Charles Cinema

185 Cambridge Street,
Boston, MA 02114

Unfavorite 11 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loew's Inc., Sack Theatres, Walter Reade Theatres

Functions: Conference Center

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Charles Cinema

The Charles Cinema was opened April 7, 1967, and had, for a time, the biggest movie screen in Massachusetts. It was a great place to see an ‘event’ movie, like “The Empire Strikes Back” or other blockbusters. The style was modern and simple. The Charles Cinema was the “Astor Plaza” of Boston: a top-notch presentation with a huge audience.

The Charles Cinema was built for the Walter Reade circuit. The Charles Cinema eventually became part of Loews and was closed in 1994.

Contributed by Ian Judge

Recent comments (view all 93 comments)

HowardBHaas on November 20, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Oops, I had looked up Beacon Hill as per comment by Roger A & meant the Beacon Hill in my comment.

RogerA on November 20, 2015 at 7:45 pm

So for those of you who think the screen at the Charles was large you have never seen a large screen. The Astor screen was wall to wall and installed by Todd-AO.

HowardBHaas on November 20, 2015 at 8:05 pm

I’ve no doubt the Astor screen was huge. I’ve seen huge screens such as the DC Uptown, Seattle Cinerama, etc. But when I lived in Boston the Astor wasn’t open anymore & the Charles was the best there was. And, it was good.

dickneeds111 on January 8, 2016 at 11:44 am

To Shirley Marquez. The Cinema 57 was never split. It was built as a twin. When you walkwed in there was one auditorium on the right and one on the left. The lobby was in between which by the was was very large. The theatres were not long and narrow. You are mixing this up with some other theatre you have been in.

dickneeds111 on June 6, 2016 at 1:10 pm

When the Charles opened by Reade. It had a big screen.. The only 2 bigger were the Metropolitan(Music Hall/Wang ctr). When Ryans Daughter opened there the screen was huge. After Ryans daughter the screen was changed.

ErikH on June 8, 2016 at 4:46 am

Shirley Marquez might have been thinking of the Pi Alley, a good single screen that opened in 1969 that was twinned down the middle less than a decade later, resulting in two long narrow auditoriums with postage stamp screens. Watching a film from the back rows of the twinned Pi Alley was an exercise in frustration. The 57 was better, but not by much. While the 57 auditoriums were fairly wide (I wouldn’t characterize either 57 auditorium as a bowling alley), they were also long, with screens that were surprisingly small, especially in the bigger of the two auditoriums. The large auditorium at the Charles was certainly superior to either the 57 or Pi Alley.

jake66 on February 14, 2018 at 9:18 am

The Charles was where all the (original trilogy) Star Wars films played. Seeing “Star Wars” on opening day, back in May 1977, on that gigantic screen, blew my 10 year old mind…

da_Bunnyman on March 10, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Missed opening day but was there the second day for the original Star Wars run. They were still giving out “May The Force Be With You” buttons and had them there for the taking on a small table. I’ll always regret not taking a few, the one I did take was later lost.

MSC77 on October 24, 2018 at 10:33 am

The Charles' 70mm engagements are noted in this new article on Boston’s large format and roadshow history.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.