No matter how good a film is, where you see it will affect your overall movie-going experience and perhaps even your impressions of the film itself. Movie theaters can range from “Buttery Gold Popcorn Good” to “Pee-scented, Fuzzy Screen Terrible.” Ultimately movie theaters add to and support a film like an ice cream cone does to scoops of Cherry Garcia. Here are my picks for the best movie theaters in my hometown of Boston.
Pros: Cheapest tickets in Boston ($5 weekday matinee and $8 evening admission!) Independently run. Nice selection of current and independent films. Great concession stand that sells ice cream, beer and wine. Beautiful interior/marquee. Is the main theater used for the annual Independent Film Festival of Boston. Is used for lots of concerts and even houses the Museum of Bad Art in its basement. Great location in Davis Square.
Cons: Small seats. Not enough restrooms.
Pros: Independently run. Fantastic selection of classic films and foreign films. Holds special events, discussions and question and answer sessions with special guests. Concession stand with tea, coffee, beer and wine. Has played host to the annual Independent Film Festival of Boston. Great location in Harvard Square.
Cons: Only one (small) screen. Rarely shows current films that are played in other theaters.
Kendall Square Cinema
Pros: Plays a fantastic selection of first-run independent films, often before any other theater in Boston plays them. Clean, spacious and fun lobby. Diverse selection of free popcorn flavorings. Convenient parking.
Cons: Out-of-the-way location makes it a hassle to walk to from the Kendall Square T-station, especially in the cold.
AMC Loews Boston Common
Pros: Huge theatre with many (big) screens. Great lineup of films, from the biggest 3D Blockbusters to the smallest indie films. Spacious lobbies filled with huge posters. Stadium seating, digital projection. Occasionally holds special screenings with special guests (I saw a free advanced screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button here with actress Taraji P. Henson present to answer questions.) Convenient location at Boston Common.
Cons: Very expensive tickets. Screenings tend to sell out soon. Can get very crowded and can be difficult to find seats. Concession stands only sell basic snacks and drinks.
Coolidge Corner Theatre
Pros: Independently owned not-for-profit theater (take that executives at Fox and MGM!) Gorgeous marquee and interior. Awesome selection of first-run independent and foreign films. Also holds special series of classic and art house films occasionally hosted by prominent industry professionals. Also hosts the annual Coolidge Award, a celebration of an important film person’s life. Past award recipients have included Meryl Streep and Zhang Yimou who both attended. Also has hosted the annual Independent Film Festival of Boston.
Cons: Matinee tickets cost $7.75 (the first showing of feature films before 4 PM)
What are your favorite theaters in other cities?