Back Bay Screening Room

19 Arlington Street,
Boston, MA 02116

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Back Bay Screening Room

The Garden Cinema was opened on March 27, 1970 with Leonard Whiting & Olivia Hussey in “Romeo and Juliet”. By 1976 it had been renamed Back Bay Screening Room and continued into the 1980’s.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

BrianKinney33 on May 8, 2004 at 9:55 pm

This was also called The Back Bay Screening Room. I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show here before it became a cult hit.

dickdziadzio on July 8, 2004 at 3:01 pm

What was the Theatre still exists half way between Newbury
and Boylston on the Public Alley Way in back of Arlington
St. Church. What was the very small auditorium area about 40 feet
down the alley now has boarded
up windows. The front part of the building until recently was some kind of French Coffee house,
now closed, and is now being renovated into something else.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 8, 2004 at 3:39 pm

Richard, many thanks. I want to check out that location soon. I can’t for the life of me remember if I ever went there, although I seem to remember an ad for Roman Polanski’s “What” (a.k.a. “Diary of Forbidden Dreams”) which may have played there around 1972.

dickdziadzio on August 9, 2004 at 1:41 pm

Gerald, The small lobby area is now being converted to the
Thomas Moser Cabinet/Furniture store. The City Of Boston
Construction permit on the front door is listed as 19 Arlington.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 7, 2005 at 9:56 am

If this is the current Thomas Moser store, then its address is 19 Arlington Street, Boston 02116. I’d guess that the former auditorium is now used as storage, but I don’t know that for sure.

David DeCoteau
David DeCoteau on July 13, 2008 at 10:09 pm

George Mansour discusses this theatre here…
View link

da_Bunnyman on March 12, 2018 at 8:00 pm

During it’s time as The Back Bay Screening Room, it was owned by the same chain that owned the Paris and The Orson Welles Cinema.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Boxoffice of January 26, 1970, said that Esquire Cinemas of America was building a twin cinema at 19 Arlington Street in Boston. Target dates for completion were March 15 for Cinema 1 and May 15 for Cinema 2, access for which was to be provided both by stairs and an elevator.

Although Boxoffice reported that a permit had been issued for a twin, it appears that only the one auditorium was completed. Bert Fedderman [sic] was the architect and decorator for the project, Boxoffice said. An article in The New York Times of November 7, 1983, quoted architect Burt Federman as saying that he had built more than 1,000 theaters, all of them multi-screen, since 1966. Maybe he forgot that the Garden Theatre ended up as a single-screen house.

dallasmovietheaters on September 17, 2020 at 5:44 pm

At one time operated by CATE Enterprises Circuit.

rivest266 on March 21, 2021 at 4:26 pm

The Garden Cinema opened on March 27th, 1970 with “Romeo and Juliet”. Grand opening ad posted.

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