Embassy Theatre

Moody Street,
Waltham, MA 02453

Unfavorite 8 people favorited this theater

Waltham Embassy 1967

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on April 22, 1928, this was advertised as Waltham’s Wonder Theatre. Located on Moody Street across the street from Grover Cronin, the Embassy Theatre was the city’s favorite show palace. It was closed and torn down in 1972. It remains a vacant lot to this day.

In 1998, Landmark built a new Embassy Theatre behind the vacant lot where the original Embassy Theatre stood.

Contributed by David Wodeyla

Recent comments (view all 34 comments)

MPol
MPol on July 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Since the Embassy Theatre was located in Walthem, which was one of the towns that abutted my old home town, we used to go there frequently as kids, and, often enough, we’d often see other kids that we knew from my old hometown there at the theatre, on a Saturday afternoon, for both good and bad. Since Grover Cronin’s Department Store (which has since been converted into condos) was pretty much right across the street, some times a whole day would be made of it; shopping at Grover Cronin’s, and a movie at the Embassy Theatre. I remember that the Embassy Theatre was very baroque-looking inside, so going to the theatre itself was an artistic experience. Alas, the Embassy was torn down, making way for the more sterile and antiseptic-looking multiplex cinema(s) that now exist.

Forrest136
Forrest136 on July 11, 2008 at 2:10 am

The sad thing is the new cinemas were not even built on the same site! What a mistake it was tearing it down!

MPol
MPol on July 19, 2008 at 9:41 am

I agree, Forrest136. The Embassy/Landsmark Theatre, on Waltham’s Pine Street, is sort of a phony effort to implement a sort of “something old, something new” project, as were the Lowe’s Cinemas (now bought out by AMC Theatres) Theatres. Unfortunately, it’s not really working. The moviegoing public isn’t fooled that easily, I don’t think. Plus, I went to the new Landsmark/Embassy Theatre to see the film “Liberty Heights”, which I thought was OK and enjoyed, but there was something really creepy about the general area; it wasn’t well lit, and neither was the parking lot behind it. As a woman, I found it rather creepy going back out to that poorly-lit parking lot later that night after the movie.

Before the Landsmark/Embassy Theatre was built, however, there was a (now-defunct) multiplex Cinema in Waltham’s Totten Pond Road area, right off of Route 128, in a rather secluded spot and somewhat close to the Waltham-Lincoln line, on Waltham’s Winter Street, which was then a sort of a “Lover’s Lane”, where young couples would go, park and make out in their cars. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of fights over there, and one girl even got assaulted, at one point. In another rather grisly incident, (back in the 1970’s, when I was already out of high school, thank heavens), a group of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School students hitchhiked somewhere one Saturday night, while on a date. The guys, sensing that something was a little bit wierd, had the men who’d picked them up let the girls in the group off first. Then things took a nastier, more vicious turn. The boys in the group later said that the men who’d picked them up had been drinking, but did not seem unfriendly. One of the boys received a concussion after being hit over the head with a blunt, heavy instrument. The other boy almost got run over by their attackers' car while escaping. This particular multiplex cinema, too, like the Landsmark/Embassy, was a very antiseptic-looking theatre. Not withstanding that, however, the fact that it was located in such a secluded area, with a lot of wierd stuff going
on at night makes me wonder if that had any bearing of the eventual closing down of this particular cineplex. Anyway, I’m glad that I’ve found some movie theatres in this area that I like going to.

I’ve thought of buying a yearly membership to the Brattle Theatre, in addition to the one that I already have at the Coolidge, but, unfortunately, the Brattle Theatre’s still not out of the woods financially. I hope they do get out of the woods eventually, however.

I think that there’ll always be cinephiles (myself included) who enjoy seeing certain films.

ggates
ggates on July 19, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Very strange story, MPol. You remind me of someone who lived in Wellesley and had a photo in her purse, of herself wearing shoes. But that was 20 years ago. Couldn’t be….

Forrest136
Forrest136 on July 20, 2008 at 12:13 am

Folks! Lets stick to information about the movie theaters! lol

jimmo531
jimmo531 on August 14, 2008 at 1:42 am

I had already submitted the following comment on the page for the Embassy Cinemas, before I saw the separate listing for my old hometown theater:

As a resident of Waltham from 1958 to 1979, who attended the old Embassy Theater many times in my formative years, I can attest that the posting by bclarrk on 8/15/2005 is correct.

The former Embassy Theater was located on Moody Street, directly across the street from the block where the former Grover Cronin’s department store once stood. What may be stated correctly, however, is that the parking lot for the current Embassy multiplex theaters shares roughly the same space as the parking lot for the original Embassy. Furthermore, the current Embassy is on the same city block as that of the original Embassy facility.

In fact, I recall many times entering the old Embassy from that back entrance/exit, and it even had posters of coming & current attractions and a ticket-selling area, though it was chiefly used to exit more quickly after a film had ended, and to gain quicker access (& escape) for the theater’s automobile-driven patrons.

What actually exists on the former Embassy lot (or did, at least through the early 1990’s) is/was one of those rather useless municipal monstrosities, marked by a few benches and a mural, I believe done by some students of the Waltham Public Schools on the side of a building—to my recollection anyway. The functional purpose of this site is/was as a cross-over to the parking lot and a recreational area along the banks of the Charles River, adjacent to which is also some public housing, I believe occupied by some of Waltham’s senior citizenry.

The previous comment that the current Embassy is situated where the former Waltham “Daily News-Tribune" once stood, on Pine Street, is likewise correct. The current “Tribune,” which last I heard is on Moody Street after a period operating in the Rte. 128 area, exists in name only; was absorbed by the Johnson family-owned Fidelity Investments group, which operated as “Community Newspapers,” was then was bought up by the current “Boston Herald.” This is not the same “News-Tribune” once owned by the Skakel family and edited by Thomas Murphy and Larry Grady.

Also, bclarkk’s comment about Guy Lombardo’s band being the last, official engagement booked at the original Embassy, rings true. I recall the last film I saw at the old Embassy was “Night of Dark Shadows,” the second theatrical feature based on the cult favorite, ABC-TV horror soap opera, and I believe that was in the summer of 1971.

Quite often after seeing films at the old Embassy Theater (which in those days sometimes included a second feature & usually Three Stooges' or cartoon shorts, all for the vast sum of $0.50-to-$0.75 cents), my family &/or friends would head over to the old Liggett’s Drug Store, located kitty-corner to the Embassy and parallel/perpendicular (depending upon your perspective) to the Grover Cronin’s block, on the corner or Moody & Crescent Streets, for more refreshments if the then-inexpensive candy, popcorn & soda at the Embassy hadn’t been enough! Today, as we all know, the cost of refreshments, even for one person, is about the price of another admission.

Liggett’s, which sported one of those familiar “Rexall Drugs” signs on the outside, on the inside had a great, old-fashioned soda fountain, adjacent to its pharmacy and retail area; in the back of the counter seating area were two phone booths—the kind with wooden-encased glass doors & seats inside for comfort & privacy in conducting private telephone conversations—a concept foreign to the cellphone chatterers of today!

Then, maybe after a quick bite to eat at Liggett’s after the film at the Embassy (and a phone call home to see what time to be home for supper), maybe it was across the street and up the block to Discland, to browse for the latest Beatles, Herman’s Hermits or Motown singles. As far as I know, Discland was still in operation as of sometime in the 1990s, though it had bounced around to various locations within that few blocks’ radius on Moody Street. In fact, I bought my first, 45 r.p.m. single at Disclandâ€"it was Patty Duke’s “Don’t Just Stand There” b/w “Everything But Love,” the A-side a rip-off of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.” But what did I know any better then? I just loved watching Duke on her ABC-TV sitcomâ€"that one where “cousins are two-of-a- kind.”

Truly, those WERE the days!

dlangan
dlangan on December 30, 2009 at 12:38 pm

am i right that the embassy was very close to a railroad track,that used to be so busy during the war that it seemed like there were miles of trains carrying tanks and planes.also right next to the movies was a water fall???.also there were two other movie houses to the right and to the left of the embassy several blocks away.

screenlover
screenlover on July 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Growing up as a kid in Waltham i just about lived in the Embassy.It was great loved it when i look back at the mid 1960s the frist thing i think of when someone says remember the Embassy? i say how can anyone ever forget that wonderful place.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 8, 2012 at 7:50 am

Sketches for a proposed Chinese atmospheric in Waltham in 1929. Was it ever built? archive

atmos
atmos on August 27, 2012 at 2:59 am

Tinseltoes I think that design may have been used for the Oriental Theatre in Boston/Mattapan.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater