Milton Cinema

556 Adams Street,
Milton, MA 02186

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Archie1959
Archie1959 on May 9, 2014 at 1:22 pm

A member of my high school graduation class was the owner at one point in time of the cinema. He could not compete with a 8 screen multiplex in Quincy MA

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 9, 2014 at 10:46 am

According to an item in the Quincy Patriot Ledger yesterday, the Falconi Companies hope to close on purchasing the building on June 15th. All 3 business tenants at the front of the building will remain. Falconi will form a company, Milton Theatre LLC, which will operate a restaurant in the theater space. The theater has been empty since the fire in 2007; prior to that it was used for storage.

BDE
BDE on November 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm

FYI. I just edited the video so it no longer appears sideways. Enjoy.

BDE
BDE on November 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Yeah, that’s my crappy footage. The phone I took it with turned the video sideways. Apologies for the quality. First off, it was an experience I was looking forward to since I was a child. I missed that theater and it killed me every time I got a coffee in the “Java Joe’s that took over the front lobby area. The auditorium was walled off, basically keeping the auditorium intact. The seats were all removed, as well as the screen. The whole for the projection booth was still there however the room was made into storage for the coffee shop. The ceiling didn’t have any light coming in from it. The light was from the hanging workman’s lights they had in there. The fire that destroyed the coffee shop did do a lot of structural damage to the premise, and the floor was down to it’s concrete. The shell of it all is intact. It is easily a $7 million restoration. My Best and Oldest friend arranged the meeting with the owner and went over numbers and figures. We have been speaking with an investor although it looks like nothing will be happening soon. It’s still our goal to return the theater to as close to the old appearance as possible, as well as have it as a theater for performing arts. There is one definite guarantee. If we are blessed enough to have this happen the first movie to be shown will be "Jaws”. Keep your fingers crossed and hope to see you there sooner than later.

MrDJDude
MrDJDude on December 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Here is a Youtube video of a recent walk through the old State Theater/Milton Theater. Frankly, the video is not very good, and it is hard to hear much of the talking or see much. But the shell of the auditorium is still intact. Looks like there’s some sunlight peaking through the roof, though.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 13, 2010 at 11:03 am

Under “E. Milton” (Mass.) there is one movie theater listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook: the Cunningham Park with 386 seats, open one day per week. I know nothing about it; there is a large public park in East Milton called Cunningham Park.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 29, 2009 at 11:37 am

Re: ken mc’s photo of May 1 — note the name on the marquee “Milton Cinema”, NOT “East Milton Cinema”. My memory is that this theater was called the State for many years, then the Milton Cinema.

bocr86
bocr86 on February 9, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Yes, there was a fire at the coffee shop and it did spread to the old theater, however, I live down that street and the old theater is still standing. The coverage of the fire shows the theater, which can be seen here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-qiAA3EM_M

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 9, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Patriot Ledger article, with video coverage of the fire.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 9, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Here’s the Boston Globe story on the fire. It says the former theatre space was “now used mostly to store auto parts”.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 9, 2007 at 4:16 pm

The theatre was badly damaged (gutted) by fire on Monday evening, October 8, 2007. The fire apparently started in the kitchen of Java Joe’s and spread into the restaurant’s storage space (which is the theatre). The Milton Fire Chief described the theatre as a “tinderbox”. The fire went to 5 alarms. The roof was burned off, as was some of the roof of Java Joe’s. Luckily, there was little damage to adjacent shops. Java Joe’s manager was quoted as saying that there had been plans to remodel the restaurant space plus the theatre into one big new restaurant, but those plans came to nothing some time ago. The news report in the Quincy Patriot Ledger does not state what will happen next. (Nowhere in this news story is the theatre’s name mentioned).

alvanlevenson
alvanlevenson on February 27, 2007 at 9:33 am

The organ’s fate is a mystery to me, but your theory makes perfect sense. The fellow who purchased it could very well have done so as a collector, with no intention of installing it in the Milton Theater. By the way, the purchase price included labor. His, not mine. At the time I thought the deal was a fair one. Still do. a.l.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on February 27, 2007 at 7:33 am

The State Theatre in East Milton is listed in the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac as being part of M&P Theatres (Mullins & Pinanski, a Paramount affiliate). Alvan- do you know what happened to the organ after it was removed from the Needham theatre? I didn’t realize that these huge, complicated instruments could be had for so little money back then – no wonder some collectors owned 5 or 6 of them at a time.

alvanlevenson
alvanlevenson on February 21, 2007 at 1:38 pm

In the sixties, the owner (I don’t remember his name) bought the Needham Theater’s pipe organ. This gigantic instrument had a console with several keyboards, a myriad of floor pedals, and an impressive array of stops. Its pipes were located behind louvers on either side of the proscenium, the tallest almost a foot around and at least ten feet high; the smallest resembling a cigar. It also had a drum, cymbals, and diverse other Rube-Goldberg-type contraptions. Powering the bellows, in a room below the stage, was a one horsepower electric motor (whose roar could be heard above any music the organ produced). I don’t think the buyer intended to install it in the Milton theater, but, rather, to use it elsewhere. I recall the selling price. It was $300. alvan levenson

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on January 18, 2007 at 3:42 pm

I was here last week on my way to the nearby bike trail. The auditorium from the outside is nothing too flashy. It’s right in front of a quiet neighborhood. A lot of traffic congestion from the nearby I-93 ramps. JavaJo’s was closed as it was late but people were inside still. Two other stores were open and one was closed. A drive-thru bank was around on the left.

DennisJOBrien
DennisJOBrien on January 11, 2007 at 8:25 pm

I grew up in Milton in the 1950’s and 1960’s. At that time we knew the place as the “Milton Art Theater” and not the State Theater. I think it changed to the “Milton Cinema” about 1968 or so. I saw “Ben-Hur” here during a general release, probably in 1960 a year after it first came out. In 1962 “West Side Story” was likewise playing here a year after its first release. The cinema was unusually long and narrow, not like other suburban theaters of its time. There was no balcony. Compared to the ornate Oriental Theater in Mattapan or the Strand in Quincy, we felt our little movie emporium in Milton was somewhat laughable and plain. The screen was relatively small and the sound system was limited. I doubt it had stereo sound. Because the screen was small, I always wondered why people would sit way in the back, unless they liked the feel of watching a television. If I remember correctly, the lavatories were strangely located on either side of the back and accessed by little staircases that were actually in the theater itself (not the lobby).

Just two summers ago I was visiting my mother, who still lives in Milton, and spent some time exploring my old haunts in East Milton Square. I walked around the back of the theater and was surprised to see it still there. A door is located on the right side (from the front of the street) and it appears that the place is being used for storage purposes of some kind.

Tom10
Tom10 on December 9, 2005 at 4:27 am

Ron, I got my drive’s license in 63. I’m pretty sure it was the Milton then. t

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 28, 2005 at 8:23 am

It was originally called the State Theatre. It was on the north side of Adams Street, just east of East Milton Square, and in the 500-block, I think. There is a MGM Theatre Photograph and Report for this theatre, dated April 1941. It was a MGM customer, was in Fair condition, Was over 15 years old, and had 710 seats, all on one floor. I don’t know when the name was changed to Milton Cinema, but I will guess circa 1970. It was very close to the Quincy line, but I never went in it when I lived in Quincy in 1940s and 1950s. I have notes that it closed in Sept 1987 after a bitter fight between the owner and the operator; then reopened in November 1987 with a new operator. Around 1990 or so it became a comedy club. During its long movie career, it was always a single-screen, I believe. I think the formal name was Milton Cinema and not East Milton Cinema— to be sure, one would have to look at old newspaper ads.

Tom10
Tom10 on January 11, 2005 at 6:36 pm

To my knowledge, it was never a twin. Too narrow, and the booth was tiny.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 11, 2005 at 6:30 pm

By the way, the listing above says “Twin”. Are you sure? I thought this was a single screen.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 11, 2005 at 5:47 pm

And now I’ve got an e-mail back from the owner of Java Jo’s:

“The former theater is used for storage by the building landlord. The screen and seating have been removed and not suitable for screening.”

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 11, 2005 at 8:18 am

Java Jo’s web site. I’ve e-mailed the owner and pointed him to this page; I’ll let you all know if I get a response.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 11, 2005 at 8:06 am

If the screen is still there, I wonder why the coffee shop hasn’t tried to use it for occasional special-event screenings.

Tom10
Tom10 on January 11, 2005 at 6:23 am

Thanks for the update. Hmmm. It must be a big back room. I’d guess the lobby/box office/concession stand area is the coffee shop. It’s a typical commercial block of the era (twenties?) which had stores in the front, a fairly narrow, store-sized entrance to the theater, and the auditiorium placed in back. The Publix/Gaiety has a similar configuration. The marquees and entrances are quite narrow compared to the theater inside. That maximized rentable storefronts.