1 E. India Square Mall,
Salem, MA 01970

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Cinema Salem (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loews, Patriot Cinemas, Sack Theatres, USA Cinemas

Functions: Movies (Classic), Movies (Independent), Movies (Revival)

Previous Names: Salem 1-3, Salem Flick, Museum Place Cinemas

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 978.644.5111

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Interior view at CinemaSalem

This theatre opened as the Salem 1-3 on October 15, 1982, operated by Sack Theatres. Sack became USA Cinemas on January 17, 1986 and was bought by Loews on March 27, 1989. Loews closed it in early-December 1994. It became a Sony theatre but closed in mid-January 1995. It reopened on July 10, 1995 as the independent Salem Flick. In November 1997 it became part of the local Patriot Cinemas chain, but Patriot closed it on October 20, 2005.

It reopened once more as the locally-owned CinemaSalem on June 2, 2006 and an 18-seat fourth screen was added in what had previously been a games room.

It was closed on March 16, 2020 due to the mandatory closing of all movie theatre during the Covid-109 Pandemic. It was announced on June 3, 2020 that the CinemaSalem would be permanently closed. It had reopened on June 4, 2021, operating with 4-screens.

Contributed by CinemaJunkie, Ron Newman

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

chitchatjf on May 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm

They now have 4 screens

nspunx4 on April 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Cinema Salem has 3 screens. Always have and always will (unless the mall does a major remodel or the theatre is torn down) and I should know I installed the 35mm projection and sound equipment for Cinema Salem when they reopened it.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm

The website says it has 4 screens, and lists 4 films starting at times between 7 and 8 pm.

BUT, one of the films is listed as “Presented in our intimate 18-seat screening room”.

CSWalczak on December 6, 2012 at 12:48 am

As is the case with so many small, independent theaters, this theater’s survival is threatened by the need to convert to digital and has launched a fund-raising drive: View article

da_Bunnyman on March 8, 2018 at 7:29 pm

Sack Theaters opened this triple with a fairly big arcade next door. The arcade was never kept up to date and looked fairly run down after a few years. Not sure when it closed but the space was converted to another store by the mall.

PNRNetworks on June 3, 2020 at 8:04 am

CinemaSalem has announced it’s closure – Owner Paul Van Ness sent the following out in an email this morning:

On June 2, 2006, CinemaSalem opened its doors for the first time for a special free screening of The Wizard of Oz. After exactly 14 years of showing movies, launching film festivals, promoting cultural conversation, and popping tons of popcorn, CinemaSalem is closing. (Of course, we’ve actually been closed since March 16 when the state’s efforts to restrict the spread of the coronavirus required movie theaters to shutter.)

We have been working hard over the past six months to recruit new operators for the theater, and we succeeded in finding two well-qualified parties with creative business plans and community-oriented visions. But once the pandemic hit, neither believed they could find a way to make the numbers add up to a sustainable business.

Though the closing is sad, the time we’ve spent running CinemaSalem has been sweet as an opportunity to personally get to know hundreds of great people in the North Shore community and become much more aware of the richness of the local arts and culture scene. It’s been a profoundly joyful experience. We want to acknowledge the contributions made by many people and organizations around Salem, especially the Salem Film Fest organization, and Rinus Oosthoek and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

And we are deeply grateful to the large number of amazing people who worked at CinemaSalem over our colorful history. They were hard-working, entertaining, diverse, intelligent, quirky, hilarious and dedicated. We especially want to express appreciation to our incomparable long-time managers, Kereth, Shanna, and Peter.

Finally, we want to acknowledge the CinemaSalem community, the 829,741 people who bought tickets to movies and live events at our independent downtown movie theater over the past 14 years. You made it such a fun and vibrant place!

Thank you.

Paul Van Ness

chitchatjf on July 4, 2021 at 4:42 pm

You should relist this as open with only 3 screens (The 18 seat screening room may be seen as impractical in the days of physical distancing)

50sSNIPES on January 29, 2023 at 2:45 pm

The triplex Salem 1-3 opened as a first-run house on October 15, 1982 by Sack. The theater went under the operations of USA Cinemas from January 17, 1986 until March 26, 1989, Loews from March 27, 1989 until Early December 1994, and Sony Theatres from Early December 1994 until closure in mid-January 1995.

The theater reopened on July 10, 1995 as Salem Flick, retaining its first-run fare. In November 1997, it became part of the local Patriot Cinemas chain and was renamed “Patriot Cinemas at the Museum Place Mall” (or “Museum Place Cinemas” for short). The theater closed on October 20, 2005, and sat abandoned for nearly seven months.

The theater was then reopened as the CinemaSalem on June 2, 2006, running classic films, independent films, revival films, film festivals, and as well as special events.

CineNate on February 16, 2023 at 12:41 pm

50sSNIPES is incorrect on a few points:

The CinemaSalem era: CinemaSalem opened in 2006 as a first run theatre that occasionally has special showings. It did not specialize in any of the items listed. A “fourth” screen was added with a non-dci compliant projector to show independent and special films as the other screens were dedicated to first run films. Under the original CinemaSalem brand this was always a first run cinema. As it aged there was more of a focus on brining more community oriented programming in, but it was always focused on first run films. It’s important to note that there are two CinemaSalem eras. The original ended when Paul closed it in 2020. There are new owners and the eras are distinct.

Patriot Era: The name of the cinema after Flick cinemas left was “Museum Place Cinemas” or alternatively “Museum Place Cinemas 1-2-3”. The name was intended to keep the cinemas branding separate from the operator so it could change hands more transparently. It was never know as “The Patriot Cinemas at the Museum Place Mall”. Visit the internet archive for confirmation.

I just want to post this so that incorrect facts are not repeated and the original history lost.

Source: Me, Employee and Manager for both eras.

bvita on February 9, 2024 at 12:52 pm

The theatre is now a four screen. Our company, Total Cinema Solutions LLC, turned the former game room/cafe into a small fourth screen.

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