While Boston is known for its professional sports teams and historic monuments, not many people are aware that the city is also an indie movie hotspot. Actors and directors like Julie Delpy, Miranda July, and Michael Cera have made the pilgrimmage to Beantown to attend Independent Film Festival Boston, which takes place in the city’s most celebrated cinemas. Beyond IFF Boston, these top-tier theaters run year-round programming that is essential to the city’s buoyant arts and entertainment scene, and has attracted some veritable star power throughout the years. Which begs the question, how do you like them apples?
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1. Coolidge Corner Theatre
Located just outside of Boston, this art deco darling is New England's crowning glory, which might be why it was recently chosen to host star-studded screenings for both Black Mass and Spotlight. The stylish marquee has won numerous awards for its creative and innovative lineup of international, art house, and contemporary films, including series like After Midnite, Rewind!, and Goethe German Films.
290 Harvard Street, Brookline, Massachusetts 02446; coolidge.org
2. Brattle Theatre
This Cambridge-based institution dates all the way back to 1871 when it housed drama troupes, budding ballerinas, and Harvard student performances. It transitioned to cinema in the ‘50s, and currently touts an eclectic mix of foreign, art house, and big ticket indie features. Alongside regular panel discussions with directors and actors, “Boston’s Unofficial Film School” boasts annual programming, like Schlock Around the Clock (a 35mm grindhouse movie marathon) and a kid-friendly Bugs Bunny Film Festival.
40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138; brattlefilm.org
3. Somerville Theatre
Artists like Bruce Springsteen, Kevin Spacey, Adele, Maya Angelou, and U2 have graced the stage of this beloved art deco theater and concert venue, which has hosted live events since 1914. Get comfortable in the spacious and luxurious orchestra seats, and then after the show, be sure to check out the Museum of Bad Art in the basement.
55 Davis Square, Somerville, Massachusetts 02144; somervilletheatre.com