Cinemas & Video Resources

Independent Cinemas

A list of cinemas screening independent, foreign, and arthouse fare follows. Most of these theaters offer substantial student discounts or student memberships. Sign up for their mailing lists to get weekly updates on what's playing and information on special events.

  • Arlington Capitol Theatre: A six-screen, second-run theater focusing on family-friendly and independent fare.
  • Arlington Regent: A big-screen, 500-seat historic proscenium theater with 35mm and digital projection.
  • Brattle Theatre: A nonprofit single-screen theater that shows repertory, current independent films, midnight programs. It is also home to a few local film festivals.
  • Coolidge Corner Theatre: A recently restored four-screen cinema with two 35mm screens and two small video-only screening rooms. It mainly shows first-run independent features, although its program is peppered with special screenings and events such as science on screen, big screen classics, and off the couch. It offers deep discounts with a student membership.
  • Harvard Film Archive: A single-screen theater providing the faculty and students of Harvard University and the greater scholarly community with a public film program that offers audiences the opportunity to view international and independent films and to interact with filmmakers and artists.
  • Institute of Contemporary Art: A single-screen theater in the newly renovated museum located on the waterfront. It often hosts special events including local film festivals and programming from around the world.
  • Kendall Landmark Cinema: A nine-screen chain cinema showing independent features, which also hosts many special events, including local premieres, benefit screenings, and film festivals. It has a film club that is free to join and offers free passes from time to time.
  • Museum of Fine Arts: The Museum of Fine Arts' Film Program features contemporary international cinema, restored classics, American independent films (including films by local artists), films showing for the first time in Boston, and retrospectives by international film artists.
  • Somerville Theatre: A five-screen, second-run theater with regular music and stage performances remaining, with its sister theater, the Capitol, among the last of the neighborhood theaters that aren't a nonprofit.
  • Stuart Street Playhouse: Originally built as a cinema in 1970, the Stuart Street Playhouse was converted into a live performance space in 1996. The theater became a cinema again in 2009. It has one screen with more than 400 seats and screens independent second-run and arthouse fare.
  • Waltham Embassy Cinema: A six-screen cinema featuring a mix of independent film, foreign language cinema, and Hollywood favorites. It has a film club that is free to join and offers free passes from time to time.
  • West Newton Cinema: A six-screen cinema presenting the finest foreign, independent, and critically acclaimed films since 1978. It has a weekly e-newsletter with showtimes and special screenings.

Cinema Treasures is a resource site on cinema spaces that were once in operation in the Boston area and beyond. It has an active message board where participants tell stories of theaters where they worked or spent all their free time. There is also a job listing and for sale section.

Video Stores

A list of independently owned video rental and sales shops follows. The owners are usually film people who are knowledgeable about what's out there and usually all too happy to accommodate special orders.

We encourage students to take advantage of the Emerson Library's Media Collection. If you can't find the film you're looking for, here are independent video stores in the Boston area:

  • Beantown Video
    372 Commercial Street, Boston; 617-723-8979
  • Hollywood Express
    1740 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge; 617-497-2001
    765 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge; 617-864-8400
    238 Elm Street, Somerville; 617-625-4900
  • Mike’s Movies
    630 Tremont Street, Roxbury; 617-266-9222
  • Movieworks
    1658 Beacon Street, Brookline; 617-734-6332
  • Quick Flix
    8 Bow Street, Cambridge; 617-864-3549
  • Videosmith
    465 Columbus Avenue, Boston; 617-247-0400
  • Video Underground
    385 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain; 617-522-4949