West Newton Cinema
1296 Washington Street,
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The Newton Theatre was designed in 1937 by architects Krokyn & Browne of the Boston based architectural firm Krokyn, Browne & Rosenstein. This theatre combined elements of Art Deco and Art Moderne styles. The West Newton was part of the M & P Theatres circuit, which also owned the Metropolitan (Wang Center) in Boston.
The theatre was the area’s entertainment hub for thirty years, but, by 1967, had begun to deteriorate. As the crowds dwindled, the beautiful cut-stone facade and marquee were removed, and theater was converted into a triplex.
The triplexing saved the theater from demolition by increasing the flow of cash, but by 1977, the theater was again in desperate trouble. Rain flooded into the upstairs theater and the rest of the facade and new marquee were removed. It was sold in 1978 and expanded to six screens in 1990. The new auditoriums were carved from unused space and brought back some of the theater’s original Art Deco style flavor.
Today, the theater specializes in an inventive mix of art house, family, and independent films. Tastefully restored and renovated, the theater’s lobby gives notice that the West Newton was once a grand palace.
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