Coolidge Corner Theatre

290 Harvard Street,
Brookline, MA 02446

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Showing 26 - 50 of 64 comments

RichardCWolfe on May 7, 2010 at 10:04 am

Where is the entrance to this theatre? The 1986 photo posted above shows a normal theatre entrance, but current photos seem to suggest that the original entrance has been converted to other usage.

Does one have to walk down the alley to gain entrance to the auditorium portion of the building? What a shame that is, if in fact that is what you must do, to get into such a wonderful theatre. It would be kind of like entering a speakeasy.

chitchatjf on April 11, 2010 at 6:58 am

I had never been here until yesterday.
This is a fantastic theater.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 13, 2009 at 10:27 am

The Coolidge Corner has joined the Opera in Cinemas network which presents opera and ballet performances from various European theaters. Other eastern-Mass. cinemas in the network include the Loring Hall in Hingham, The Cape Ann Community in Gloucester and the Capawock on MV island.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 26, 2009 at 7:26 am

According to today’s Boston Herald, there will be a 75th birthday celebration for the Coolidge Corner tomorrow at 7PM. The news item says that the theater opened in December 1933, which means that it turned 75 last December. There is also a new book (or “booklet”, which implies that it’s not a full-size book) entitled “Only at the Coolidge: The Story of a Remarkable Movie Theater” by Susan Quinn. Those who attend the celebration will receive a copy of the book. The celebration will include prsentations by Susan Quinn and by Justin Freed. Admission: $15.

meredithlee on February 23, 2009 at 11:11 am

Thanks Ron! I spent A LOT of time there, can’t believe I forgot the name!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 23, 2009 at 11:00 am

Whoops, I linked to the wrong theatre with that name. Here’s the proper link to the former Academy Twin Cinemas in Newton Centre.

meredithlee on February 23, 2009 at 10:46 am

I remember sitting in the (mostly empty) balcony with school friends in 1970 watching the matinee double bill of IF IT’S TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE BELGIUM, and THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING. I don’t recall the films much, so I assume we were just talking a lot and fooling around. Same as I recall going to Fenway to see Red Sox games at the same age!
Does anyone remember the name of the little twin cinema that opened in Newton Center around the same time?

justinfielding on October 16, 2008 at 1:09 pm

For a look inside the Coolidge Corner Theatre (and the long-shuttered Wollaston Theater), please check out our “A Tale of Two Cinemas”:

MPol on August 20, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Thanks for submitting the photos, Lost Memory. The Coolidge Corner Theatre marquee is handsome even in the daytime, but it’s especially fantastic-looking at night, when it’s all lit up.

HowardBHaas on August 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm

2006 video about renovations including restored Art Deco foyer, restored Deco ceiling in 2nd screen (former balcony), Deco fountain in 3rd auditorium (former Ladies Lounge).
View link

MPol on July 8, 2008 at 11:56 pm

The Coolidge Corner Theatre, right along up there with the Brattle and the Somerville Theatres, is a favorite theatre of mine. Since I have a yearly membership at the Coolidge, I take as much advantage of it as I can, and have seen some wonderful classics there, including WSS. I like the marquee that they have up on top…it’s so cool. I even attended the lighting ceremony of the Coolidge Theatre marquee afew years ago, and it was so cool, seeing all those lights go on for the first time! It added a whole new look to the theatre, making it look even more like a movie palace. I like the new facelift that the entrance and the main theatre received. The chairs are down to four hundred and something now from 600, but it’s worth it, especially because the seats are far more comfortable. However, I only wish that the restrooms were a little bit brighter.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 1, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Ah, OK. I thought you were referring to the former lobby, part of which was converted to a restaurant.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 1, 2008 at 7:36 pm

To my knowledge, CVS has always been next door to the theater, not in the same building.

HowardBHaas on November 19, 2007 at 8:19 pm

AUDITORIUM PHOTOS of one of the best Art Deco moviehouses still showing movies daily in the US.

2007 photo of Auditorium facing curtained screen:

2005: View link
View link


2006 orchestra rear:
2006 shows some side decoration:

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 5, 2006 at 7:18 am

Ron- there is no street number given for the Brookline Theatre. Just “Washington Street”. The photo was taken in April 1941. The theatre entrance was at the right end of a business block at least 3 stories high. One door down on the left is “Boylston Candy Kitchen”. The theatre had a rectangular marquee with the letters spelling out “Brookline” on its top-front. Movies are “Hudson’s Bay” and “Jennie”, black letters on white background. The Report states that the theatre was opened in 1939 (it looks older than that); that it shows MGM films; that it’s in Excellent condition; that it has 800 orchestra seats and 400 balcony seats.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 4, 2006 at 7:21 am

What was the address of the ‘Brookline Theatre on Washington Street’? This one is news to me.

The Hancock Village Theatre is listed here as Village Cinema. It was in the Boston neighborhood of West Roxbury, very near the border with Brookline. It closed in the late 1980s or early 1990s and was subsequently demolished.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 4, 2006 at 7:15 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Coolidge Corner Theatre has an exterior photo taken in April 1941. This shows the original entrance on Harvard Street. There is a rectangular marquee with “Coolidge Corner” on the front and just “Coolidge” on the side. The movie is “Back Street”. The Report states that the theatre is not a MGM customer; that it’s in Excellent condition and has 800 seats on the main floor and 400 in the balcony. There are also MGM Reports for the Circle Th. in Brookline and the Brookline Th. on Washington St., both filled out in 1941. Plus a later report for the Hancock Village Theatre in Brookline, which appears to be a strip-mall cinema circa 1950.

coolidge on June 13, 2006 at 10:13 am

The Coolidge Corner Theatre is actively building an archive of the Theaterâ€\s history and we need your help. Please share any photos, memories, or documents you may have that will help us storyboard this art deco treasure. Weâ€\ll publish special articles and photos on our website as the material comes in, and youâ€\ll be rewarded with free passes to create new memories. Please contact us at:

tinydr on May 22, 2006 at 12:30 pm

If I remember correctly, as of several years ago there were 598 seats in “Moviehouse I” (the large theater). I heard from a former coworker that seats had recently been replaced?

Oh, one tidbit, there’s still an organ room in Moviehouse I from back when the stage was in use. It isn’t publicly accessible (good thing, you have to climb up a rather treacherous ladder and climb through a trapdoor to access it. If you’re in MHI and look to the exit door directly to the right of the screen, it’s above that, concealed by curtains. There is no organ, but there are still openings for pipes in the ceiling.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 3, 2006 at 4:06 pm

I just came back from seeing CSA: The Confederate States of America in that tiny new screening room. I counted only 16 seats, some fixed, some moveable. In any event, the number of screens should officially be changed to four.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 3, 2006 at 6:54 am

The Coolidge now has effectively four screens, though the newest and smallest has only 20 seats, with movable folding chairs. Newspaper ads include films (and videos) in all four rooms.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 25, 2006 at 5:08 pm

This theatre is shown as BEACON UNIVERSALIST CHURCH on a 1919 map of Brookline. Look at the bottom left corner of the map, on the west side of Harvard Street just north of Beacon Street.

Roark on December 2, 2005 at 10:01 pm

Nice Photo Larry J. Davis