West Newton Cinema
1296 Washington Street,
1296 Washington Street,West Newton, MA 02465
5 people favorited this theater
Showing 17 comments
This theater has been around under the current ownership for over 40 years. It has been open as a theater longer than that. People should know that the profit margins are very small in theaters. About $.60 of each dollar goes right back to the movie companies. As they take percentage of 60% for new first run movies. Then you have to factor in the cost of utilities taxes paying the staff and other expenses. Now the theater has to compete with streaming services and less people coming to the theater because of streaming services and people still concerned about the virus. If you want this theater to stay open people in this community have to come out in larger numbers. Also buy things at the concession stand. This is the way the theater makes a small profit. Once theaters like these are gone they’re gone Forever usually. Too many independent theaters are closing down across the United States.
From an email sent earlier today (1/12/2023) by David Bramante, co-owner of the West Newton Cinema:
“ To Our Supporters, Community & Friends,
This past July we announced that The West Newton Cinema was sold to Mark Development. As part of our agreement with the Mark team, our family was given 2 years to continue operations and explore possible options of preserving the Cinema as a center for media, visual and performing arts.
Our focus has been to transition into a non-profit to maintain the theater as part of the Newton community and continue to serve the surrounding areas.
During the past 6 months, a Steering Committee was formed. Steps were taken to create an IRS -approved 501 © (3) (The West Newton Cinema Foundation) as well as begin to create a business plan. We have formed the non-profit and have been approved. To build the founding Board of Directors and determine if there is support for this idea, the Steering Committee has commissioned the consulting firm, Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, to conduct a feasibility study.
If you would like to participate in the study or would like more detailed information about the project, please reach out to Bridget Bali chair of the steering committee and my daughter.
The West Newton was sold to a developer in July. I heard today that the plan is to close within the next year, and it will be torn down for a new condominium development.
While visiting relatives with my family in 1950, I remember walking yp Cherry St. To the then Newton theatre(1 screen) to go to a movie. I didn.t care what was playing because I was bored at my aunts house. Well the movie that was playing was an acclaimed Docu. called Kon Tiki. Even at 10 yrs old I enjoyed it. I now own the DVD. The Newton was a beautiful theatre.
I also attended movie screenings such as “How the West Was Won', "Pink Panther”, “A Shot in the Dark”, “The Man with the Golden Gun”, “Cat Ballou”, “Murder She Said”, and a number of other cool movies at the West Newton Cinema back in the mid-1960’s, when I was a teenager. It was then a very nice movie palace of a theatre. However, when i came to see a movie at the West Newton Cinema several years ago, and then a movie called “The Golden Door” a couple of years ago, I noticed that the West Newton Cinema had sort of gone to seed. It was no longer the handsome movie palace that it had once been.
Visiting the West Newton in the triplex days was a unique experience. The auditorium downstairs was c classic butcher job in which a wall was created the length of the theatre.
Upstairs the balcony provided the seating and a tufted fabric surface covered the area between the balcomy railing and the screen.
Does anyone know exactly when the theatre was renamed from ‘Newton’ to ‘West Newton’ ?
The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Newton Theatre has a facade photo taken in April 1941. The name on the marquee is just plain “Newton”. The address is listed as 1300 Washington St. The Report states that the Newton has been a MGM customer for less than 5 years; that it was built in 1935; that it’s in Excellent condition; and has 822 seats on the main floor and 340 in the balcony, total: 1162 seats. Competing theatres are located in Natick and Wellesley Hills. The 1940 population of Newton was 69800. If the theatre was actually built in 1937 instead of 1935 then that would conform to the fact that the house had been showing MGM films for “less than 5 years” in 1941.
Hello, I was just surfing the web and came across this website. It’s great, considering my great grandfather is Martin J. Mullin! It’s interesting to look at, but unfortunatly I never go to meet him but his son, (my grandfather) Martin J. Mullin. Well just wanted to post a comment.
Photo of the West Newton entrance and marquee, summer 2004:
Tonight, the German-Hungarian film Gloomy Sunday closes at the West Newton, 70 weeks after it opened there.
The film’s longevity brings to mind other famous local long runs, such as King of Hearts at the Central Square, Harold and Maude at the Allston Cinema, and Cinema Paradiso which ran for 68 weeks at the West Newton.
From the current edition of the West Newton Cinema weekly newsletter:
OUR OTHER THEATRE
And in case you haven’t heard, we now own and operate the only movie theatre in Belmont.Â It is a 425 seat, single screen gem called the Belmont Studio Cinema.Â Located at 376 Trapelo Road in Belmont, MA.Â The Studio plays a lot of the same films as West Newton but also shows some of the better commercial films as well.
I looked through some Boston Globe microfilm from the early 1960s, and saw this theatre listed in the directory as just the “Newton”, not “West Newton”. The early photos shown here have just “Newton” on the marquee.
I’d love to see someone post a list of all the M&P Theatres on this site, or at least post the ones known under their name. It’s a nearly forgotten chain, like the E.M. Loews Theatres. Does anyone have photos of any of the theatres they’d care to share via email?
This is great hearing from people who knew the M&P and ATC times. My father worked as a theatre manager for M&P for several years at the Scolly Sq Olympia. He also worked for Sack Theatres for what is now the Wang Center. I was a theatre manager for American Theatres Corp at the Central Theatre in Somerville.
M & P stood for Mullin and Pinanski. Samuel Pinanski lived on 178 Ivy Street in Brookline MA. My Father worked for both Sam Pinanski and Mr. Mullin in various capacities for many years. My Father, John E. Hogan was the manager of the West Newton Theater during the 1950’s and 1960’s. I worked there occasionally as a ticket taker and in the concession stand.
I had the pleasure to work at the theater in 1966,It was owned by M&P under the name American Theaters Corp. which also owned the Embassy & Central theaters in Waltham, Now long gone. I saw many of the great palaces because my dad, having worked for ATC and he went around the chain a lot they owned the Pilgrim, Mayflower,Oriental,West Roxbury,and many other’s in the Boston Area.
The Paramount in Newton Corner was also once part of the big chain but was split off when the government made M&P and it’s partners split the theaters they owned, over 125! thus the formation of American Theater Corp. and New England Theaters Corp.