185 Cambridge Street,
11 people favorited this theater
Previously operated by: Loew's Inc., Sack Theatres, Walter Reade Theatres
Functions: Conference Center
- Bowdoin Square Theatre
- C. Walsh Theatre
- West End Pussycat Cinema
- Olympic Theatre
- North Station Cinema I-II-III
News About This Theater
- May 23, 2012 — Celebrating the Original STAR WARS on its 35th Anniversary
- Jun 18, 2010 — "Jaws"... Happy 35th!
- May 21, 2010 — Happy 30th, "Empire"
- May 14, 2010 — Please Post Today, May 14 --- "Jaws," Happy 35th
- Aug 21, 2009 — "Alien" 30th Anniversary
- May 25, 2007 — Happy 30th, Star Wars!
The Charles Cinema was opened April 7, 1967, and had, for a time, the biggest movie screen in Massachusetts. It was a great place to see an ‘event’ movie, like “The Empire Strikes Back” or other blockbusters. The style was modern and simple. The Charles Cinema was the “Astor Plaza” of Boston: a top-notch presentation with a huge audience.
The Charles Cinema was built for the Walter Reade circuit. The Charles Cinema eventually became part of Loews and was closed in 1994.
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Recent comments (view all 94 comments)
So for those of you who think the screen at the Charles was large you have never seen a large screen. The Astor screen was wall to wall and installed by Todd-AO.
I’ve no doubt the Astor screen was huge. I’ve seen huge screens such as the DC Uptown, Seattle Cinerama, etc. But when I lived in Boston the Astor wasn’t open anymore & the Charles was the best there was. And, it was good.
To Shirley Marquez. The Cinema 57 was never split. It was built as a twin. When you walkwed in there was one auditorium on the right and one on the left. The lobby was in between which by the was was very large. The theatres were not long and narrow. You are mixing this up with some other theatre you have been in.
When the Charles opened by Reade. It had a big screen.. The only 2 bigger were the Metropolitan(Music Hall/Wang ctr). When Ryans Daughter opened there the screen was huge. After Ryans daughter the screen was changed.
Shirley Marquez might have been thinking of the Pi Alley, a good single screen that opened in 1969 that was twinned down the middle less than a decade later, resulting in two long narrow auditoriums with postage stamp screens. Watching a film from the back rows of the twinned Pi Alley was an exercise in frustration. The 57 was better, but not by much. While the 57 auditoriums were fairly wide (I wouldn’t characterize either 57 auditorium as a bowling alley), they were also long, with screens that were surprisingly small, especially in the bigger of the two auditoriums. The large auditorium at the Charles was certainly superior to either the 57 or Pi Alley.
The Charles was where all the (original trilogy) Star Wars films played. Seeing “Star Wars” on opening day, back in May 1977, on that gigantic screen, blew my 10 year old mind…
Missed opening day but was there the second day for the original Star Wars run. They were still giving out “May The Force Be With You” buttons and had them there for the taking on a small table. I’ll always regret not taking a few, the one I did take was later lost.
The Charles' 70mm engagements are noted in this new article on Boston’s large format and roadshow history.
Charles East and West opened on January 26th, 1973. Walter Reade Charles East and West opening. Fri, Jan 26, 1973 – 21 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.com
The argument of which has the biggest screens continues…
Here’s MY 2 cents (for what it’s worth):
CENTURY PLEASANT HILL
CINEMA 150 SANTA CLARA
CENTURY TOWN & COUNTRY SAN JOSE
41ST AVENUE PLAYHOUSE CAPITOLA
CINERAMA DOME HOLLYWOOD LOS ANGELES EGYTPTIAN HOLLYWOOD LOS ANGELES CHINESE HOLLYWOOD LOS ANGELES PARAMOUNT HOLLYWOOD LOS ANGELES CENTURY PLAZA LOS ANGELES FOX BRUIN WESTWOOD LOS ANGELES AVCO WESTWOOD LOS ANGELES FOX VILLAGE WESTWOOD LOS ANGELES ALEX GLENDALE ROXY GLENDALE CATHAY CIRCLE HOLLYWOOD LOS ANGELES CREST WESTWOOD LOS ANGELES NATIONAL WESTWOOD LOS ANGELES CENTURY HOLLYWOOD LOS ANGELES (THIS ONE BEING A GAY PORNO HOUSE!)
You talk about big! Most of these theaters in Califonia were affectionately called Caves! Raked not stadium seating. Curved not flat screens. Curtains. Ushers at all exits. Concessions, bx office and restrooms in their own islands.