Park Square Cinema

31 St. James Avenue,
Boston, MA 02116

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SteveBurstein
SteveBurstein on June 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

I frequented the Park Square Cimema(Actually renamed THE PARK SQUARE MOVIEHOUSE by then)in ‘72-'73 when I was 13 and 14.I saw THE GANG’S ALL HERE(1943)in jaw-dropping Technicolor in 1972, and wished that movies could still look like that.I wished my LIFE could like like that!I searched for more 40s Technicolor films like that, but in vain(“Gang’s All Here” was a special Dye Imbibition reprint)-Technicolor printing was close to obsolete, and in a few years Fox would convert all the negatives to splotchy, blotchy Eastmancolor versions and throw the Technicolor originals away!At least they’re Color-TV stations often ran them only in B/W!

rivest266
rivest266 on September 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Also notice a mistake in the Boxoffice article.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Conversion of Telepix into Park Square described at bottom of this page from a 1962 trade journal: Boxoffice

filmgene
filmgene on June 24, 2008 at 7:30 pm

How nice to remember the Telepix. I was a film student at BU during the early sixties and got to know the Manager of the theater quite well. She was Inge Loven, a lovely Swedish woman with an artificial leg who was a connoisseur of cinema. I remember spending hours in her tiny office at the theater talking about Kurosawa and the other greats. I believe she eventually returned to Sweden. I left Boston for New York before the name change. I am the new Director of the Visual Arts Theater in NYC (see entry). I hope Inge would be pleased. I think of her often.

poemmaker54
poemmaker54 on February 16, 2008 at 6:48 am

Hi, Ron,

Thanks for writing…
I emailed Ty at his Globe address, thought maybe he might know the name of the cinema and he did! We are both “of a certain age” ha ha. Did you ever go there? I don’t remember when it went away. I miss a lot of the old theaters, even the ones I wasn’t crazy about, I missed once they shut down, like The Cheri. I do like and go to The Capitol a lot (those owls!) and I love movies so much that I even tolerate the Boston Common Loew’s which I think is garish and belongs in Las Vegas.
I think I have gone “Rear Window” crazy! I watched it again last night for the 4th time in as many months. I can watch it over and over. Fascinating film.
Please keep writing if the spirit moves you. I love to talk about films! Cheers

Leo

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 15, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Is Ty Burr’s article online? Can you link to it? Thanks.

poemmaker54
poemmaker54 on February 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm

I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of this cinema, only that it was near the old Greyhound bus station and the Park Plaza. I loved this theater so much, was there all the time when I was a teenager and college student back in the ‘70s. I saw so many classics there: Tracy/Hepburn, “The Women”, Bette Davis, Deneuve, many great foreign films, too, especially Claude Chabrol (“Le Boucher”!). My friends couldn’t remember the name either and some told me I was imagining that a theater was there. Ty Burr of The Globe finally today confirmed the name for me. I am so happy to reconnect with such warm and wonderful memories of this little, old theater!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 4, 2007 at 1:12 pm

From the MIT newspaper The Tech, September 26, 1962:

Park Square Cinema: Telepix With New Face
[quote]The old Telepix Theater has received a new look and a new name. Now the Park Square Cinema, it seats 300 people, has a wider screen and new murals.

The abstract murals, done by Norman Ives, are of wood blocks that protrude at different depths from the wall. The outside mural is in white and black, the inside one in red and black.

New Zeis-Ikon projectors, not using carbon arcs, have been added.[/quote]
Next to this article is a review of the movie Divorce – Italian Style, playing at the Park Square. I don’t know whether this was the first movie to play at the theatre under its new name.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on December 9, 2006 at 8:44 am

I saw that building yesterday and that portion is now a U.S. Post Office sub-station.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 9, 2006 at 8:27 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Telepix Theatre has an exterior photo taken in May 1941. There is a rather fancy doorway with a double door set in it. Above is a small rain canopy with “Park Square Building” on it. Above the canopy is a small vertical sign but it’s not readable. There is nothing about this entrance which suggests there’s a cinema inside. The Report states that the Telepix is a Newsreel theatre; that it’s on St. James Avenue, that it has been showing MGM product for 2 years; that it was built in 1939, is in Good condition, and has 500 seats, all on one floor. On the Report is written “Nice little house”.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 31, 2006 at 5:09 am

This is the front page of an eight-page booklet of reviews of Fellini’s 8 ½ distributed to patrons when it day-dated at the Park Square and Kenmore Square cinemas in 1963.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 7, 2006 at 7:27 am

Correction to the above— the Telepix was in the Park Square building, not the Greyhound bus station. The bus station, a typical ‘Hound semi-Deco structure, was directly across St. James Avenue. There was an earlier Park Square Theatre, not related to this one, located a short distance to the east. It was the former Cort Theatre, a legit house.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 7, 2005 at 8:12 am

The name was changed from Telepix to Park Square sometime in the early 1960s. It was across from the old Greyhound bus station in the Park Sq. Bldg. There was a small plain sign outside, rather inconspicuous.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on October 7, 2005 at 8:10 am

The name was changed from Telepix to Park Square sometime in the early 1960s. It was across from the old Greyhound bus station in the Park Sq. Bldg. There was a small plain sign outside, rather inconspicuous.

Forrest136
Forrest136 on September 3, 2005 at 7:39 pm

Saw a great movie here “Hot Pants Holiday” in 1974! Cozy little theatre!

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 10, 2005 at 3:52 am

Here is an article from the Harvard Crimson about the opening of the Telepix in 1939. I don’t know exactly when it became the Park Square, but it was probably 1962 or 1963. I went to a movie here (The Bicycle Thief) at the end of December, 1961 when it was the Telepix. In July of 1963 the place was showing Love at Twenty and was called the Park Square. So the name change had to have taken place within that time.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 20, 2005 at 4:02 am

According to Donald C. King’s new book The Theatres of Boston: A Stage and Screen History, the Telepix opened in April 1939. King doesn’t say when it changed its name to the Park Square.

sinclair
sinclair on March 22, 2005 at 6:37 pm

Saw some grade Z lite ‘X’ movie here in 1968-69 – the one and only time I ventured into the wierd entrance, which was so difficult to ascertain.
Totally forgetable, although we chattered like mongooses over the dialog for weeks afterwards – it was that bad.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 4, 2005 at 4:31 am

It looks like a Sovereign Bank branch now occupies the former Park Square Cinema space.

Borisbadenov
Borisbadenov on January 3, 2005 at 9:27 pm

I didn’t know that Hugh Stubbins was the designer-thanks for the info. I loved that theater, used to go there as the Telepix. They showed some foreign films and various short subjects. I remember seeing the Sacha Guitry film ‘Royal Affaires at Versailles’ (with the auteur, Edith Piaf, Claudette Colbert, Orson Welles, & Gerard Philipe)-also the Picasso film where he paints directly onto transparencies. It was cheap, and you got to see lots of stuff. The scheduling was a little random, and you couldn’t be exactly sure when anything would start. Later, mid 60s, it became the Park SQ, and seemed more ‘art house’ with features. The building is the ‘Park Sq. Building’. When built, it was supposed to revolutionize office layout, since each floor was 3 football fields long, and you could cram a whole company on each floor. The street floor houses branch banks, shops, travel agencies, etc. I remember the lobby of the theater space had a sculptural relief of painted wooden square pegs, with the ends painted in different bright colors, somewhat resembling a scifi atomic pile.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 21, 2004 at 8:05 pm

In the late 1970s, the Park Square and Kenmore Square were owned by Justin Freed, who published elaborate monthly repertory schedules for both theaters. He closed both of them shortly after buying the Coolidge Corner.

deleted user
[Deleted] on November 8, 2004 at 12:13 pm

The Park Square Cinema started out as the Telepix Newsreel Theatre. The following is a quote from an architectural magazine circa 1939. ‘In Boston is the tiny but very distinguished Telepix Newsreel Theater, designed by Marc Peter, Jr., and Hugh Stubbins. By intelligent use of color, and by accentuation of planes, the architects succeeded in enlarging the apparent volume. The seating arrangement in the auditorium is mechanically ingenious and also superbly comfortable.’

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 8, 2004 at 11:41 am

The building containing this cinema was not called the ‘Statler Building’.

The Statler Office Building is across Arlington Street, and is part of the Park Plaza Hotel (which was originally a Statler Hilton).

brcleve
brcleve on November 8, 2004 at 10:46 am

I think that was the Statler Building. It was across from the bus terminal. I remember seeing revivals there in the 70’s. The Park Plaza building had the WEZE radio station that Richard is refering to. The Playboy Club and the Tedy Bear Lounge were across the street.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 6, 2004 at 1:30 pm

Richard, it was in the building at the beginning of St. James Avenue, near the corner of Arlington. The building is located directly across from the former intercity bus station. It was not part of the Park Plaza building which is across Arlington. The cinema was on the first floor corridor. So, if you are walking up St. James, enter right, turn left on the long corridor filled with shops; cinema would have been immediately on the right, entered via a turnstile at the small ticket-window, I believe. Could that be the “Statler Building?” I’m not sure. I’m from Providence. I remember I could take a Bonanza bus to Boston, walk across the street from the station and be right there.