Cinema Shoppers World

1 Worcester Road,
Framingham, MA 01701

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Entrance to the Cinema I & II in 1973

Opened as a single screen on October 4, 1951. This was one of the first ‘modern’ shopping center theaters in the US. It was used for summer stock the first two seasons, then opened year round for movies. The original theater was added onto in 1963 becoming twin cinemas, then in 1974, another addition and a couple of splits, made this a sixplex before it was demolished in the 1990’s when Shoppers World was torn down.

Contributed by David Wodeyla

Recent comments (view all 71 comments)

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on July 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

The split of Cinema I didn’t happen until about 1974, so it probably wasn’t the first split house either. However, I’d suggest that the addition of Cinema II in 1963, could be called a new design with a changed configuration to the lobby as well as a completely new auditorium to the north side of the original building.

ErikH on December 25, 2012 at 11:19 am

The split of Cinema I occurred no earlier than 1976. I remember seeing “Jaws” in the non-subdivided Cinema I in the summer of 1975 and “Murder By Death” in the same auditorium in the summer of 1976. The auditoriums that were initially named Cinemas III and IV opened before Cinema I was twinned—-I think those auditoriums opened in mid-1974. I recall seeing “Godfather II” in the larger of those two auditoriums in late 1974—you would have thought that “Godfather II” would have been screened in the (much larger) Cinema I at at that time, but “Earthquake”(with its expensive Sensurround equipment) was still playing in Cinema I. In early 1975, I saw “Murder on the Orient Express” in Cinema II and “Earthquake” was still rumbling along in Cinema I.

Cinema II wasn’t subdivided until the early 1980s. The last film I saw in the non-subdivided Cinema II was “Annie” in the summer of 1982.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on December 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm

You have a good memory! I had photos of the addition of Cinema III and IV being constructed in 1974, but don’t remember exactly when the split of I occurred. I remember the Sensurround being constructed (large plywood panels in the corners of the large auditorium.)

rivest266 on April 26, 2013 at 2:11 pm

October 4th, 1951 grand opening ad has been uploaded in the photo section for this theatre.

rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 6:17 am

Also uploaded the ad for the twin on May 20th, 1964.

mwresinski on March 5, 2017 at 11:30 pm

I can remember approaching the theater while “Earthquake” was screening and could hear the Sensurround a few hundred feet away in the parking lot! Big Cerwin Vega speakers! When Cinema II opened (not because of splitting – it was a completely seperate house in the same building as David W. said. The date seems correct. I saw Dr. Z. in ‘65) – it had one of the worst designs ever! The screen took up most of the end of the house and, to either side, the walls curved outward to join the side walls of the house. I guess it was supposed to give the feeling of drawing you into the picture except the curved walls were white and reflected the light from the screen. It must have been an experimental design because I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else.

mwresinski on March 6, 2017 at 12:10 am

This site has also dredged up a fond memory of the GCC bumper shown before the “Coming Attractions” and “Feature Presentation”. Animation of letters running around the GCC logo like film threading through a projector accompanied by a jazzy high-hat cymbal and bass line.

DICK3570 on March 6, 2017 at 5:49 am

The Cinema II screen installed was sometimes called a “Shadow Box Screen” General Cinema started using it in all of its new theatres in the sixties. Both theatres in the new Peabody Twin had them. Showcase Cinemas used it when they took over and re-modeled the Cleveland Circle when it was still a single house. It was simple to install and eliminated curtains and masking but made filing the projector aperture plates very difficult.

DENNISMAHANEY1 on March 6, 2017 at 3:23 pm

So right about the shadow box the patrons love it I being with G.C.C. since 1959 but the focus or aptitude was now as good and when you go to a plate picture really was not as clear as using masking I alway felt and most of the union men I know the masking help give a sharp look

optimist008 on March 7, 2017 at 6:10 am

It was actually invented in the early 1950’s by Ben Schlanger. Google it’s official name : RCA Synchro Screen.

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