Cinema 733

733 Boylston Street,
Boston, MA 02116

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

Nearby Theaters

Cinema 733, Paul's Mall, Jazz Workshop

A hole-in-the-wall sharing its street address with two popular jazz nightclubs (Paul’s Mall and the Jazz Workshop), the Cinema 733 was known for its calendar of ever-changing double features. It opened on December 25, 1970 with Michel Duchaussoy in “This Man Must Die”.

They flooded the city with monthly calendars that simply listed the names of films, dates, and times, with no descriptions. They assumed that you had already heard of the films but had missed them in their first or second runs, or just wanted to see them again.

Each double feature would play for a day or two, then be replaced by another one. The films were usually recent Hollywood or art-house hits, interspersed with occasional older films such as a Marx Brothers festival.

After the 733 closed in the late-1970’s, the same owners put out similar schedules for first the Harvard Square Theater and then the Janus Cinema.

Contributed by Ron Newman

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

jam on January 5, 2005 at 11:53 pm

My best friend and I would sip on a couple of scorpion bowls at Tiki Ports(?) and run across Boylston St. to view Jaggar in “Performance.” Performed this ritual many, many times. Stayed late one night and caught “Clockwork Orange” – sure opened up our innocent minds…. Then we’d go over to NE Music City and buy an album for $5.00. Memories…..

ecosgrove on April 18, 2005 at 9:11 pm

I worked at the Cinema 733 in the summer of 1975. (Common phoned-in question: What time is the midnight show?) One of the best summers of my life. Randy wanted to teach me how to be a projectionist—or so he said! Double features for 99 cents: Bergman, Fellini, Bertolucci, etc. I got such an education there! (and not just in the booth)

sweetmel on May 20, 2012 at 6:01 am

Oh Wow! I remember this and the Orson Wells in cambridge. I wish we had small theatres like these again.I remember seeing Marx Brothers triple features there and in cambridge.

dickneeds111 on May 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm

We do have small theatres like this. They are called Multi union Cinemas in every Mall across the country but they don’t book like the Orson Welles. The Brattle., The Janus or the Cinema 733 did.

da_Bunnyman on August 26, 2013 at 4:56 am

Place had a very odd layout. You entered from the back and on your right were rows of 8-12 seats. These went from very back to close to the screen. Near front were 4-6 rows of seats set at an angle off to the left. These rows had maybe 5-6 seats in them. Bathroom was near these rows and I recall it was tiny and had an old coin-op after shave/cologne dispenser. (like the womens version seen here )

I wish someone was around who knew the story of this place. I mean was it designed from the start as a cinema or was there just some room left over after the the 2 clubs were designed.

migceb on September 27, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Here’s a link to an article with a photo that was taken on Cinema 733’s last night (circa 1978):

Nataloff on March 20, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Cinema 733 (its address on Boylston Street) was owned by Freddie Taylor of Paul’s Mall and Jazz Workshop fame and Tony Mauriello. Neil Evans booked it knowledgeably from films that were coming off third run and flat rentals as second features. It felt more like a screening room than a theatre, but it was a canny use of real estate and a last-ditch intown anchor house for those of us in distribution.

DavidZornig on May 9, 2017 at 11:48 pm

Undated photo added courtesy of the Old School Boston Facebook page.

rivest266 on March 21, 2021 at 8:20 pm

This opened on December 25th, 1970 with “This Man Must Die”. Grand opening ad posted.

jwmovies on December 25, 2022 at 7:05 pm

UC Theater in Berkeley (Bay Area home of The Rocky Horror Picture Show) would havs the same thing! 😍😍 calendars and all! So would the notorious Strand (crack den) in SF. Movies would change every other day! LOVED IT! I saw most Fellini movies that way as well as the weird Thundercrack Lady Frankenstein and The infamous Caligula! Good tmes! πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ€©πŸ€©

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