Loews Natick Cinema

1398 Worcester Road,
Natick, MA 01760

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Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally a single screen Loews theater opened in 1969, the theater was sold to Sack Cinemas in the mid 1970s which then twinned the spacious main auditorium (and then added two additional screens to the main auditorium and later added two additional screens on the other side of the lobby). This six screen complex became part of the USA Cinemas chain in the 1980s and then became part of the Sony chain (and ultimately full circle back to Loews).

The Natick complex became increasingly rundown during the 1990s and ultimately could not compete with the far larger General Cinema (now AMC) multiplex across Route 9 in Framingham, MA. Closed and demolished in early 2004.

Contributed by Erik Hestnes

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

ErikH
ErikH on September 18, 2005 at 8:29 am

I just glanced at the artist’s rendering of the Loew’s Natick in the 1967 report, which confirmed my impression that much changed between the report and construction. The artist’s rendering shows a large building with auditoriums situated on the left side. The shorter(non-auditorium) side of the building seems far too large just for a theater lobby; I assume that other commercial uses were contemplated for most of that space (another hint that other uses were planned is that the right side of the building has a separate front entrance from the theater).

The actual theater had a small lobby on the left side of the building with a single screen to the right of the lobby (two small auditoriums were added to the left of the lobby in the early 1980s), and throughout its existence the Loew’s remained a stand-alone structure. There were no other commercial uses.

MisterX
MisterX on December 7, 2006 at 10:46 am

I was a manager there in the 80’s. Yes, I did eat at the jack in the box and live. Yes, I did set the record for pulling beers off customers coming in. I did sit in the back one night and drink confiscated beer with a cheerleader. I was part of the group that hacked the video games so we could play them for free during the midnight showings. I did survive the endless showings of ET with 10,000 vomiting children endlessly. It was such a cool job, but paid nothing and they (Sack) worked us management as dogs. A vacation day meant we worked harder- and did not get another day off. Ah the fresh popcorn, Ah the weird pinkish lemonadey drink, ah the concession stand girls in those short polyester dresses….

When it was pulled down I went out one night and just for fun walked the remaining cement floor. I could still see the entire complex and walked around with my eyes closed. I still have my Sack ties. I wear them once in a while when I go to movies. I recently found a wad of free passes I had absconded with to give to friends, but must have forgotten about.

I do miss the place. It had some good seating 3 and 4.

nostalgio
nostalgio on May 22, 2007 at 9:20 am

I’d love to see some exterior pictures of this place from the 70s and the Rte 9 area in general. I remember even back in the 70s the exterior had a very retro feel with dark red paint and (I think) those cylindrical stainless accent lights. I remember it being EM Loews and then at some point becoming a ‘Sack Cinema’. I didn’t see too many movies at this theatre, as it seemed the GCC complex across the street in the Shopper’s World (outdoor mall version) had more offerings. I only recall seeing Monty Python’s Meaning of life here around 1983 and the last movie I ever saw here was Braveheart in 1995. The parking lot always annoyed me because so many people could not get the feel for the traffic pattern and the Rte9 light time was not good especially when multiple films ended simultaneously; I ususally snuck out the back way (Mercer Rd?). For some reason, I better remember the Jack-in-the-box fast food joint (which later became ‘The Taco Maker’) that was a standalone toward the front of the parking area. That’s probably more due to shameful counts of hours and quarters squandered at nearby Fun-N-Games; the Jack was better eating than the overpriced snack bars at FnG or Loews/Sack.

bpjs
bpjs on February 17, 2009 at 9:44 pm

I was an assistant manager at Sack Natick in the early 70s. It opened as a Sack operation with Live and Let Die and The Last Tango in Paris in June of 1973. We ran some edgy films including a couple of X rated R Crumb cartoons by Ralph Bakshi and a slightly edited R version of A Clockwork Orange. At that time films were not released in suburbia simultaneously with Boston so we were behind, except at Christmas when we ran The Way We Were. The theater lacked any character but it was fun to work at a movie. The films were free, both there and at any other theater I wished to visit. We had the two theaters, with 1500 seats total. During the school year the we were only open during the week in the evenings

nightfly
nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I remember the excitement when this was first constructed. It was promised to be a genuine “movie palace” where first-run films would be shown (as opposed to the second-run Cinema I and II across the street at Shopper’s World). Unfortunately, it turned out to be a concrete box with all the charm of a warehouse — it definitely looked like it had been designed and built by the lowest bidder. Saw “2001” (which, incidentally, was NOT first-run) there a few months after it opened. While I must have gone back at other times, I don’t have a single other memory of the place.

ErikH
ErikH on September 7, 2009 at 1:21 pm

During the early 1970s the Loews/Sack Natick probably had its share of simultaneous engagements with Boston first-run houses (it wasn’t unusual for B pictures or Disney releases to open day-and-date in Boston and the top suburban cinemas), but “The Way We Were” wasn’t one of them. “The Way We Were” had an exclusive run at the Circle in Brookline during the fall of 1973, which is where I saw it. “The Way We Were” wasn’t a Christmas release; IMDB states that the film opened in October 1973.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Mister X we can all relate,boy can we.LOL.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Mister X we can all relate,boy can we.LOL.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 22, 2012 at 5:10 pm

The entry for architect Sydney Schenker in the 1970 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists the Loew’s Theatre in Natick as one of his projects.

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