Copley Place Cinemas

100 Huntington Avenue,
Boston, MA 02116

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A cramped uncomfortable mall multiplex opened by Sack Theatres in February 1984, the Copley Place was widely hated for its postage-stamp screening rooms that often
required viewers to look upward at the movie screen.

It was initially a showcase for foreign and art films, but later became a mostly mainstream house after Loews began closing its other Boston theatres right and left in the 1990s.

After Loews opened its state-of-the-art Boston Common multiplex in July 2001, the Copley Place again became a home for art films. But Loews never put much energy into repositioning it, and most of its films were also showing at much more comfortable theatres in Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, or Waltham.

The Copley Place closed its doors forever after the last shows on Sunday, January 30, 2005. It was replaced by a Barneys New York clothing store. Its closing left central Boston with only two movie theatres: Loews Boston Common and the AMC Fenway 13.

Contributed by Ron Newman

Recent comments (view all 129 comments)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 1, 2008 at 3:08 am

It lasted 21 years — that’s reasonably long.

chitchatjf
chitchatjf on April 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm

A crappy cinema that showed good films.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on April 21, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I remember when this opened when I was in law school. Typical 1980s cubbyhole shoebox auditoriums without much rake, plain seats, small screens, and not impressive sound.

joeboden
joeboden on July 12, 2010 at 11:27 pm

I was an assistant manager at Copley Place back in 1988 (I also worked at the Nick from ‘87-'88 and was briefly an assistant manager there in '89). Sad to hear it had closed (I’ve been living overseas for years), even though it wasn’t much of a venue. We used to do most of the press and trade screenings in the city at the time… even had an armed guard there the day we had the press screening of “The Last Temptation of Christ”. Nicholas Cage also showed up for the premiere of “Vampire’s Kiss” during the BFF that year (we snuck him in through the back entrance from the parking garage).

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Several comments above mentioned the Institute of Contemporary Art, its temporary use of one screen at Copley Place, and the ICA’s old theatre on Boylston Street. In 2006, the ICA moved to a beautiful new building on Fan Pier, including a steeply raked theatre used for both live performances and movies. I’ve added it to CinemaTreasures, as the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater at the ICA.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm

this might have been posted,Could have missed it ,but “THE BOSTONIANS” with Christopher Reeve had the premiere here.It broke all house records at the time over the weekend.

sweetmel
sweetmel on May 20, 2012 at 6:03 am

Yes, it was really small. I saw Napolian Dynamight there. I think it was one of the last movies they showed there.

telliott
telliott on August 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Having just been to Boston for the first time, I’m surprised that someone (Landmark, Angelika, Sundance) didn’t grab this site, gut it and reformat as a 5 or 6 screen complex, given it’s location by Prudential Center, Copley Place and all the hotels, restaurants etc in the area. Seems like the perfect location, right in the middle between the AMC Loews Boston Common and the Regal Fenway. If they had combined some of the cinemas and made them larger with larger screens, sound systems etc,this may have made a great little multiplex. Found it odd that this hadn’t happened given the location.

rivest266
rivest266 on May 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

This opened on February 17th, 1984. Its grand opening ad has been posted here.

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