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A Different Kind of Theater Review

By Bill Andrews

So, you think you have what it takes to do what countless others before you couldn’t? To go above and beyond, to soar where others have merely fallen? I harbored such dreams myself once, but fate and circumstances collaborated to bring about my defeat, along with my own ignorance. If you will not turn back, brave soul, I will do what I can to help you on your journey — no, your sacred quest. And perhaps, you will bring glory and fame upon our school, and be the first to keep up to date with the world of cinema.

But to do so will require not only strength of heart against nagging homework and exams, nor only physical endurance traveling through snow and other foul weather. Here, then, are some local movie theaters, where you may begin and further your quest; I regret I can offer no more help than this.

The nearest theater to campus is the Kendall Square Cinema, at One Kendall Square, Cambridge. The address, simple though it may seem, is not helpful in the least. This was one of the last theaters I ever found, and even now I can’t tell you exactly how to get there; the best I can do is somewhere near Polcari’s, Bertucci’s, and the Coop. And is it even worth the Herculean effort of finding it? For many casual movie-goers the answer is no, as the Kendall cinema is what we call an “art” movie theater. So while odds are you haven’t heard of more than one of its showing movies, you’ll always know where to go if a movie is only “playing in select theaters.” Great for foreign films, including anime, documentaries, and indie flicks. Admission is $9.25, and for matinee shows $6.75.

Moving forward into the mainstream, we arrive next at the Harvard Square Loews at 10 Church Street in Cambridge. It’s really only a slight move to the more mainstream, though, as they still show more documentaries and “arty” films than you might be used to. But this theater has the added benefit of being much easier to get to: take the T to Harvard, find the Coop, find the next street up with the big church on the corner, (that would be Church Street) and you’re there. Also, you’ll be in Harvard Square, so dinner and a movie is easy to pull off; keep in mind, though, it only has five screens, so if you get claustrophobia easily you might want to keep looking. And lastly, every Saturday at midnight they have live performances of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I heartily recommend you to go at least once. Admission is $9.25, and for matinee shows $6.50.

Now we get into the big leagues. The AMC Fenway 13, at 401 Park Drive Ste. 7 in Boston, is more of what we had back home. All the movies you’ve seen ads for on TV and radio and buses will all be here for you. It’s also rather easy to get to: take the T to Fenway on the green line, and follow the crowds; unless there’s a Sox game, odds are they’re headed for the theater. It’s a particularly popular theater among West Campus people, as I understand, since they’re practically across the Charles from it, and just have to take the BU bridge. Also nice is a Pizzeria Uno in what I always consider a tiny Times Square near the theater. Admission is $9.50, and for matinee shows $7.50, and they even have a student discount too, $7.50.

We come now to the great one, the Boston Common Loews Theater, at 175 Tremont St in Boston. This is the real big time; this is where I’ve chosen to spend opening nights for movies of the “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Batman,” and “Hitchhiker’s Guide” varieties, and each in absolutely huge theaters. The easiest of them all to get to, take the T to Boylston, and there you are. I usually take it to Park and just walk down Tremont St, admiring the Boston skyline and the Commons on the way. This is a theater so impressive (it is three stories after all) that when I first took my girlfriend there when she was a freshmen, she fell into quiet awe; when she described the theater to her family they did likewise. Of course, she is from Wisconsin, so perhaps it’s not saying that much. But it’s definitely a fun place to watch movies, even if there are no regular (cheap) restaurants nearby. On a clear night it’s also a great walk back to campus, through the government district and over the Longfellow bridge. Admission is $10.25 on weekends, $9.25 otherwise, matinees are $7.25, and they have a student discount Monday through Thursday of $8.50.

And of course, one cannot have a discussion of movies @MIT without mentioning LSC. The Lecture Series Committee is another of our 4,000 student groups, and they show second run movies every weekend, usually in 26-100. It’s a convenient way to see a movie you just couldn’t get to when it came out, or to see movies for $3, which is becoming increasingly rare.

I only hope you find this knowledge helpful on your quest. Had I but known in my youth what I know now … ah, but that’s another tale, for another section of The Tech. Godspeed, young warrior, Godspeed.