From Dave Brigham:
The Circle Cinema, which straddles Brookline and the city of Boston's Brighton neighborhood, was born the same year I was. Unfortunately, the theater where I've seen many movies during my 20+ years in the Boston area died at age 43. The cause of death was chronic under-attendance brought on by the Internet and fancy-shmancy competitors offering full-body, in-seat massage service, free booze IV's and robotic auto detailing.
Or something like that.
Although I saw plenty of movies at the Circle, the film that sticks out the most is the one I saw for only about five minutes. Harken back with me to the fall of 1990. My girlfriend (now wife), Beth, and I had recently moved from York, Maine, to an apartment on 69 Chiswick Road in Brighton. She had recently enrolled at the New England School of Law, and I was temping in downtown Boston. We went out a lot on weekends with our friends, to bars, pool halls, restaurants, bowling alleys and, of course, movies.
One Friday or Saturday night we walked the short distance to the theater (in Cleveland Circle) and bought tickets for Martin Scorsese's gangster epic, "Goodfellas." We waited in line for a few minutes buying popcorn (for her) and peanut M&M's (for me) before walking upstairs to the theater.
We found two seats in the crowded theater and settled in. After the previews, I ripped open my snack. Just around the time that Joe Pesci stabs the life out of a guy stuffed in the trunk of Ray Liotta's car, Beth turned to me and said, "I don't feel too good."
I thought maybe the violence was too much for her. Being the sensitive guy that I am, I said something like, "Oh, you'll be fine. Drink some water. Take a deep breath."
But the longer she sat there, the worse she felt. So we had to walk out of the movie and walk slowly back to our apartment. I don't believe Beth threw up, but she didn't feel any better once we got home. It wasn't the movie, it was a bug of some sort, or nerves related to something in law school.
I can't believe the place closed six years ago. I took the picture above a few years back and had forgotten about it. But I read recently that after a few years of back-and-forth between developers, the cities of Brookline and Boston, and abutting residents of both communities, a plan has been approved to tear down the theater and replace it with a hotel, apartments, restaurants and retail space.
Click here to read about the plan.