Friday, January 21, 2011

Répertoire Cinémas

Growing up in Boston we had an embarrassment of riches when it came to repertoire cinema. I have so many memories of going to see movie after movie... sometimes 3 a day, sometimes watching the same films 2 times in day. Each place seemed to have it’s own little world of film and specialities. Below, a small sample of some of the best.

The Orson Welles Cinema:
The name alone brought cinephiles in. Not only did it show a variety of classic and foreign films but was the centre of «midnight madness» for years, showing up to 3 cult films each Saturday night at the witching hour. Quite a few John Water’s film’s had their out of Baltimore premiers there. A class act all the way.

The Harvard Square Cinema:
2 or 3 films changing daily, usually themed in some way. Sure you might not want to see one or two on the list but it was a great way to see films you might not have otherwise or catch up on the last 3 Werner Herzog films all in one sitting. I can’t tell you how many people I actually met in line and by seeing them over and over again at say... the showings of «The Man Who Fell to Earth». Opening in 1926 and still going but not in the same format, The harvard Square also has a an envious amount of historic live rock shows in it’s roster. Click for the full history.

The Exeter Street Theatre:
This place became the home for decades of the Rocky Horror Picture Show so I spent 100’s of weekends here with friends screaming at the top of out lungs. I also saw films like «the Tin Drum» and «Querelle» here. Another class act place.

Brattle Street Theatre:
A small basement place that is still going strong. This is where I saw «Metropolis» and «Pandora’s Box» the first times. Click for more info.

The Off the Wall:
With several showing a year of «The terror of Tiny Town» and «Plan Nine from Outer Space», the owner Mike Peck (who I lost track of and wish I hadn’t) kept it interesting here. No theatre seats but café table and chairs for drinks and snacks as you watched the incredibly eclectic roster of films.

Remember these places were open long before video stores existed, there was no way to see these films except to get off your butt and go and sit in a dark place with hundreds of other film junkies... something I’ll miss as long as I live.
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