From first-run summer blockbusters, to Oscar-winning independent films, movies are a big part of the Boston arts and entertainment scene. Boston's rich cinematic tradition is buoyed by a number of first rate independent cinemas. Beyond the indie and foreign films that you would expect at smaller movie theaters, many of Boston's best indie cinemas offer first-run movies and some even offer replays of movies from our past. Whether you relish summer matinees or going to the movies for Friday night date night, Boston's movie scene is strong as ever.
The battle for the title of Boston's Best Indie Cinema featured 9 nominees in 2012. For some the movie selection made the difference, while others picked their favorite cinema from the concessions; in the end, more than 550 voters chimed in. If the results proved anything, it's that Boston is an amazing place for movie lovers. Here are the Top 5 Best Indie Cinemas on the 2012 Boston A-List:
The Capitol Theatre has been a mainstay in the Arlington community since originally opening in 1925. The Capitol features 6 screens and as part of the most recent addition in 2010, added state-of-the-art REAL 3-D and a number of new concessions. As if Tess H. needed more convincing: "and now they sell beer and wine... it's like going to the movies in Europe!" Eric R. makes the case for why The Capitol got his vote: "Richardson's Ice Cream AND a movie? Yes please! They also occasionally feature special events, like screenings of old favorites."
Capitol Theatre; 204 Massachusetts Ave Arlington, MA 02474; (781) 648-4340
Fourth place goes to Harvard Square's Brattle Street Theatre. The Brattle has been showing movies on its single screen since 1953. Voter Adine S. points out that "the projection come from BEHIND the screen," noting that "the selection of films" is "unexpected and educational and enjoyable." The Brattle describes their film genre as "classic, cutting-edge, foreign, and art-house films." That suits Craig E. just fine; he has been going to this "hole down the stairs on Brattle Street for years" and gets nostalgic remembering "the brown bag popcorn" and "the balcony, [which] still conjures memories from years ago."
Brattle Street Theatre; 40 Brattle St Cambridge, MA 02138; (617) 876-6837
In third place is the Somerville Theatre. Since it opened in 1914, the Somerville Theatre has anchored Somerville's Davis Square neighborhood. The 5-screen theatre has "tons of charm" according to Matthew P. , who adds that the Somerville Theatre is "not at all like the cubicles that other theaters are." In 2008, the Somerville Theatre became one of the first movie theaters in the New England region to offer beer and wine; Voter Andrew D. is clearly impressed by the "full set of Harpoon Beers to enjoy with your movie." In addition to films, the Somerville Theatre hosts many concerts throughout the year, and in the past has seen the likes of U2, Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Guster and many more play on the main stage.
Somerville Theatre; 55 Davis Sq Somerville, MA 02144; (617) 625-5700
Clocking in at #2 is the Kendall Square Cinema. Part of the Landmark Theaters Group, the Kendall Square Cinema is located behind the One Kendall Square Center and has its own "convenient parking garage," which is a huge plus for voter Gerard R. The movies range from documentaries, and foreign films, to "indie films from the known to the obtuse" according to Greg A. Voter Luisa R. loves the “awesome throwback movies” while Marilyn J. urges moviegoers not to skip the popcorn, which is the "best in town [and] freshly popped all day."
Kendall Square Cinema; 1 Kendall Square Cambridge, MA 02141; (617) 499-1996
Last and certainly not least is the #1 Indie Cinema in Boston: the Coolidge Corner Theatre. The Coolidge, which is operated as not-for-profit organization, has been a mainstay at the intersection of Harvard Ave and Beacon Street in Brookline since 1933. Voters love it all. Andre H. digs the "big old school movie premiere" atmosphere while David S. appreciates that "there's always something worthwhile playing." The popcorn isn't too shabby either and is made "with real butter" notes Liza H. The Coolidge also serves wine and local beer and ice cream. Mona T. puts it best when she asks "What would Brookline be without The Coolidge? (hint:not as good!)"
Coolidge Corner Theatre; 290 Harvard St Brookline, MA 02446; (617) 734-2501
Honorable Mention: Dedham Community Theatre, West Newton Cinema, Embassy Cinema Waltham and Studio Cinema
That's what voters said, but what do you think? Add your comment below.
Published in: winners