Off The Wall Cinema

15 Pearl Street,
Cambridge, MA 02139

Unfavorite 15 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 109 comments

michaelnicholson on February 22, 2024 at 4:21 pm

Yes, there will be a screening in December of Off the Wall films at the Brattle Theater. However we are trying to contact as many filmmakers, artists and anyone with a connection to Off the Wall to have a live event as well. You can contact me at . Larry, Jay, David, Mike and I are all involved, but as we are not getting any younger, this will be the last chance for celebration!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 17, 2023 at 5:30 pm

Will you hold this event at the Brattle?

michaelnicholson on December 17, 2023 at 4:30 pm

Hello all. December 13, 2024 will be the 50th anniversary of the opening of Off the Wall Cinema. We are starting to plan what we can do to mark this occasion. Lifetime Members, patrons, filmmakers, media and friends, if you wish to contribute or comment on this endeavor, please contact me at . Let’s make this memorable! !

MaxAndDave on April 24, 2019 at 8:34 pm

The former owners of Off the Wall are VERY sad to learn of the passing of David Kleiler, a man who was as much of a Boston institution as the Coolidge Corner Theater (, which he saved and maintained. He was a true friend of independent cinema and, we’re proud to say, a friend of ours.

da_Bunnyman on March 11, 2018 at 11:09 pm

Some random memories of Off The Wall. First time I went there at the original location was for a screening of Between Time And Timbuktu, a film in Boston, PBS production based on some Kurt Vonnegut stories. It seemed to become a fill in film for their schedule for awhile. The famous Betty Boop show was a fill in when a show did not draw well. It was supposed to be in for a week or so but became hugely popular and ended up running for a month or two.
They were also one of the first places to revive the film Head starring The Monkees.

jonathan_o on April 10, 2017 at 3:21 pm

MaxandDave, you know I will! ;–) One other thing I want to say is that the programs prove OTW was every bit as great as we remember it was, if not even greater. I’m looking at “Jazz Women” and “Hot Jazz” (printed on two sides of the same sheet, but IIRC they were separate shows), and this was truly amazing stuff. There was obviously a lot of love involved in planning and bringing together all these short films, not to mention typing up the extensive notes, including full instrument credits for each film. So again, thanks from the bottom of my heart to everyone who did all the hard work.

MaxAndDave on April 7, 2017 at 9:36 pm

jonathan_o, thanks for the memories! You’re probably right when you say there‚Äôll never be another place like it, but hold onto your Lifetime Membership, just in case! :–)

jonathan_o on April 7, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Thrilled to find Off the Wall here!!! Hands down my favorite venue, ever – a truly magical place. I moved to Boston in the early ‘70s and found it right away; I came for the Looney Tunes, stayed for the NFBC and experimental animation and so much more. Still have my lifetime membership card and programs from every show I went to (valuable for looking up titles from 40 years ago).

Endless thanks to Michael and his partners and to everyone who brought the magic to Boston. There’ll never be another place like it.

PS: Trivia – the Pearl Street location that had previously housed 100 Flowers Bookstore – that store was a coop where you swapped work for discounts on books. Wordsworth pretty much killed that model. It was co-owned by one of sf author Anne McCaffrey’s sons.

michaelnicholson on March 1, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Off th Wall is in the news again, at least in the Boston Globe. First, Names and Faces quoted Casey Affleck as saying that the first movie he saw (at age 6) was at the “dearly departed” OTW. Unfortunately, “The Harder They Come” played at the Orson Welles, not OTW. I sent the Globe an e-mail saying that perhaps he and Ben and Matt went to the Alternative Family Cinema. Mark Shanahan obviously read that Casey interview because today, in a front page story on the Affleck brothers he said that they grew up watching films at OTW. Did they? Most likely, but at least we can boast of actual Oscar winning Patrons! michaelnicholson

DaleTheSmall on September 4, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Steve Burstein! Wow, I was just thinking about you last week…no joke! How’s by you, Groucho??

MaxAndDave on September 1, 2016 at 11:46 pm

Steve Burstein. Hmmm. Didn’t you once do a routine about the Three Stooges performing Shakespeare?

SteveBurstein on September 1, 2016 at 8:41 pm

I performed at Off the Wall, during “Comedy Clubhouse at Off the Wall” hosted by Ron Lynch, with local theatre legend Dorothy Dwyer and Burlesque Queen Cyndi Freeman.

rausifer on February 13, 2016 at 5:50 pm

Sadly, I don’t. When it reopens I will have to negotiate with Michael. :)

MaxAndDave on February 10, 2016 at 12:20 pm

I did work there. I was usually behind the counter doling out cheesecake and congo bars, running the projector or cleaning up between shows. Sometimes all three! I still have my lifetime membership, of course. Hope you have yours!

rausifer on February 10, 2016 at 11:45 am

You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’m sorry I didn’t post it sooner. Did you work there? If so, God bless you. I absolutely loved that place and it was a privilege to meet Michael and David who were so friendly and helpful. -Rick

MaxAndDave on February 10, 2016 at 8:48 am

rausifer, thank you for holding onto that ancient footage all these years and especially for posting it! It was really fun to see Michael and David and the theatre (and the funky old office). It really brought me back. Looking forward to the finished piece.

rausifer on February 9, 2016 at 10:06 pm

OK, it’s up! WARNING – I’m using an “evaluation copy” of capture software so don’t turn up your speakers too loud! Working on the “finished” piece now… much shorter so should take less time…

MaxAndDave on February 8, 2016 at 9:16 am

Hey, looking forward!

rausifer on February 7, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Thanks, I will. It is still uploading, sorry… I have a very poor connection here. Probably won’t be done till tomorrow morning.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 7, 2016 at 8:11 pm

You need to make the video public or else none of us can watch it.

rausifer on February 7, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Hi everybody – I have finally gotten around to uploading my student TV project about Off The Wall! I’m uploading 2 videos – the first is the “raw footage” which was better quality because it is 3rd generation (keep in mind this is 30+ yr old ½" open reel tape!). The second is the piece itself which is about 4 minutes long. Here is the link to the first: I will put up the second tomorrow if/when the first one finishes uploading tomorrow!

MaxAndDave on July 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm

A true classic. RIP George Coe.

mae10 on July 30, 2015 at 11:11 am

Not quite the same as watching it at OTW, but De Duva — one of our all-time favorites for sure — is available here:

michaelnicholson on July 30, 2015 at 9:08 am

George Coe passed away on July 18. He was 86. George will always be remembered as the producer, director and star of one of OTW’s favorite films, “De Duva (The Dove), an Oscar nominated short in 1968. Quoting lines of dialogue became a favorite passtime among OTW staff and patrons. The film was also notable for the film debut of Madeline Kahn ("Phallican symbol?).

michaelnicholson on July 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I’m sorry to say that animator Jane Aaron died on June 27. The cause was cancer. She was 67. Jane’s film “Remains of the Day” was in the last “Magic Movies” show at OTW. Like Karen Aqua, Jane worked for Sesame Street, completing almost 200 shorts: the letter X, numbers 1-20, and many Elmo’s World segments. michaelnicholson