Landmark Kendall Square Cinema

1 Kendall Square,
Cambridge, MA 02139

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dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on November 1, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Sorry but the Coolidge Corner was the only Boston theatre to show “Master” in 70mm. They rought in 2 two 70mmDP70s for the 3 week oasion. The Kendall only ran it in 35 as did the other greater Boston theatres that booked it.

IanJudge
IanJudge on September 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

No, the Kendall doesn’t have 70mm capabilities. In fact I have heard they are weeks away from going digital in fact. The only other 70mm theater in greater Boston is my Somerville Theatre, and we were unable to book The Master because the Kendall has ‘clearance’ over us and blocks us from playing any title they want to play.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 19, 2012 at 4:32 am

According to the list I cited above, both theaters are getting 70mm prints.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 19, 2012 at 3:51 am

I thought the 70mm Master was going to Coolidge Corner, not here?

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 15, 2012 at 5:48 am

According to the the list at the in70mm.com website they are. Let us hope that they have staff or can at least temporarily hire some people who know how to project it properly. I would guess, based on some other showings I am aware of, that the distributors are allowing the film to run from a platter, so it is likely that at least the Kendall Square will not have to worry about inexperienced staff trying to run a changeover system (unless their 70mm installation runs that way).

RogerA
RogerA on September 15, 2012 at 1:16 am

I am told that the projection staff at the Kendall isn’t that good at what they do does anyone have a comment on that? I am sure that by Hollywood standards I could find many faults in their presentation. Are they actually running The Master in 70mm?

DavidSimpson
DavidSimpson on August 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I certainly enjoyed my visit in July 2012, when I saw ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’. The staff were extremely welcoming and friendly. I gather the auditoriums range from 270 to 90 seats.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 31, 2011 at 7:52 pm

The map location shown here is not correct. The theatre is actually north of Binney Street, and its main entrance is on Binney.

MPol
MPol on October 1, 2008 at 2:46 am

The Kendall Theatre is kind of a neat theatre also, and if there’s a particularly “hot” movie playing there at any given moment, one can expect long lines at the ticket counter inside. The Garage is reasonably priced, but their system’s awfully wierd. Anyway, back to the subject at hand, I’ve seen a number of movies there, such as Citizen Ruth, Good Will Hunting, Southie, Monument Avenue, Volver,
On the Waterfront, Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, and afew others. Sure wish they’d occasionally show some great golden oldie-but-goody classic films, but it looks like that won’t happen.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 6, 2008 at 7:31 pm

…and the Harvard Crimson article on the opening of the Kendall.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on December 20, 2007 at 5:05 am

Opening Day article with exterior photo:
View link

nkwoodward
nkwoodward on December 11, 2007 at 5:18 pm

Theaters are only average in size, there’s no stadium seating, screen size is only OK. The bathrooms have no towels (dryers only).
The only place to park is an adjacent parking garage. The validated price is cheap ($2 I think).

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on January 19, 2007 at 12:01 am

Truly a great moviegoing experience. Walked to this theatre 2 miles from the Porter Square station, not knowing there was one much closer. Saw “Jonestown”. Wow. On the outside, the theatre is set back from the street with a nice walkway with bike racks (bike lanes out front). The theatre’s architecture says here it’s Art Deco, I guess, it looked like an erector set structure in the coolest sense. They had popcorn and no horrible candy, just organic cookies, etc. Up 3 small stairs and to the back theater. Lots of seats, very comfortable, great leg room. Faux stain glass swirly structures on both sides of the auditorium, 2 on each side. High ceilings. String lights on the floors, even separating the handicapped section.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on August 7, 2005 at 12:04 am

Landmark didn’t hire the Waltham local when they opened the Embassy, and their DM is a former GCC anti-union executive. He was instrumental in bumping the union from General Cinema booths about 10 years ago. I’m sure having a floor staff take control of their own destiny must irk him.

IanJudge
IanJudge on August 6, 2005 at 8:07 pm

Well, Ironchef, care to tell me who you are since I am not afraid to sign my own name to my own words? Not that I want to turn this cinema-enthusiast webpage about the Kendall into a giant running internet argument about the (yawn) same old Somerville strike stuff, mind you.

“yep, in order to expedite the contract negotiations the strikers allowed other union members to take their spots at the somerville theatre and take work at other theatres the union represented. no big deal.”

Umm, and what theaters do they work at? Seems to me (and I honestly DO believe it is a shame) that there is not enough work for the senior projectionists in the local, nevermind newcomers.

And as far as the ‘slander’ clause, 1) That contract expired (though we auto-renewed it because we LIKE our union workers) and I have said nothing but good things about the IATSE union, not anything slanderous.

“i’d like to think that all the worker perform important roles in keeping a theatre running and that’s not very nice of you to demean the work of your floor staff like that.”

Again, I am only relating what THEY expressed to me. Ask any of my staff members how they feel about me, I have full confidence you will hear good things.

You mistake my own personal feelings about the individuals who struck at Somerville with how I feel about unions. Talk to any of the long-time union projectionists in the local and they will tell you how I supported them during my tenure at Loews. Talk to my father, who is active in his union, or my stepfather, who also is a union member at his job. If you talk to me personally about my politics you would find I am a reasonable man and quite supportive of labor rights. Talk to former Kendall Square employee Nancy, who helped the campaign to unionize the Kendall (as mentioned above) and she will tell you I supported her efforts.

You may counter this with ‘why didn’t you help your own employees when they tried to organize if you love labor so much?’ To that I say that the night the 3 organizers came to me with the union rep, I gave no answer (being that I was not in a position to do so, since I do not own the theater) and the reply I got from one was ‘if you don’t meet our requests we are walking tomorrow’. This was a threat. I didn’t hear “we are signing cards and will continue to work”. So I replied “nice working with you then” because I knew they weren’t following procedure (like the smart people at Kendall, or the projection staff at Loews LTM who did it the right way).

To be candid, I was so personally offended by the hate directed towards me by employees who had never ever expressed their problems with me in any way before this assault. I did not decide their wages, they worked flexible schedules, and I honestly felt I had treated them kindly in passing, and yet they directed so much hate and malice towards me personally in this process that to this day I find myself saddened by the whole thing.

I am sure you will respond, and perhaps justly so, but after that I ask that perhaps you contact me privately (I believe you can email me through this site) so that our squabble does not hijack this nice website.

“anyway. congrats to the kendall workers! you rock!”

I wholeheartedly agree!

ironchef
ironchef on August 6, 2005 at 7:09 pm

“It is my understanding through talking to a former Kendall employee, that the greater issue at hand for this unionization was not necessarily wages…”

the issue always boils down to power. without a union contract you do not have due process for discplining and firing, your wages & benefits are arbitrarily determined by the boss and not collectively bargained, you do not have a grievance procedure, etc. the list goes on and on. above all the employer can change the rules at any point in time. take a look at an employee handbook in a non-union workplace and it will say “this is not a contract”, “you are an at-will employee” and will state that they can change any policy at any point in time. the kendall, just like the somerville theatre, isn’t going to take a big hit by paying better wages. rather, it’s the thought of giving up power to their workers that sends them into a frenzy, hiring consultants and putting the pressure on middle management to break the union.

“My own theater (Somerville Theatre) was subject to a strike when 3 self-proclaimed anarchists infiltrated the projection staff and tried to unionize;”

make “did unionize” not “tried to unionize”. that strike ended with a victory for the 4 (not 3) striking projectionists. a 2 year contract with 40% increase in wages, and benefits and vacation time that weren’t offered before. all future projectionists will reap the benefits of the hard work put into that strike.

initially, 6 out 7 projectionists signed union cards, but the owner refused to voluntarily recognize the union. that’s why there was a strike, which is actually a more common tactic than you seem to think. the community and labor support was huge and when the owner caved in and signed the contract the nrlb vote was still caught up in litigation.

“In the end, we gladly took on experienced union projectionists and signed a contract with the union and they agreed that the 3 strikers would not be allowed to work there anymore.”

yep, in order to expedite the contract negotiations the strikers allowed other union members to take their spots at the somerville theatre and take work at other theatres the union represented. no big deal.

“The 3 punks were more interested in holding signs and chanting, and spreading false information than actually working for a living at a better wage,”

um, wait a second didn’t the strike end with better wages, amongst other important clauses in the contract? speaking of the contract, there’s a no slander clause in there which you are currently violating, Ian.

“so now we have replaced them with some of the best projection staff in the city, some union booth veterans who used to work the ‘big’ theaters are now in our booth.”

yes, union workers are often better trained due to the apprenticeship programs.

“Our floorstaff, however, thought that the strike was crazy, many of them pointing out that their jobs were so easy that they didn’t justify inflated wages.”

i’d like to think that all the worker perform important roles in keeping a theatre running and that’s not very nice of you to demean the work of your floor staff like that.

anyway. congrats to the kendall workers! you all rock!

IanJudge
IanJudge on August 2, 2005 at 7:38 pm

dwodeyla is correct – most theatre employees like their work despite the low wages – working at a theater is different than a restaurant or cafe, and if you have a good manager and the staff gels, it can be a really fun place to work.

It is my understanding through talking to a former Kendall employee, that the greater issue at hand for this unionization was not necessarily wages, but also that the Landmark chain was recently bought by billionaire Mark Cuban and that management changes resulting from the take-over really changed the atmosphere and treatment of the employees. Sometimes respect and a fun workplace mean as much as wages.

The fact is that larger theaters have an incredible amount of turnover, with only a handful of regular staff that doesn’t leave. A place like the Kendall may have attracted people to stay longer, and therefore band together to unionize.

My own theater (Somerville Theatre) was subject to a strike when 3 self-proclaimed anarchists infiltrated the projection staff and tried to unionize; rather than keep working and voting later to join the union (the proper procedure) they went on strike with one days notice, despite being warned not to do so by the union they were trying to join! In the end, we gladly took on experienced union projectionists and signed a contract with the union and they agreed that the 3 strikers would not be allowed to work there anymore. The 3 punks were more interested in holding signs and chanting, and spreading false information than actually working for a living at a better wage, so now we have replaced them with some of the best projection staff in the city, some union booth veterans who used to work the ‘big’ theaters are now in our booth.

Our floorstaff, however, thought that the strike was crazy, many of them pointing out that their jobs were so easy that they didn’t justify inflated wages. When the 3 strikers tried to get support from the theater staff, the staff banded together AGAINST them like a family under attack and it made everyone closer.

I try to make the theater a fun place to work, an easy place to work, because I know it is low paying. Our staff stays because they LIKE it here, because they need a fun part time job, not because they are trying to make a living off of a 15-hour a week paycheck. It is too bad that Landmark turned the Kendall Square into an unhappy place to work for its employees; perhaps if they had been nicer and more understanding, they wouldn’t have had to go through this unionization.

As far as I know, this does not effect the Embassy, since their employees were not involved in organization, nor did they vote.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on August 2, 2005 at 7:28 pm

Congratulations to the employees, I guess the next step will be to negotiate a raise and benefits. Does that mean the staff at their Embassy in Waltham will automatically join the same union, or does each theatre have to make their own decision?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 2, 2005 at 6:41 pm

From Boston Indymedia:

Kendall Square Cinema employees join union

After only three months of organizing at the Kendall Square Cinema, the Landmark Theatre chain’s biggest theatre, employees voted 17 to one to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local 791 on July 30.

The vote comes as a result of recent management changes, lack of full-time status even for employees who average over 35 hours per week, small and sporadic raises, and a starting wage of $7.25 that hasn’t changed since 2002, according to employee and organizer Lauren Ryder.

(read the article for much more)

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on July 25, 2005 at 10:32 pm

When I began working as an usher in 1966, minimum wage was $1.25, local bag boys in the supermarket were making $1.50, and the theatre was paying $1.00 an hour for an usher. I took the usher’s job just because it was the theatre. So did all my friends. And we all had a great time, because it was not only a job, but a social experience. (theater ushers in Massachusetts were classified as sub minimum wage, like golf caddies and waitresses).
Working as a floor staff in a theatre has always been a minimum wage part-time job without benefits. Trying to make it otherwise is probably futile, as the result of allowing the union in will be to cause expenses to increase, which will spiral into higher admission prices. Theatre owners won’t take a lower profit margin. Of course other greater Boston area theatre employees will be encouraged to do the same. One can empathize with the employees, as many theatre employees through the years eventually grew out of the part time job but one can understand the position of management too. The union will succeed, I’m sure, but ultimately, the customer will lose out because Management will schedule fewer staff on a shift in order to make up for the increased payroll. And we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that employees such as those interviewed lasted as long as they did, not because of the money, but because they loved “the business”.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 25, 2005 at 2:37 pm

A strike may be in the Kendall Square Cinema’s future:

It’s showtime: Movie theater workers set to vote on union

by Andrew LaVallee
Quincy Patriot Ledger
Published: July 21, 2005

CAMBRIDGE – Employees of the Kendall Square Cinema will vote next week on whether to join a union as the workers seek improved benefits and more structured wage increases.

The vote on July 30 will determine whether the 20 members of Kendall Square’s floor staff become part of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 791, a chapter representing more than 6,000 workers in Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island.

The Kendall Square Cinema opened in Cambridge in September 1995 and quickly became one of the most popular art-house theaters in the country. It is owned by Landmark Theatres, a Los Angeles-based chain focused on art-house and foreign films. The company couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.

If the union vote is successful, it will lead to the first union at any Landmark theater.

The floor staff are responsible for selling tickets and working the concessions, as well as cleaning the nine-screen theater. Starting wages have remained at $7.25 an hour since 2002, and few staffers are employed full-time.

The floor staff do not receive vacation pay or sick days, and are paid only time-and-a-half on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, said Lauren Ryder, a 30-year-old Somerville resident who has worked at the theater for five and a half years. They also did not receive promised wage increases in January, she said.

“It was never a very good-paying job,” she said, but after Landmark Theatres was acquired by 2929 Entertainment in September 2003, reviews and raises nearly stopped.

Nancy Campbell, a 33-year-old Somerville resident who had worked at Kendall Square since its opening, resigned from her assistant manager position on July 17. She said she was asked by Landmark’s management to dissuade employees from voting for union participation.

“Ultimately, they do not want the movie-going public to know this is happening behind closed doors,” she said.

She said it was not uncommon for her to work 39-hour weeks. She said that after 10 years there, she has never received benefits such as health insurance.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on January 14, 2005 at 7:32 pm

As nearly all the Landmark Theatres I’ve seen pictures of, this one is stylish, and is run like theatres were in the “old days” with an emphasis on good customer service. The projectionist is a perfectionist, and the theatre is clean and well maintained. You’d expect being in a city that traffic would be a hassle, and parking would too. However, the Kendall has a large parking garage, the the roads leading there from Memorial Drive are no problem. It’s located not only in an area with lots of offices, but lots of homes too, all a shorter walk than Kendall Square. In my opinion, Landmark knows how to pick good locations, and make moviegoing a pleasure.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 14, 2005 at 7:17 pm

I remember that a few years after the Orson Welles burned, a group was trying to resurrect it at the One Kendall Square complex, going so far as to apply for building permits and cause public hearings to occur.

Obviously they didn’t succeed — I’m not sure why. But not too long afterwards, Landmark built this theatre at a different location in the same office complex.

My only complaint is that despite its name, it really isn’t in Kendall Square, and it’s a rather lonely, desolate walk from the Kendall T station.

br91975
br91975 on January 14, 2005 at 7:07 pm

Right – George Mansour. Having always lived in walking cities, I’ve never thought of 30-45 minutes as much of a hike, but I can see your point.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 14, 2005 at 5:43 pm

I think that’s George Mansour, who at various times programmed the Nickelodeon, Loews, and the Boston Film Festival.

The locations aren’t that near each other. I’d estimate that a walk between them would take at least a half hour, maybe even 45 minutes.