Cinema Shoppers World

1 Worcester Road,
Framingham, MA 01701

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Showing 1 - 25 of 67 comments

rivest266
rivest266 on May 12, 2013 at 6:17 am

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

rivest266
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.

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.)

ErikH
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 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.

da_Bunnyman
da_Bunnyman on July 18, 2012 at 6:58 am

In “George Lucas’s Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success” it’s m,entioned that this was the first mall cinema ever built and also that it has a claim to being the first multiplex. The claim against it is because it was not designed originally as a multiplex. This would mean it was the first split house but that’s not a thing it would want to be remembered for.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Featured on the front cover in February, 1952: boxoffice

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on February 15, 2011 at 9:51 am

Who knew about asbestos dangers back in the fifties? The Kent micronite filter had it! My description of the panels was based on what we could see when damage occurred, either a delivery truck backing into an area, or kids vandalism while leaving down the balcony exit ways.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on February 15, 2011 at 9:15 am

Mr. Schlanger’s role in a number of theatres in New York, DC and presumably this one was usually that of a consulting architect, advising the architect-of-record only on the technical aspects unique to a motion picture theatre. Specifically, things like acoustics, sight-lines, seating layout, floor and balcony pitch and arc, projection and audio equipment, electrical and space requirements for the projection booth were his expertise.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 15, 2011 at 6:08 am

The October 4, 1952, Boxoffice article about the construction of the Cinema is now online here, at the magazine’s own web site.

In a comment near the top of this page, dwodeyla said that the walls of the Cinema were built of “…panels of a straw and clay mixture…” The Boxoffice article says that “…the exterior of the theatre is no more than a thin skin of asbestos board held in place by thin aluminum strips.” The clay-like substance was probably some form of gypsum, and would have been used to hold the asbestos fibres in place. I hope dwodeyla didn’t discover the fibrous nature of the material by scraping at it.

Theater designer Benjamin Schlanger would not be the one who chose to use the asbestos panels in this building. That would have been Ketchum, Gina & Sharp, the architectural firm that designed the structure itself.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on June 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Actually, I’m looking at the picture in the Harcourt book with a magnifying glass and it quite clearly says ‘Thick Cabinets’. It’s a different photo than the one in Boxoffice, it is a photo of the building with signs on the edge of the roof. Is that another term for Frappe? For instance, carbonated soft drinks, i.e. Pepsi, in the midwest is called ‘Pop’, in NYC it’s called ‘Soda’ and my relatives in Worcester MA called it ‘Tonic’. I thought this might be another regional term that goes by other names in other areas.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on June 25, 2010 at 10:41 am

The sign actually says Thick Frappes. Those are like milk shakes. The sign is clearer in Boxoffice Magazine of Oct 4, 1952, link above. You have to go back to page 121.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on June 25, 2010 at 10:11 am

dwodeyla, in a photo of Richards Drive-In in the Harcourt General book, the sign lists their specialties: Fried Jumbo Shrimp, Chicken-in-the-basket and Thick Cabinets. I guess it’s a New England thing, but what are Thick Cabinets?

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on June 25, 2010 at 9:27 am

If you check back in that issue, there’s also a nice article about the Cinema sign on the building, as well as a picture of the sign for Richard’s Drive In Restaurant, which was in Cambridge somewhere. Richard’s was Richard Smith’s restaurant venture. To Dave-Bronx, I don’t know about the use of Cambridge Seven, but the time frame sounds right. I wonder if Paul Delrossi has an answer?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Dean W. Working for GCC had one draw back for this Georgia boy,NO COKE PRODUCTS.I drank a lot of LOTTA LEMON in my years at GCC.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on June 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

View link

This link is to the October 4, 1952 issue of Boxoffice where the construction and acoustic panels of the Cinema Shoppers World is discussed. There are some photos.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on June 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

dwodeyla, do you know if the change from the company’s long-time architectural firm, Riseman Associates, to the Cambridge Seven group was due to the retirement or passing of Riseman or Joe Saunders (just speculating – I don’t know exactly when, in the scheme of things, those events happened.) or was it a ‘out with the old – in with the new’ type of decision once Paul Del Rossi ascended the throne?

Do you know approximately when Riseman became involved with the company? I see he isn’t credited with this theatre, the original architect here is Ben Schlanger. Mr Schlanger was a consulting architect on the Cinema I – Cinema II in New York (theatre #1075 on this site), opened in 1962. That theatre had the same ‘shadow box’ screen surrounds, the upper cinema was lit red, the lower cinema lit blue, and the gray Alpro paneling on the walls, elements used by General Cinema through the 1960s and 70s.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on February 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Dean, your Father was a General Cinema legend. Not only did he invent the “Lotta Lemon”, he was also the originator of the “Straw Vote” which predicted every Presidential election from 1972 until the Company declared bankruptcy. It was a great run while it lasted.
(I remember you coming to the movies with your Dad back in the ‘70s.)

DeanW
DeanW on January 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm

My father, Stanley Werthman was VP in charge concessions at General Cinema during the late 1960s when he came home one night and was working on the name of the new lemon drink at GCC. I blurted out out “Lotta Lemon”, and that was that.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 27, 2009 at 5:34 pm

An article in the October 13, 1951, issue of Boxoffice said that the Cinema in Framingham had opened on October 4. The building was designed by Ketchum, Gina & Sharp, architects of the shopping center, and the theater architect was Benjamin Schlanger. An additional article about the theater, with two small photos, appeared in the October 4, 1952, issue of Boxoffice.

sporridge
sporridge on August 15, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Some background information about the Shoppers World Cinema that (on a quick glance) has gone unlinked here (save for a couple photos):

http://generalcinematheatres.com/

Click on the “Shoppers World/Where it All Began” logo.

nightfly
nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I remember the strict hierarchy of theatres in that part of the greater Boston area in the ‘60s and '70s. First-run would always be at a single downtown theatre (generally, the most prestigious pictures opened at one of the Cheris, even though those theatres were pretty small and unimpressive). Second-run would be here at Shopper’s World, along with other mall theatres north and south. Third-run would go to the Wellesley Community Theatre and lots of other, similar small movie houses in suburban towns. I always knew a film was “big” in my parents’ minds when we took it in at the Cinemas, rather than waiting until it got to Wellesley.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm

There is an interior photo on this site:
http://tinyurl.com/l6wl9w

Jimmills
Jimmills on October 31, 2007 at 4:07 pm

I was an usher at the St. George around 1957-8. The major picture I can remember playing there was the French film, Diabolique.—-Jim Mills

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on October 25, 2007 at 4:13 pm

In 1953, the Cinema ran summer stock plays, and was called the County Playhouse for the summer. Maybe you remember Nick Lavidor who managed the Cinema around 1959 or so. I remember going to the movies as a kid, seeing The D.I. with Jack Webb, and Carousel. Do you have any memories of the St. George or Gorman downtown Framingham?