Movies – In Praise of the Somerville Theater

As a long-time film nerd, I love old theaters, and I’m blessed to live in Boston, which doesn’t just have one old theater, but several. The one I live near, though, is the Somerville Theater, where I’m going to see “Zombieland” tonight and should be the model for all American theaters. Why?

A) Their policies. No children after 6pm, no cell phones, and best of all, they’re strictly enforced. Even though it has all the problems of any grand old theater turned into a multiplex (four screens are fairly small), I will gladly go see a movie in one of their smaller theaters over seeing it in a major chain with stadium seating, because I know in the Somerville, people who are assholes, whether it’s by bringing a screaming baby[1] or by relentlessly texting[2], will be thrown out.

Compare this to the major chains in Boston. The biggest offender is, by far, the Boston Common Loews. When I went to see “Wolverine”, a woman started talking on her cell phone in the back. For an hour. I left to find somebody, anybody, to throw this bitch out on her ass but the only people left in the entire building were a bunch of contract janitors. Good thing the print didn’t break.

B) The food. First of all, the Somerville sells Harpoon, and they sell it at a price far better than you’ll find anywhere else. Their snack bar is well-stocked, the popcorn is fresh, and the butter is real.

C) The ticket prices. The Somerville might be, aside from the Brattle, the ONLY theater in the Boston area that charges under $10 for a ticket.

D) The projectionists. Unlike the teenagers in most of the chains, the projectionists at the Somerville are trained professionals who fix problems quickly and well. Kudos to them.

E) It’s literally the most convenient theater to public transit ever. As in, you step out of Davis and the theater is right there.

In short, if you’re in Boston, go see a movie at the Somerville.

[1] I think a good measure of whether or not a person should be allowed to raise children is whether or not they take their kids to R-rated movies because they’re too lazy to just get a goddamn babysitter. As in, Social Services should be waiting to rip the child from their arms and haul them away.

[2] You are not subtle. You are being rude. The theater is pitch black, and your phone glows like a reaction pile. We can see it and you. You disrupt the movie. Everybody hates you.


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