Cape Cinema

35 Hope Lane,
Dennis, MA 02638

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Cape Cinema (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: Alfred E. Poor

Functions: Movies (Independent)

Styles: Art Deco, Colonial Revival

Previous Names: Cape Playhouse Cinema

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 508.385.2503

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News About This Theater

Auditorium of the Cape Cinema, Dennis, MA in 1930

Opened in 1930, the Cape Playhouse Cinema’s quiet, Colonial style exterior belies the beautiful murals that adorn the walls of this historic theatre. The Art Deco treatments indoors are hidden by the Cape’s church-inspired design.

Inside the theatre on the ceiling is a mural which is one of the largest indoor murals in the U.S. It was designed by Rockwell Kent and Jo Melzner. The mural depicts Kent’s visions of heaven. To go along with this, the original curtain, which is still very much functional, is
painted with a large sunburst covering it.

The theatre is located on an arts complex which also includes the Cape Playhouse and a museum. The theatre seats around 315 and is modeled nearly exactly after a church located in Centerville, MA.

The Cape Cinema continues to show the best art house films and is closed during the winter.

Contributed by Ross Melnick, "E.E."

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Patsy on March 3, 2008 at 8:09 am

Any interior photos of this theatre?

RogerA on May 1, 2008 at 3:18 pm

It is amazing this theatre has survived but as I remember it was the only cinema within miles. When I worked there in the early 70’s the original VitaPhone equipment was still being used. The projection and sound system carried patents held by Edison. A motor generator was used to provide the DC for the antique vacuum tubes. Of course the illumination for the projectors was supplied by carbon arch. It is indeed a historic theatre. To bad the other theatres on Cape Cod didn’t survive.

MPol on March 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm

It looks like a sweet little cinema theatre. Thanks for the photos, Lost Memory.

kevinp on April 25, 2009 at 5:47 am

have just purchased 4 postcards from ebay : herewith two lo-res links

: higher to follow : what an amazing cinema !

View link

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 16, 2011 at 10:57 am

The Cape Cinema in Dennis was named one of the 5 top movie theaters in New England by Yankee Magazine.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 29, 2015 at 10:48 am

The Quincy MA Patriot-Ledger of Thurs May 28, 2015 has a feature article reprinted from the Cape Cod Times, with color photo, about the 6400-square foot mural painted on the ceiling and walls. It was designed by the artist Rockwell Kent in his upstate NY studio. But Kent was a Left-wing zealot who vowed never to set foot in Massachusetts again because of the Sacco-Vanzetti case.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 29, 2015 at 10:56 am

Rockwell Kent’s design for the mural was painted by his friend Jo Mielziner who was a stage set designer, (later, a very prominent one). But Kent did come to MA to sign the mural in 1930. Jo Mielziner also signed it.

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