Comments from IanJudge

Showing 126 - 150 of 247 comments

IanJudge commented about Orpheum Theatre on Oct 9, 2005 at 4:03 pm

Why on earth would they leave rare instruments in the basement? You would think that if these pieces were really that valuable, somebody would move them to an upper floor.

IanJudge commented about Brattle Theatre on Oct 6, 2005 at 5:17 pm

It is truly embarassing that nearby Harvard University has the largest endowment of any university in the world and has not yet stepped up to the plate to save something so valuable to the greater Cambridge community. If the Brattle closes, that will be the final nail in the coffin of Harvard Square. It is sickening.

IanJudge commented about Somerville Theatre on Oct 3, 2005 at 6:55 pm

The website has been (and continues to be) updated with some great new photos and history of some of Somerville’s other historic theaters. It is a great resource for anyone local with an interest in old theaters.

Our midnight series was quite sucessful despite our limited publicity budget, so audiences may see more specialty programming at Somerville in the future. Thanks to all those that attended!

-Ian Judge
Somerville Theatre

IanJudge commented about AMC Boston Common 19 on Sep 10, 2005 at 5:41 am

Boston is already getting a superior film festival – the Independent Film Festival of Boston, which has been well documented in the local major newspapers as being the film festival Boston has deserved for years. It takes place at the Coolidge, Brattle, MFA, and Somerville theaters. Every year it gets more popular and has a stronger and remarkable schedule of independent films. They have a website,

IanJudge commented about Landmark Kendall Square Cinema on Aug 6, 2005 at 12:07 pm

Well, Ironchef, care to tell me who you are since I am not afraid to sign my own name to my own words? Not that I want to turn this cinema-enthusiast webpage about the Kendall into a giant running internet argument about the (yawn) same old Somerville strike stuff, mind you.

“yep, in order to expedite the contract negotiations the strikers allowed other union members to take their spots at the somerville theatre and take work at other theatres the union represented. no big deal.”

Umm, and what theaters do they work at? Seems to me (and I honestly DO believe it is a shame) that there is not enough work for the senior projectionists in the local, nevermind newcomers.

And as far as the ‘slander’ clause, 1) That contract expired (though we auto-renewed it because we LIKE our union workers) and I have said nothing but good things about the IATSE union, not anything slanderous.

“i’d like to think that all the worker perform important roles in keeping a theatre running and that’s not very nice of you to demean the work of your floor staff like that.”

Again, I am only relating what THEY expressed to me. Ask any of my staff members how they feel about me, I have full confidence you will hear good things.

You mistake my own personal feelings about the individuals who struck at Somerville with how I feel about unions. Talk to any of the long-time union projectionists in the local and they will tell you how I supported them during my tenure at Loews. Talk to my father, who is active in his union, or my stepfather, who also is a union member at his job. If you talk to me personally about my politics you would find I am a reasonable man and quite supportive of labor rights. Talk to former Kendall Square employee Nancy, who helped the campaign to unionize the Kendall (as mentioned above) and she will tell you I supported her efforts.

You may counter this with ‘why didn’t you help your own employees when they tried to organize if you love labor so much?’ To that I say that the night the 3 organizers came to me with the union rep, I gave no answer (being that I was not in a position to do so, since I do not own the theater) and the reply I got from one was ‘if you don’t meet our requests we are walking tomorrow’. This was a threat. I didn’t hear “we are signing cards and will continue to work”. So I replied “nice working with you then” because I knew they weren’t following procedure (like the smart people at Kendall, or the projection staff at Loews LTM who did it the right way).

To be candid, I was so personally offended by the hate directed towards me by employees who had never ever expressed their problems with me in any way before this assault. I did not decide their wages, they worked flexible schedules, and I honestly felt I had treated them kindly in passing, and yet they directed so much hate and malice towards me personally in this process that to this day I find myself saddened by the whole thing.

I am sure you will respond, and perhaps justly so, but after that I ask that perhaps you contact me privately (I believe you can email me through this site) so that our squabble does not hijack this nice website.

“anyway. congrats to the kendall workers! you rock!”

I wholeheartedly agree!

IanJudge commented about Boston Opera House on Aug 4, 2005 at 4:25 am

I personally think the “Opera House” name is silly – it wasn’t built or designed as an opera house (for example, the way Boston’s late REAL Opera House on Huntington Ave. was). It was built as the B. F. Keith’s Memorial – and was known as RKO Keith’s for the majority of it’s existence.

I love how Menino cares so much about a NAME and yet had no qualms about letting a great theater like the Gaiety/Publix fall to the wrecking ball.

IanJudge commented about Landmark Kendall Square Cinema on Aug 2, 2005 at 11:38 am

dwodeyla is correct – most theatre employees like their work despite the low wages – working at a theater is different than a restaurant or cafe, and if you have a good manager and the staff gels, it can be a really fun place to work.

It is my understanding through talking to a former Kendall employee, that the greater issue at hand for this unionization was not necessarily wages, but also that the Landmark chain was recently bought by billionaire Mark Cuban and that management changes resulting from the take-over really changed the atmosphere and treatment of the employees. Sometimes respect and a fun workplace mean as much as wages.

The fact is that larger theaters have an incredible amount of turnover, with only a handful of regular staff that doesn’t leave. A place like the Kendall may have attracted people to stay longer, and therefore band together to unionize.

My own theater (Somerville Theatre) was subject to a strike when 3 self-proclaimed anarchists infiltrated the projection staff and tried to unionize; rather than keep working and voting later to join the union (the proper procedure) they went on strike with one days notice, despite being warned not to do so by the union they were trying to join! In the end, we gladly took on experienced union projectionists and signed a contract with the union and they agreed that the 3 strikers would not be allowed to work there anymore. The 3 punks were more interested in holding signs and chanting, and spreading false information than actually working for a living at a better wage, so now we have replaced them with some of the best projection staff in the city, some union booth veterans who used to work the ‘big’ theaters are now in our booth.

Our floorstaff, however, thought that the strike was crazy, many of them pointing out that their jobs were so easy that they didn’t justify inflated wages. When the 3 strikers tried to get support from the theater staff, the staff banded together AGAINST them like a family under attack and it made everyone closer.

I try to make the theater a fun place to work, an easy place to work, because I know it is low paying. Our staff stays because they LIKE it here, because they need a fun part time job, not because they are trying to make a living off of a 15-hour a week paycheck. It is too bad that Landmark turned the Kendall Square into an unhappy place to work for its employees; perhaps if they had been nicer and more understanding, they wouldn’t have had to go through this unionization.

As far as I know, this does not effect the Embassy, since their employees were not involved in organization, nor did they vote.

IanJudge commented about Publix Theatre on Jul 14, 2005 at 12:04 pm

The sad thing is, that due to pending lawsuits, we won’t even get the benefit of big tax revenue because it is likely that it will be years before anything is built there. So not only is the theater lost, but the thing it was demolished for might never be built!

IanJudge commented about Loew's 72nd Street East on Jul 8, 2005 at 7:30 am

Would AMC close a location of 5 screens if it made a profit? Even if a theater is not their prototype, I can’t see them turning away something that makes money. If they do, however, I hope other exhibitors might be able to pick up these locations and keep them going.

IanJudge commented about Bow Tie Cinema Group Announces Two Projects on Jun 9, 2005 at 11:02 am

Congrats, Joe! I wish you much success!

IanJudge commented about White City Cinemas on Jun 8, 2005 at 10:23 am


IanJudge commented about Sundance Group Announces Cinema Intention on May 20, 2005 at 4:13 pm

This is good; I have heard nothing but bad things about the new ownership of Landmark (I have heard that Mark Cuban basically bought it as a way to sell DVD’s and show sporting events through digital presentations) and I know locally in the Boston area people are VERY unhappy with the new upper management (both staff and customers).

These guys who founded Landmark obviously have the know-how to do this right. In Boston, if they built an art-house downtown (and boy do we need it!) they would have an instant success. My little company has looked into it, but to build downtown is big $$$$$.

I hope they succeed! (As long as they don’t practice evil booking policies that handicap truly independent theaters!)

IanJudge commented about Capitol Theatre Chandelier Hung At DC Uptown on May 16, 2005 at 8:20 pm

Actually, if I recall correctly both from a plaque that was hung near the chandelier at the Cheri, and from reading some of the Capitol’s history, the fixture came from some famous mansion in NYC that was being demolished at the time of the Capitol’s construction, and Maj. Edward Bowes of the Capitol purchased the chandeliers specifically for the theater.

Perhaps they worked so well, Loew’s copied them for other theaters?

IanJudge commented about AMC Chestnut Hill 5 on May 9, 2005 at 11:42 am

Northeast was indeed it’s own entity, as is Entertainment Cinemas.

BCG is all about financing theaters and sometimes they take them over if they are not paying back their loans. What usually happens is that BCG will lend a chain or a particular location money to get started or expand, build, etc, and as part of the deal they might be the concessions supplier or operator. When the location cannot pay it’s bills or has trouble operating, BCG steps in and operates the theater.

This is a fairly common way to finance theaters; there are other concessions companies that do the same thing.

IanJudge commented about AMC Chestnut Hill 5 on May 9, 2005 at 11:09 am

From a business perspective, they have enough theaters to have some booking strength in the northeast. From the branding perspective, I think they might someday come up with a chain name, but they have aquired so many theaters so quickly that they are still not ready to do so.

IanJudge commented about AMC Chestnut Hill 5 on May 9, 2005 at 10:48 am

They do not have a chain name; some of their theaters are Entertainment Cinemas, some are Northeast Cinemas, some are seemingly independent.

I don’t know when the change-over will be; I just heard from someone at BCG that they were buying Chestnut Hill (the business, I assume, not the building).

IanJudge commented about AMC Chestnut Hill 5 on May 8, 2005 at 9:48 pm

They are going to continue to operate it as a theater; they operate many theaters in New England.

IanJudge commented about AMC Chestnut Hill 5 on May 8, 2005 at 5:30 pm

This theater has been sold. AMC has sold it to Boston Culinary Group (formerly Boston Concessions Group and also Theater Merchandising).

IanJudge commented about Showcase Cinemas Revere on May 7, 2005 at 12:47 pm

This is the second multiplex that Showcase operated on this site, the first was where the parking lot is. This was the Revere
Drive-In until the theater was built.

IanJudge commented about Broadway Theatre on May 5, 2005 at 8:26 pm

This theater is still there; currently vacant. As John says above, the facade and marquee are noticable removed at street level, while the second floor is boarded up. I’d imagine it is quite a mess if it has been closed for 20+ years.

IanJudge commented about Wollaston Theatre on May 5, 2005 at 8:22 pm

I have heard from credible sources that there are severe structural problems with the back wall of this theater – meaning any renovation/reuse would be very cost prohibitive. I doubt that there is much money to be made in second run movies at this location; the best bet would be if a donor or community group tried to save the theater.

IanJudge commented about Paramount Center on Apr 22, 2005 at 12:01 pm

There was a great deal of water damage from the old roof, but it is hard to see that from these pictures. When the exterior was renovated, the roof was patched – but it had some gaping holes in it! Much of the auditorium ceiling was re-plastered in 2001 with plain gray plaster to keep the ceiling from falling in – and a new roof was put in.

IanJudge commented about Paramount Center on Apr 22, 2005 at 10:04 am

There are two levels of lobbies, the larger one (with the fireplace) is the second floor, accessing the front of the huge balcony. The upper one, on the third floor, accesses the top of the balcony.

IanJudge commented about Paramount Center on Apr 22, 2005 at 8:32 am

Thanx j! See you at work.

IanJudge commented about Paramount Center on Apr 21, 2005 at 6:53 pm

Ron –

I have the photos and I can email them to you… could you post them for me if I emailed them to you?