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I just saw Shazam! and Long Shot there tonight (Wednesday); tickets were $3.00, plus a small popcorn was free with each one (a special; weekly I believe). While it’s obviously seen better days, it’s clean and in decent shape (barring a bloc of about four seats missing from one of the theaters). Posters for movies from the past few years are still up, plus a more-than-life-sized cardboard cutout for 2016’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War by the entrance. Note that it’s set back from the main road, Newport Avenue, behind other buildings and off a side street (Narragansett Park Drive), though the marquee is on Newport.
Korkis, Jim (May 13, 2015). “Disney’s Preview Palace: The Alex Theater” [sic]. Cartoon Research. http://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/the-alex-theater/
Updates on the status:
Newberry, Laura (November 14, 2014). “Agawam Cinemas Kickstarter campaign draws to close, owner surpasses $40,000 goal”. “The Republican” (Springfield, Mass.). http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/11/agawam_cinema_kickstarter.html
Michalski, Jessica (May 10, 2015). “Agawam Cinemas renovation work nearing completion”. WGGB/WSHM (Springfield, Mass.). http://www.westernmassnews.com/story/29025326/agawam-cinemas-renovation-work-nearing-completion
While rivest266 may be technically true, there are (now) several Cinemark-owned cinemas in New England—especially with Cinemark’s purchase of the Rave Cinemas chain in 2012–2013.
I forgot one other thing: the cinema had canceled its weekday nights late showings some time back, so that Monday through Thursday (I think) the ~7 p.m. screenings were the last ones.
Here are the links to the Diamond Ruff Web site and the film’s IMDb entry, the former of which still lists the Saturday 10 January “red carpet event” at the Springfield Entertainment Cinemas branch. I have no idea if it actually took place.
The theater just closed on Sunday (11 January 2015). I was there last Tuesday, 6 January, and there was no sign that it would be closed—indeed, an independent film, Diamond Ruff, was scheduled to be shown this week. That said, and taking into account that I was only there on weekday nights, it was always almost deserted—I never saw a crowd there—so in a sense it was not a surprise. Still, it was not what I expected when I visited the Web site this morning to check some detail about the movies I planned to see this afternoon.
The theater’s Web page and an archive of it from today:
News stories from the local newspaper on the closing:
Kelly, Ray (8 January 2015). “Entertainment Cinemas at Springfield Plaza closing on Sunday”. The Republican (Springfield, Mass.).
Newberry, Laura (9 January 2015). “Agawam Cinemas owner reacts to closing of Entertainment Cinemas, says claimed decline of theaters ‘simply isn’t accurate’”. The Republican (Springfield, Mass.).
The original post which the above article is covering:
Kinney, Jim (9 January 2015). “Springfield Plaza, Entertainment Cinemas building now under separate ownership”. The Republican (Springfield, Mass.).
IIRC the “megaplex plan” was for 24 screens.
310 Massachusetts 9, Hadley, MA 01035
Technically that would be 310 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035, since, in Hadley, Russell Street is Route 9.
The article and editorial on the closure:
Kelly, Ray (May 20, 2014). “Agawam Family Cinemas closes after 18 years”. “The Republican” (Springfield, Mass.). http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/05/agawam_family_cinemas_closes_a.html
The Republican Editorials (May 21, 2014). “Editorial: With loss of Agawam Family Cinemas, it’s lights out on an era”. “The Republican” (Springfield, Mass.). http://www.masslive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/05/editorial_with_loss_of_agawam.html
See also the related photo essay:
Kelly, Ray (May 27, 2014). “Photos: Movie theaters of yesteryear”. “The Republican” (Springfield, Mass.). http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/05/photos_movie_theaters_of_yeste.html
I was in Screen 1 tonight, and it has 171 seats, plus several more movable seats/spaces for wheel chairs. This puts the current total at 286 seats—the 871 seat total must be from before the renovation. (I attended one or two movies there in the 1990s—prior to the furnace breakdown—and the balcony Ron Slaters mentions was nowhere to be found.)
Some details about the current physical plant: Theater 1 is the largest and has a stage (I’ll check the capacity when next I’m in it), theaters 2 and 3 have 45 seats (plus room for one more or a wheelchair), and the Studio Theater (which is in a storefront about halfway to Amity Street) holds about 25 seats, and features its own bathroom off the back of the theater itself. Theaters 1 through 3 feature stadium seating, while the Studio Theater seating is on a flat floor with the screen well above the audience’s heads.
There is a historical society, in the old town jail, a block and half from the Star Theatre’s site.
Bristol Historical & Preservation Society
I recall the furniture store Mr. DeLuca mentions, though I never went inside. The building was demolished to make way for a much needed expansion of the library, which had been both cramped and needing repairs for decades. I was visiting home in Bristol the weekend before last, and checked out the new library for the first time—compare the main photo on the History page linked below (the “old” post-1957 library) with the ones (linked) above and the ones in the photo gallery and the library’s Web site banner photo.
Lostmemory’s 2007 post’s photo gave me the URL, which resulted in this:
Additionally, I was visiting home in Bristol the weekend before last, and when we were discussing the theater, my father mentioned that it had originally had a single screen. I don’t remember it being that way, though I do recall that it was obvious that it had been changed. Thus the conversion must have been between 1969 (the year we arrived in town) and the late 1970s. Another name for it was the Bristol Twin Cinema.
The land is currently occupied by an expansion of the neighboring Andrews School (to stage right in the photos), as also partly implied by the marquee in lostmemory’s first photo.