The West Newton Cinema, 75-year-old movie theatre – and Newton’s last neighborhood theatre – was sold to Mark Development in 2022. David Bramante, who owned and managed the cinema, was forced to sell because of Covid’s negative impact on movie attendance. Newton residents quickly responded to the theatre’s plight by forming a separate entity, the nonprofit West Newton Cinema Foundation (WNCF), which aims to raise $5.6 million by August of 2024 to acquire the building from Mark Development — and then eventually to restore and renovate the Cinema as a community center. Fig City News

West Newton Cinema Foundation

Our Vision is a restored & renovated West Newton Cinema

Imagine a community-center model that provides more than just movies but instead curates experiences. Theater spaces that can be used for an endless array of cultural events. A place to meet with friends for food, or a class, or a wild midnight comedy. Programming would be expanded to include performing arts, musical performance, robust film education and family classes.

Imagine the West Newton Cinema as a:

  • Cultural center for the arts with spaces ranging from 100 to 225 seats

  • Place to interact with John Sayles and other authors as they read from their books

  • Site of irresistible theme nights, months, and marathons: Noirvember, Martial Arts Mondays, Shakespeare in Cinema, Sound of Music singalongs

  • Screening venue for the many Boston-area film festivals that create social and political change

  • Place for local restaurants to test a pop-up menu

  • Performance venue for local groups

  • Movie party location for kids of all ages

  • Casual spot for a weekly jazz brunch

  • Location for an intense discussion after the latest Palme d’Or winner

  • Gathering spot for a glass of wine with friends before a movie on an outdoor patio

  • Pre-school vacation day screening of a Disney classic

  • Learning site for classes on the impact today of movies from the 50s and 60s

  • Movie date night, complete with movie theatre popcorn and a soda on the side

The space would maintain its unique character but be brought into the 21st century.  We would work to make theaters handicap accessible, upgrade seats and sound, expand concessions, and create gathering areas that would serve as community and reception space.

The West Newton Cinema has long been a West Newton institution, but with the right model of programming and support, it could easily become a cultural destination for all of Newton, the surrounding towns, and the Boston/Cambridge arts community.  Additionally, it would revitalize the immediate West Newton neighborhood, serving as an anchor that would attract people to nearby restaurants and shops.