Loews Natick Cinema

1398 Worcester Road,
Natick, MA 01760

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 22, 2012 at 8:10 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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

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

ErikH
ErikH on September 7, 2009 at 4:21 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.

nightfly
nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 5:18 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.

bpjs
bpjs on February 18, 2009 at 12:44 am

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

nostalgio
nostalgio on May 22, 2007 at 12:20 pm

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.

MisterX
MisterX on December 7, 2006 at 1:46 pm

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.

ErikH
ErikH on September 18, 2005 at 11:29 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.

ErikH
ErikH on September 18, 2005 at 11:05 am

I assume that there must have been changes in the plan for the Loew’s Natick subsequent to the 1967 report; the theater was originally a single screen and not a twin. I went to the Loew’s often as a youngster and remember seeing “Oliver!” there in 1969 when it was a single screen, unlike the twin General Cinema at Shoppers World across Route 9. The first time I visited the Loew’s Natick after twinning (the auditorium was split down the middle) was for a reissue of “The Sound of Music.” “Last Tango” was playing in the other auditorium, so the year was probably 1973.

The estimated seating capacity from that report also seems high; the aggregate number of seats post twinning was probably closer to 1,200-1,500.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 28, 2005 at 5:34 am

The Loew’s Natick theatre is mentioned in the 1967 annual report of Loew’s Theatres, Inc. The report contains an artist’s rendering of the future theatre, with this caption:

“Loew’s first twin-theatre, with a combined seating capacity of 2,000, will be constructed in Natick, Massachusetts, adjacent to New England’s most beautiful shopping mall. Acres of free parking will be provided; Led by Route 9 and the Massachusetts Turnpike, an excellent network of roads services the area.”

Another page of the report lists the Natick theatre as “Open 1968”, but I don’t know if they met that deadline. It does appear that this was a twin from the very beginning, contrary to the description above.

pudovkin
pudovkin on May 7, 2005 at 10:51 pm

I saw Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke here in the late 1970s. At that time there was a Jack in the Box in front of it by Route 9. It was a pretty nondescript place with an obscure back entrance/exit that led into an industrial park.

snorwood
snorwood on February 22, 2005 at 10:13 am

This theatre doesn’t look anything like the Danvers Theatre (if the poster above was indeed referring to Hollywood Hits).

In its last days, this theatre was a true dump. When I saw Titan AE there, one of the front speakers was out of phase with the others and the projector was off-center with respect to the screen. No one (staff or customers) seemed to notice or care. This venue generally showed Columbia releases which didn’t make it to GCC Framingham.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 28, 2005 at 12:49 pm

Do you mean the former ‘Sack Cinema City’ in Danvers, which is now the Hollywood Hits Theatre?

bunnyman
bunnyman on January 28, 2005 at 11:06 am

This theatre was a twin to the Liberty Tree Mall Cinema in Danvers Ma built around the same time by Loews.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on November 16, 2004 at 11:02 pm

I went to a preview screening of “The Shawshank Redemption” here in 1994. The theater wasn’t that memorable, of course, but I never forgot where I saw that film for the first time.

br91975
br91975 on November 16, 2004 at 10:06 pm

The Loews Natick opened in 1969, was closed and demolished between January and February of this year, and replaced by a La-Z-Boy showroom and a Circuit City.