Community Playhouse

370 Washington Street,
Wellesley, MA 02481

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Functions: Restaurant, Retail

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Community Playhouse

The former Community Playhouse in the sleepy town of Wellesley is long closed, but the building remains.

The old movie house has been converted into a series of shops. The bottom of the building is taken up by a Bertuccis Restaurant.

The theater bears an extremely strong similarity to the Country Cinema in Watertown, Connecticut.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

nathang on August 4, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Alas, the marquis has been removed as of this year (2008).

What a great theater this was. I’m so thankful to have had it until I was 15. Everyone I knew was sad to see it go.

nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Growing up, I probably saw more films here than everywhere else combined. As someone noted earlier, it was around the plainest theatre I’ve ever attended — very much like an old-fashioned school auditorium with a projector installed. You went here for the great movies, not the small-town atmosphere. I also recall that the screen could be rolled up and the proscenium used — never saw a play there, but the M.I.T./Wellesley College Symphony gave a concert once where I sat in the balcony.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm

The Community in Wellesley is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook as having 800 seats and open 6 days/week.

CineSister on August 29, 2011 at 8:29 am

I grew up in Weston, and was friends with the family that owned the Playhouse in the 70s. I remember the .75 cent matinees. What a treasure!

ErikH on September 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Another Westonian here and I knew that family as well—-the Spencers. A lot of good memories from seeing films there in the 70s and 80s. I remember being impressed when the Spencers invested in a Dolby stereo system around 1980 (and my recollection was that the investment was substantial). It was highly unusual for a second run theater in those days to invest in a stereo system; most first run theaters in Boston and the suburbs were not equipped for Dolby,yet the Playhouse was.

sartana on May 12, 2012 at 5:21 am

This was the theatre where the prototype of what would eventually be called HPS-4000 sound system was first installed. Please visit the HPS-4000 site and click on “Building Audiences” for more info.

dce6644 on May 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

People forget that prior to video, the James Bond films were in constant re-issue as double features and we went to see them again and again. The Community Playhouse was certainly one of the places we went to see them. If I had a nickel for everytime I saw “Thunderball” / “You On ly Live Twice”…

Playhouse Saturday matinees were a haven for anyone who loved comedies, especially anything with Danny Kaye or Jerry Lewis.

sartana on September 4, 2013 at 7:29 am

A very detailed article about the incredible sound system which was installed at the Playhouse along with a picture of the auditorium. (PDF reader required)

HPS-4000 sound

DENNISMAHANEY1 on January 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm

I saw a number of films here it was always well run think it showed more art films of the day English ie TUNES OF GLORY next to the theater on could ice cream, these times when I was a usher in FRAMINHAM, as a teen from NATICK

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