Embassy Theatre

Moody Street,
Waltham, MA 02453

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Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments

oldmovielover on August 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

Sure takes me back I lived in Waltham in the mid 1960s I spent so much time there I never had been in such a movie theater since making my way back to Mass after many years of living far from home things have sure changed I do not know about you but I still miss the Embassy its like I lost a old friend.

atmos on August 27, 2012 at 5:59 am

Tinseltoes I think that design may have been used for the Oriental Theatre in Boston/Mattapan.

screenlover on July 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Growing up as a kid in Waltham i just about lived in the Embassy.It was great loved it when i look back at the mid 1960s the frist thing i think of when someone says remember the Embassy? i say how can anyone ever forget that wonderful place.

dlangan on December 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm

am i right that the embassy was very close to a railroad track,that used to be so busy during the war that it seemed like there were miles of trains carrying tanks and planes.also right next to the movies was a water fall???.also there were two other movie houses to the right and to the left of the embassy several blocks away.

jimmo531 on August 14, 2008 at 4:42 am

I had already submitted the following comment on the page for the Embassy Cinemas, before I saw the separate listing for my old hometown theater:

As a resident of Waltham from 1958 to 1979, who attended the old Embassy Theater many times in my formative years, I can attest that the posting by bclarrk on 8/15/2005 is correct.

The former Embassy Theater was located on Moody Street, directly across the street from the block where the former Grover Cronin’s department store once stood. What may be stated correctly, however, is that the parking lot for the current Embassy multiplex theaters shares roughly the same space as the parking lot for the original Embassy. Furthermore, the current Embassy is on the same city block as that of the original Embassy facility.

In fact, I recall many times entering the old Embassy from that back entrance/exit, and it even had posters of coming & current attractions and a ticket-selling area, though it was chiefly used to exit more quickly after a film had ended, and to gain quicker access (& escape) for the theater’s automobile-driven patrons.

What actually exists on the former Embassy lot (or did, at least through the early 1990’s) is/was one of those rather useless municipal monstrosities, marked by a few benches and a mural, I believe done by some students of the Waltham Public Schools on the side of a building—to my recollection anyway. The functional purpose of this site is/was as a cross-over to the parking lot and a recreational area along the banks of the Charles River, adjacent to which is also some public housing, I believe occupied by some of Waltham’s senior citizenry.

The previous comment that the current Embassy is situated where the former Waltham “Daily News-Tribune" once stood, on Pine Street, is likewise correct. The current “Tribune,” which last I heard is on Moody Street after a period operating in the Rte. 128 area, exists in name only; was absorbed by the Johnson family-owned Fidelity Investments group, which operated as “Community Newspapers,” was then was bought up by the current “Boston Herald.” This is not the same “News-Tribune” once owned by the Skakel family and edited by Thomas Murphy and Larry Grady.

Also, bclarkk’s comment about Guy Lombardo’s band being the last, official engagement booked at the original Embassy, rings true. I recall the last film I saw at the old Embassy was “Night of Dark Shadows,” the second theatrical feature based on the cult favorite, ABC-TV horror soap opera, and I believe that was in the summer of 1971.

Quite often after seeing films at the old Embassy Theater (which in those days sometimes included a second feature & usually Three Stooges' or cartoon shorts, all for the vast sum of $0.50-to-$0.75 cents), my family &/or friends would head over to the old Liggett’s Drug Store, located kitty-corner to the Embassy and parallel/perpendicular (depending upon your perspective) to the Grover Cronin’s block, on the corner or Moody & Crescent Streets, for more refreshments if the then-inexpensive candy, popcorn & soda at the Embassy hadn’t been enough! Today, as we all know, the cost of refreshments, even for one person, is about the price of another admission.

Liggett’s, which sported one of those familiar “Rexall Drugs” signs on the outside, on the inside had a great, old-fashioned soda fountain, adjacent to its pharmacy and retail area; in the back of the counter seating area were two phone booths—the kind with wooden-encased glass doors & seats inside for comfort & privacy in conducting private telephone conversations—a concept foreign to the cellphone chatterers of today!

Then, maybe after a quick bite to eat at Liggett’s after the film at the Embassy (and a phone call home to see what time to be home for supper), maybe it was across the street and up the block to Discland, to browse for the latest Beatles, Herman’s Hermits or Motown singles. As far as I know, Discland was still in operation as of sometime in the 1990s, though it had bounced around to various locations within that few blocks’ radius on Moody Street. In fact, I bought my first, 45 r.p.m. single at Disclandâ€"it was Patty Duke’s “Don’t Just Stand There” b/w “Everything But Love,” the A-side a rip-off of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.” But what did I know any better then? I just loved watching Duke on her ABC-TV sitcomâ€"that one where “cousins are two-of-a- kind.”

Truly, those WERE the days!

Forrest136 on July 20, 2008 at 3:13 am

Folks! Lets stick to information about the movie theaters! lol

ggates on July 19, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Very strange story, MPol. You remind me of someone who lived in Wellesley and had a photo in her purse, of herself wearing shoes. But that was 20 years ago. Couldn’t be….

MPol on July 19, 2008 at 12:41 pm

I agree, Forrest136. The Embassy/Landsmark Theatre, on Waltham’s Pine Street, is sort of a phony effort to implement a sort of “something old, something new” project, as were the Lowe’s Cinemas (now bought out by AMC Theatres) Theatres. Unfortunately, it’s not really working. The moviegoing public isn’t fooled that easily, I don’t think. Plus, I went to the new Landsmark/Embassy Theatre to see the film “Liberty Heights”, which I thought was OK and enjoyed, but there was something really creepy about the general area; it wasn’t well lit, and neither was the parking lot behind it. As a woman, I found it rather creepy going back out to that poorly-lit parking lot later that night after the movie.

Before the Landsmark/Embassy Theatre was built, however, there was a (now-defunct) multiplex Cinema in Waltham’s Totten Pond Road area, right off of Route 128, in a rather secluded spot and somewhat close to the Waltham-Lincoln line, on Waltham’s Winter Street, which was then a sort of a “Lover’s Lane”, where young couples would go, park and make out in their cars. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of fights over there, and one girl even got assaulted, at one point. In another rather grisly incident, (back in the 1970’s, when I was already out of high school, thank heavens), a group of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School students hitchhiked somewhere one Saturday night, while on a date. The guys, sensing that something was a little bit wierd, had the men who’d picked them up let the girls in the group off first. Then things took a nastier, more vicious turn. The boys in the group later said that the men who’d picked them up had been drinking, but did not seem unfriendly. One of the boys received a concussion after being hit over the head with a blunt, heavy instrument. The other boy almost got run over by their attackers' car while escaping. This particular multiplex cinema, too, like the Landsmark/Embassy, was a very antiseptic-looking theatre. Not withstanding that, however, the fact that it was located in such a secluded area, with a lot of wierd stuff going
on at night makes me wonder if that had any bearing of the eventual closing down of this particular cineplex. Anyway, I’m glad that I’ve found some movie theatres in this area that I like going to.

I’ve thought of buying a yearly membership to the Brattle Theatre, in addition to the one that I already have at the Coolidge, but, unfortunately, the Brattle Theatre’s still not out of the woods financially. I hope they do get out of the woods eventually, however.

I think that there’ll always be cinephiles (myself included) who enjoy seeing certain films.

Forrest136 on July 11, 2008 at 5:10 am

The sad thing is the new cinemas were not even built on the same site! What a mistake it was tearing it down!

MPol on July 10, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Since the Embassy Theatre was located in Walthem, which was one of the towns that abutted my old home town, we used to go there frequently as kids, and, often enough, we’d often see other kids that we knew from my old hometown there at the theatre, on a Saturday afternoon, for both good and bad. Since Grover Cronin’s Department Store (which has since been converted into condos) was pretty much right across the street, some times a whole day would be made of it; shopping at Grover Cronin’s, and a movie at the Embassy Theatre. I remember that the Embassy Theatre was very baroque-looking inside, so going to the theatre itself was an artistic experience. Alas, the Embassy was torn down, making way for the more sterile and antiseptic-looking multiplex cinema(s) that now exist.

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on December 18, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Great memories! I wonder if you met an Irishman named Jack O'Halloran who worked there once upon a time. He retired and became a doorman at the Cinema in Framigham in the early ‘80s.

mark edmunds
mark edmunds on December 18, 2007 at 12:42 pm

My father Richard Edmunds began work as an usher at the Embassy in 1939,went off to war in Europe after 4 years he returned and worked his way to head doorman till 1967. I loved his uniform so military like. he, like the other doormen wore a hat! I remember him checking the ushers out before a show uniforms, shoes, haircuts etc. to see that they were ready for the public! not like todays teen’s that run theatres. My uncle Jim Tully was also the stage manager at the theatre, he opended the curtains and dimmed the houselights in the grand way of yesteryear,his career covered vaudville at the Waltham and Waldorf theatres in Waltham and he was also the president of the local I.A.T.S.E for projectionist, which helped me later on. My brother David and I would go to the theatre every Sat.with my dad(to stay out of my mothers hair)at 10:30 am to get ready for the matinee and of course we knew evry inch of that theatre back stage, booth,old dressing rooms, ‘letter’ room for the marquee, candy room!! and we would bring friends with us to see behind the scenes at the movies I really miss those days. As I got older I would go with my dad at times to other ATC theatres, West Newton Theatre/John Hogan Mgr., Central Sq. Theatre Waltham/Harold Gordon Mgr. Rialto Theatre in Matterpan/Eddie Cantor Mgr.,Oriental Theatre/Mr. Wasserman Mgr. and the main office for ATC was at the Pilgrim Theatre in Boston when I saw that place wow! escalters(wooden steps) and it was huge! I later went to work at the West Newton`Theatre for Mr. Hogan and learned alot from him about mgmt. on his nights off as the closing mgr. I would get a call from the Embassy with the daily fiqure and I would then call the Village Cinema, West Roxbury for the fiqure, then I would call the Pilgim to report all 3 numbers.

Forrest136 on July 27, 2007 at 4:47 am

Does anyone have any interior photos of this theatre?

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on August 28, 2006 at 4:55 pm

Here’s a link View link
to a photo, taken in 1967, of the Embassy in downtown Waltham.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 28, 2006 at 7:22 am

To Forrest 136 – the photo is on the MGM Report. For a description of the MGM project, see the Cinema Treasures page for the Warner Theatre in Worcester MA. My copies of these Reports are Xeroxes of Xeroxes, if you know what I mean, so the photos are all washed-out.Some of the info on the Reports is not always accurate. The copies I have are mostly of movie theatres in eastern and central Massachusetts and were done in the Spring of 1941.

Forrest136 on August 27, 2006 at 8:19 am

Thanks for the info! Where is the photo listed would love to see it!

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 27, 2006 at 7:49 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Embassy Theatre lists the address as 234 Moody St.There is an exterior photo of the entrance dated May 1941, The rectangular marquee had the name in big letters on the front. There were ornate poster cases on either side of the entrance, and a center box office with an old-fashioned brass railing directly in front of it. The Report states that the Embassy had been a MGM customer for over 10 years; that it was over 15 years old; that it was in Fair condition; and had the following seats: Orchestra, 1373; Balcony, 584; Loges, 136; total: 2093 seats. The Embassy was a M&P theatre which later went to ATC Theatres.

maleman on June 11, 2006 at 10:18 am

no i now live in st.petersburg fla.

Forrest136 on June 10, 2006 at 5:59 pm

There was nothing like the Embassy as a kid growing up in Waltham. I now reside in Manhattan and even here in NYC there is no theatre like it!

ggates on June 10, 2006 at 5:51 pm

There are lots of folks who remember fondly, the theatres they went to when they were kids. Do you still live in Waltham, and what has changed?

maleman on June 10, 2006 at 5:33 pm

when i was a kid i could not wait until the weekends so i could
go to the embassy.that was a awesome place to spend a sat.i wish i could go back in time and go the the movies at the embassy.as i get older the more i think of those days at the embassy.the ticket price was .50 cents.

Forrest136 on November 12, 2005 at 12:04 am

Does anyone have any interior photos of this theatre?

Forrest136 on September 9, 2005 at 11:38 pm

The Embassy always had a double feature and featurettes!

Forrest136 on September 6, 2005 at 2:22 pm

Does anyone have info on the Central Square theatre?