1 E. India Square Mall,
Salem, MA 01970

Unfavorite 5 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

CineNate on February 16, 2023 at 2:41 pm

50sSNIPES is incorrect on a few points:

The CinemaSalem era: CinemaSalem opened in 2006 as a first run theatre that occasionally has special showings. It did not specialize in any of the items listed. A “fourth” screen was added with a non-dci compliant projector to show independent and special films as the other screens were dedicated to first run films. Under the original CinemaSalem brand this was always a first run cinema. As it aged there was more of a focus on brining more community oriented programming in, but it was always focused on first run films. It’s important to note that there are two CinemaSalem eras. The original ended when Paul closed it in 2020. There are new owners and the eras are distinct.

Patriot Era: The name of the cinema after Flick cinemas left was “Museum Place Cinemas” or alternatively “Museum Place Cinemas 1-2-3”. The name was intended to keep the cinemas branding separate from the operator so it could change hands more transparently. It was never know as “The Patriot Cinemas at the Museum Place Mall”. Visit the internet archive for confirmation.

I just want to post this so that incorrect facts are not repeated and the original history lost.

Source: Me, Employee and Manager for both eras.

50sSNIPES on January 29, 2023 at 4:45 pm

The triplex Salem 1-3 opened as a first-run house on October 15, 1982 by Sack. The theater went under the operations of USA Cinemas from January 17, 1986 until March 26, 1989, Loews from March 27, 1989 until Early December 1994, and Sony Theatres from Early December 1994 until closure in mid-January 1995.

The theater reopened on July 10, 1995 as Salem Flick, retaining its first-run fare. In November 1997, it became part of the local Patriot Cinemas chain and was renamed “Patriot Cinemas at the Museum Place Mall” (or “Museum Place Cinemas” for short). The theater closed on October 20, 2005, and sat abandoned for nearly seven months.

The theater was then reopened as the CinemaSalem on June 2, 2006, running classic films, independent films, revival films, film festivals, and as well as special events.

chitchatjf on July 4, 2021 at 6:42 pm

You should relist this as open with only 3 screens (The 18 seat screening room may be seen as impractical in the days of physical distancing)

PNRNetworks on June 3, 2020 at 10:04 am

CinemaSalem has announced it’s closure – Owner Paul Van Ness sent the following out in an email this morning:

On June 2, 2006, CinemaSalem opened its doors for the first time for a special free screening of The Wizard of Oz. After exactly 14 years of showing movies, launching film festivals, promoting cultural conversation, and popping tons of popcorn, CinemaSalem is closing. (Of course, we’ve actually been closed since March 16 when the state’s efforts to restrict the spread of the coronavirus required movie theaters to shutter.)

We have been working hard over the past six months to recruit new operators for the theater, and we succeeded in finding two well-qualified parties with creative business plans and community-oriented visions. But once the pandemic hit, neither believed they could find a way to make the numbers add up to a sustainable business.

Though the closing is sad, the time we’ve spent running CinemaSalem has been sweet as an opportunity to personally get to know hundreds of great people in the North Shore community and become much more aware of the richness of the local arts and culture scene. It’s been a profoundly joyful experience. We want to acknowledge the contributions made by many people and organizations around Salem, especially the Salem Film Fest organization, and Rinus Oosthoek and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

And we are deeply grateful to the large number of amazing people who worked at CinemaSalem over our colorful history. They were hard-working, entertaining, diverse, intelligent, quirky, hilarious and dedicated. We especially want to express appreciation to our incomparable long-time managers, Kereth, Shanna, and Peter.

Finally, we want to acknowledge the CinemaSalem community, the 829,741 people who bought tickets to movies and live events at our independent downtown movie theater over the past 14 years. You made it such a fun and vibrant place!

Thank you.

Paul Van Ness

da_Bunnyman on March 8, 2018 at 9:29 pm

Sack Theaters opened this triple with a fairly big arcade next door. The arcade was never kept up to date and looked fairly run down after a few years. Not sure when it closed but the space was converted to another store by the mall.

CSWalczak on December 6, 2012 at 2:48 am

As is the case with so many small, independent theaters, this theater’s survival is threatened by the need to convert to digital and has launched a fund-raising drive: View article

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm

The website says it has 4 screens, and lists 4 films starting at times between 7 and 8 pm.

BUT, one of the films is listed as “Presented in our intimate 18-seat screening room”.

nspunx4 on April 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Cinema Salem has 3 screens. Always have and always will (unless the mall does a major remodel or the theatre is torn down) and I should know I installed the 35mm projection and sound equipment for Cinema Salem when they reopened it.

chitchatjf on May 25, 2009 at 2:44 pm

They now have 4 screens

PNRNetworks on July 31, 2008 at 6:12 am

I just want to say that while we haven’t had a chance to visit CinemaSalem yet to review it for our site’s ongoing MetroBoston CinemaTour, their weekly newsletter is a scream! Paul Van Ness does a fantastic job of talking up each week’s fare, and he’s absolutely hilarious much of the time. I’ve had some e-mail contact with him as well, and he’s truly a cinema lover, so lets hope CS can continue on and on from this point on…

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on June 3, 2006 at 4:36 am

This theatre reopened last night, according to news reports and the theatre’s web site. The following information should be changed:

Name –> CinemaSalem
Status –> Open
Function –> Movies!
Address –> One East India Square, Salem MA 01970
Phone –> 978 744-1400
Official Website –>

The first week’s features: The Break-up, Over the Hedge, and a revival of The Wizard of Oz. Also, an independent documentary, Hand of God, will be shown next Thursday only.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 26, 2006 at 6:58 pm

Wow! This is great news!

vanness on March 26, 2006 at 5:14 pm

Curtain will rise again at downtown theater

Friday, March 24, 2006

CinemaSalem, a new independent movie theater, will open later this spring in the Museum Place Mall. The theater will occupy the space formerly occupied by Patriot Cinema.
The new owners are planning a major renovation and, for now, are targeting June 1 as opening day.
“We’re redoing the space to create a more friendly, contemporary atmosphere,” said Paul Van Ness of Beverly who, along with Bill Collins of Gloucester, will operate the new cinema. “It’s rare to find a great theater in the middle of a vibrant downtown like Salem, and we want to take full advantage of that by creating a fun, community-oriented experience."
As an independent movie theater, CinemaSalem will have the freedom to offer creative film programming.
"We’re going to show a wide variety of quality films,” said Van Ness. “We’ll always want to be playing a great family film, an innovative art film, and a quality film out of Hollywood."
The new owners heard about the opportunity from Salem Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rinus Oosthoek.
"I’d worked with Rinus at Beverly Main Streets and Film North,” said Van Ness, “and we were one of the groups he called when the theater became available."
Van Ness and Collins are principals of Van Ness Creative Group in Beverly, the former as director of photography, the latter as editor.
"We hadn’t been looking for opportunity to run a theater, but when Rinus let us know it was available, it started to excite us,” said Van Ness. “It’s not a different line of work as much as an adjacency because we’re into independent filmmaking."
Van Ness and Collins are encouraging Salem and North Shore film-lovers to help them shape the theater’s direction over the next couple of months.
"We’re really excited about being a community theater,” said Van Ness, “so we want to get to know people, have them get to know us, and tell us what they want their theater to be like."
Toward that end, the theater’s Web site, features a survey to allow community members to contribute ideas and suggestions for CinemaSalem.
"As far as we’ve been able to determine, this is the first time this movie theater has been operated independently, by local residents,” said Collins. “This gives us a great opportunity to create a theater that’s a popular meeting place for the community.
"After all,” he added, “for most people in Salem, Beverly, Marblehead and Swampscott, it’s easier to get to this theater than the cineplex."
CinemaSalem is upgrading the projectors and installing brand new surround-sound systems in each theater, enhancing the visual and audio aspects of the movie-going experience.
Van Ness and Collins have worked in related industries throughout their careers, the former in film and video production, and the latter in video broadcast engineering.
"There’s nothing like watching a great movie on the big screen with your family or a bunch of friends,” said Collins. “That' s what CinemaSalem is all about.”

bunnyman on November 8, 2005 at 12:30 pm

Sounds like that troubled mall is getting ready to be re-done again.
It had major renovations a few years ago so perhaps the owners are trying again to save the mall itself.

jph on November 7, 2005 at 6:48 am

perhaps the closing had to do with the end of a monthly lease that was on an odd day?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 4, 2005 at 7:25 am

I still wonder why it closed on a Tuesday — usually theatres close either on a Thursday night (right before the Friday changeover) or a Sunday night (after the weekend is over).

The closing leaves quite a large area of metro Boston without any movie theatres. There are no longer any in neighboring Swampscott, Marblehead, Lynn, Saugus, or Peabody. Beverly still has the single-screen Cabot Street Cinema. Danvers has two large multiplexes (Loews and Hollywood Hits), but they are not nearly as conveniently located as this one in Salem’s downtown.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on November 4, 2005 at 7:17 am

The Salem News had an article, but it’s not online (except maybe if you’re a paying customer), and I haven’t found a hardcopy yet.

The Boston Globe published this on October 30:

Salem theater closes suddenly

Salem may be the Halloween Capital of the World, but it’s not a place for Hollywood flicks. At least in the view of Patriot Cinemas.

The Hingham-based movie chain closed Museum Place Cinemas last week, 10 years after taking over the former Salem Flicks from Sony Loews in downtown Salem. The theater, which this summer hosted a first-run showing of the ‘'Bewitched" movie, fell dark last Tuesday.

David Scott, the company treasurer, declined to comment on the closing.

Rinus Oosthoek, executive director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, said the closing is a surprise. ‘'I don’t think many people expected it,“ he said. ’‘I hope another movie theater will open there. A small cinema is a great thing for a downtown.”

I e-mailed Patriot Cinemas to ask about this closing, and got this reply from David Scott:

“Yes, the theatre is now closed. We are disappointed as well. The future of the theatre is now in the hands of the mall ownership. We were hoping that it could continue to operate as a theatre, but it doesn’t seem to be the plan.”

jph on November 3, 2005 at 11:36 am

Any press about it having closed? Comes as a surprise after 10 years of it running fairly consistently…

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 26, 2005 at 5:34 pm

That’s sad to hear. I hope someone else can repoen it, but I have to wonder — if Patriot couldn’t make it here, who can?

moviefreak on October 26, 2005 at 2:15 pm

As in 1693 Salem is now cursed with no theatres. Patriot Cinemas at the Museum Place Mall has been closed!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on September 20, 2005 at 12:16 pm

I never knew this theatre ever showed silent films with live musical accompaniment. How common are such events here?

cinemajunkie on June 10, 2005 at 5:14 am

For a pitcure of Patriot Cinemas at the Museum Place Mall

jph on June 10, 2005 at 4:00 am

Actually I remembered the exact dates — it closed as a Loews on January 31, 1995 and then reopened as a Flick on July 7, 1995. One amusing thing was that the original marquee on the side of the garage never took away the “Sack” lettering right up to 1995, they had just kept it that way until the marquee was changed to its current location.

jph on June 9, 2005 at 9:30 pm

This closed down as a Loews in December, 1994 and reopened as a Flick in July, 1995.

The arcade stayed on (although not directly affiliated with the cinema) until the East India Mall underwent extensive renovations in the late 90’s (around 1997 or so) which, among other things, gave the cinema a seperate entrance from the rest of the mall. It reverted to first run films a year or two ago.