacomis” to me.

jvankin on January 29, 2007 at 10:14 am

Do you think it might be Nickelodeon? My son remembers that name and so do I, vaguely. I well remember going to the Walden when my son was an infant. We could see it from where we lived at the time and when we could get away took in the show. Living further away and with two children to keep me busy I seldom went but my husband would take my son and then, as he mentioned, my son went often in high school. When the kids were little I took them to the Mohawk theater in North Adams for the children’s films. The Mohawk has been empty for many years and the city has applied for grants to renovate and make it a multipurpose venue. So far, they have renovated the Marquee which is used to welcome one to North Adams and such like. The renovation has been on the North Adams wish list for many years and every so often we hear that it is about to begin in earnest but then there will be problems with funding, etc. A six screen movie house was on the outskirts of North Adams but recently closed because of not passing building inspections. It is moving to a renovated shopping center in the center of North Adams and is slated to open soon complete with “stadium seats."
Meanwhile the Images is our first choice for independent film as well as some main films (after the chain theaters have shown). It’s a busy place hosting the Williamstown film festival, special showings for children, birthday parties with free popcorn, films sponsored by Williams College organizations, etc. A series of French films is about to be shown with commentary from prof. of Romance Languages at the college. It’s truly a community theater!

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 29, 2007 at 8:19 am

It’s unfortunate that the person who filled out the MGM Report on this theatre in 1941 had such poor penmanship. He/she typed in “Walden” as the theatre name, then crossed it out and wrote in another name. It doesn’t look like “College” or “College Cinema”, but I cannot read it. It seems that he was implying that the theatre was no longer named “Walden”. In any event, the post-Walden history described above is interesting !

jvankin on January 29, 2007 at 7:11 am

This is in reply to Ron Salters comments.
The Images in Williamstown is part of what was once the Walden which had several permutations. I e-mailed my son who has a better memory than I and past here his reply:
It was Walden, but that was when I was an infant. I remember it first when I was a little kid as “The College Cinema.” Then it was bought by the Nickelodeon Cinemas in Boston and turned into the art-house, repertory cinema that I remember so well from my high school years. It was called “The Nickelodeon” at first, but I think for only one year, two at most. Then it MAY have been sold again, but in any case, the name was then changed to The Images Cinema.

It was rescued by a local group among whom the late Christopher Reeve was a big supporter and became the non-profit Images using part of the space that was once the Walden. (For several years his voice reminded one that this was our theater and to deposit our trash in the containers at the entrance.)You are quite correct about the entrance on Spring Street with marquee or flat sign but after downsizing and renovation the entrance is now on the north side of the building on a short alley way. A vertical sign at the north corner of the building identifies IMAGES (one letter above another.)
Jean Vankin

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 20, 2007 at 8:10 am

The Walden Theatre in Williamstown is listed in the 1927 edition of the Film Daily yearbook as having 529 seats and being open daily.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 6, 2006 at 8:08 am

There is a MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for this theatre with a facade photo taken in March 1941. Someone typed “Walden” as the theatre name, then crossed it out and wrote in a name which I cannot read; it’s not “Images”, but looks something like “Gacomis”. Did this theatre have another name before it was named “Images” ? The photo shows a narrow entrance in a 2-story business block. There is an arch over the entrance, poster cases on either side and a vertical sign above, but no marquee. The Report states that the theatre is on Spring St. in Williamstown MA, that the theatre has been a MGM customer for 10 years; that it’s over 10 years old; that it’s in Good condition; and has 492 seats, all apparently on one floor. It says that there are no competing theatres in town, and that the 1940 population of Williamstown was 4,294.