Village Cinema

647 VFW Parkway,
Boston, MA 02467

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Hancock Village Theater, Westbrook Village Cinema

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Village Cinema

This was a large, single-screen cinema in a suburban-style strip shopping center which opened on May 18, 1949 with Jennifer Jones in “Portrait of Jeannie”.

It was off Route 1 (VFW Parkway) in the Hancock Village section of Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood, near the Brookline town line.

By the 1980’s, it was an independently run second-run house. It closed on July 1, 1989 with John Cusack in “Say Anything” and I believe it was subsequently demolished.

Contributed by Ron Newman

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

Triciawa on July 27, 2005 at 2:45 am

I believe The whole building was called French’s block. The “Pixie” is within the same block of that building just a few doors down. The Pixie used to be called Everett Hall Theatre. You can do a search on it that way. I found a bit on it that way. I’m looking at an old book about Hyde Park “the first Hundred Years” right now and it shows a rendering of the building The sign on the building Says French’s Block 1897 and it shows signs on the doors that say Opera House. I drive by this building every day and it looks pretty much the same. You are right about it not being demolished. The new owners hope to restore it. At the time I went in there it looked like it was in the prosses of being demolished, but found out about later that it wasn’t.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 27, 2005 at 3:00 am

Here’s a page from Historic Boston, Inc. about the Everett Hall Theatre. Since you seem to be familiar with its history, please submit it as a separate entry here at CinemaTreasures.

The Everett Hall’s address is 23 Fairmount Ave in Hyde Park, while the still-in-use French’s Opera House is at 45 Fairmount Ave.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 5, 2006 at 7:05 am

There is a MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Hancock Village Theatre. It includes an undated photo, with autombiles in front of it which appear to be of post-War vintage. The theatre is listed as being in Brookline.(see comments above). The photo shows that the entrance was at the corner of an L-shaped structure in what today is called a “strip mall”. To the left is a (First) National Store; to the right is a store with signage in script letters which says (I think) “Youth Corner”. The theatre has a tower with the name and the ATC logo. Above the entrance is the attraction board indicating matinee at 145P and Evening at 745P; Childrens mat. Sat. at 2P. Attractions appear to be “Chain Lighning” and “High Fury”. There is a set of 5 wide steps leading up from the parking lot to the entrance. Unfortunately, no one filled out the form itself, so there is no info about the cinema. I seem to recall that the Village in W. Rox. lasted well into the 1980s.

mark edmunds
mark edmunds on April 7, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Lot’s of info above, my recolection is that the Village Cinema was in West Roxbury, run by ATC, when I worked at the West Newton Theatre(then ATC) I would call the Village to get the daily numbers and along with West Newton and the Embassy I would call the Pilgrim Theatre to reportthe day’s take.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 15, 2010 at 4:17 am

An article with photo, on the opening of the Hancock Village Theatre, published May 28, 1949 in Boxoffice Magazine:
View link

RetroRoadmap on January 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I have posted a scan of a photo I took of the Village Cinema’s sign in 1988:

I remember seeing The AristoCats for my birthday at this theater – some time between 1973-75.My great aunt lived in the Hancock Village apartments behind the shopping center where the Village Cinema was, from the time it opened as returning vets housing, until she passed in her 90’s.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

Hi, Betty. Do you happen to remember when the theatre closed? Was it still open when you took this photo?

Ted on August 26, 2011 at 8:31 am

My father purchased The Village Cinema in 1974. The first movie we played was Blazing Saddles and the last movie that we played was Say Anything. My dad closed the theatre in 1992 because the building was sold and the new owners would not renew the lease. The Village Cinema was a real treasure to our family. If you want anymore information I can probably dig some up.

FrankLaPrise on September 20, 2015 at 12:35 pm

When Hancock Village was remodeled, may of the leases were not renewed. They wanted stores that would generate high traffic numbers. The remodeling was extensive and it’s hard to picture where the older stores would have been. The Cinema entrance was to the right of where CVS is now. A few years back CVS expanded to the right into the spaces that were Boston Market and Village Photo. Not sure if the full depth of the theatre is being used by CVS. I remember it from my one and only visit as being a rather large theatre for a suburban location like that, rather austere with no balcony.

dallasmovietheaters on October 1, 2021 at 7:17 pm

Grand opening was May 18, 1949 with Jennifer Jones starring in “Portrait of Jennie.” It closed at the end of lease with John Cusack at the end of a second 20-year leasing period shortly after its 40th Anniversary on July 1, 1989 with John Cusack in “Say Anything.”

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