The Coolidge Corner is Expanding

Ela Moss ‘27 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Image courtesy of Ela Moss

If you know Boston, and you like film, you know the Coolidge Corner. The Coolidge Corner Theater is a prized establishment in the Brookline area of Boston, sharing both new releases and curated selections of films around the clock. It’s self-described on their website as an “Art Deco movie palace,” which couldn’t be more accurate. The ticket office operates through a window, but through the doors, a cozy, hospitable lobby awaits with a food stand selling popcorn, unique movie snacks, and the theater’s own homemade sodas. It has an old, authentic movie house feel, exactly the kind of place you want to sink deep into comfy seats with a bag of popcorn and relax for a couple of hours. 

Opening in 1933, it was Brookline’s first movie theater, and now lays claim to the title of “New England’s most successful independent, nonprofit cinema.” As well as functioning as a theater, the Coolidge also hosts film classes once a week and one-night seminars on individual films. This avenue for and dedication to film education makes the Coolidge stand out, particularly in the sea of theaters in Boston and those around the world. 

Despite all of this and the more than ideal movie theater experience, the Coolidge Corner Theater has just opened new doors to an expansion. Outfitted with a new lobby, bigger spaces for events and teaching, two new state-of-the-art theaters, as well as an outdoor roof deck, this $12.5 million project has been a decade in the making. 

Image courtesy of Ela Moss

To mark and prepare for the public opening on March 27th, I was cordially invited to a preview screening and reception in one of the new movie houses. When I arrived in the new lobby, I was kindly greeted with smiles, and given complimentary popcorn before being shown up some stairs to Moviehouse 5. Color-coded a brilliant red, the theater is embellished with soft seats and a wide screen, so I got comfortable easily while I waited for the event to begin. After some brief opening remarks articulating much of what I’ve recounted for you above, the lights dimmed and Pedro Almodóvar’s Strange Way of Life was screened. A reception with drinks was hosted afterwards and I was shown to Moviehouse 6, which is a smaller theater decorated in a deep intimate blue. On my way out, I was invited to take a goody-bag, all around, making the reception experience incredibly hospitable and lovely. 

Although it may be disheartening to learn that the cherished, old-fashioned theater that the Coolidge was, now stands next to the modern extension, it doesn’t mean goodbye to the cozy atmosphere that it’s always embodied. Increased space means more theater outings and more occasions for film classes and education. The Coolidge Corner Theater is truly a unique space here in Boston, with the extension officially opened to the public on March 27th, 2024, it seems its specialty and hospitality are only growing. Much more about the theater can be learned on their website

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