Off The Wall Cinema

15 Pearl Street,
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Showing 101 - 106 of 106 comments

deeberg on February 23, 2005 at 10:18 pm

1986- new to Boston from Arkansas, I saw my first ever animation festival at Off the Wall in its Cambridge location. The festival included a claymation of “Vincent” about a kid who wants to be Vincent Price, “Agatha Makes Soup” (or something like that) also a claymation, and a beautifully haunting story called something like “Skywhales”. Sitting on a car seat, drinking hot tea, thinking I was in the coolest place in all of the USA!

I fell in love with independent film that night, and over the past 18 years have been a regular at the West Newton, the Boston Library series, the Somerville, the Coolidge,(including 10 years straight at the SF Marathon’s at Somerville and Coolidge) the Brattle, and more recently the Embassy and Kendall Square theaters.

There are still great theaters out there, but not any quite as quirky as this one was…

bunnyman on January 25, 2005 at 10:22 am

Yes, Where’s Boston did show only during the day.
The theatre itself was a rather souless affair very unlike Off the Wall’s old home.
The biggest crowd they ever had at Faneuil Hall location was a Disney cartoon retrospective which also put them badly in debt.
At Cambridge they had a Betty Boop cartoon show that ran for months.
Also they had the infamous Heart Throbs adults only shorts show that was shut down at least twice by the local police.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 10, 2004 at 3:10 pm

Some newspaper articles say that Off the Wall started in 1974 rather than 1976. I’m not sure which is correct.

During their few months at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in 1979-80, they shared a theatre with the “Where’s Boston?” multimedia slide show, which introduced tourists to the city. I assume that the slide show ran during the day and Off the Wall programming at night, but I’m not sure.

IanJudge on December 3, 2004 at 3:44 pm

It was the then-owners of the Harvard Sq. that wanted to build in the Porter Sq. Sears' building, pre-Sack/USA ownership. I am personally very glad they didn’t because it would surely have doomed my current workplace, the nearby Somerville Theatre. Still, it always grates my cheese when nit-wit NIMBY’S stop a reasonable development like a movie theater, especially when it would improve an otherwise empty space.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 1, 2004 at 8:10 pm

Either Sack or the Harvard Square Theatre owners wanted to open a multiplex in the Sears building, with one screen given over to Off The Wall. Unfortunately, the neighbors didn’t want a multiplex and the idea died. The Sears building subsequently became a small shopping mall, Porter Exchange, with many Japanese shops and restaurants. Lesley University now owns it.

br91975 on December 1, 2004 at 4:28 pm

There was talk of the Off-The-Wall Cinema re-emerging within the former Sears building in Porter Square, Cambridge shortly after it was renovated and re-opened in December of 1988 as the Porter Exchange indoor shopping gallery, talk that regrettably never became anything more.