Coolidge Corner is a name you will undoubtedly hear if you are in Brookline or planning to travel to Brookline. The intersection of Beacon Street and Harvard Street is home to many different shops, restaurants, and historical buildings, giving it a very nostalgic feeling. It is like a small time capsule that is occasionally interrupted by a Subway or a Bank of America.
The most iconic part of Coolidge Corner is indisputably Coolidge Corner Theatre, an antique church-turned-movie-palace built in 1906. The outside is sleek and angular, described as being “Art-Deco” with a towering neon marquee. The ticket booth honestly seems like it could be straight out of the 1960s with a powder blue exterior and vinyl lettering. The theatre stands out against the red and white brick exteriors of the rest of the street as a dated, picturesque love letter to the film industry. The theatre as a whole is a little pretentious, perhaps, but nevertheless beautiful in its historic significance.
As “New England's most successful independent, not-for-profit cinema,” Coolidge honestly has every right to be as pretentious at it pleases. The programs they foster at the theatre are educational and culturally enriching. I had the pleasure of attending a sold-out Coolidge After Midnight screening of A Clockwork Orange in December, and the experience was truly unique. I had seen A Clockwork Orange on the “big screen” a couple of times, but only in small venues that never really leant themselves to the brutality of the film. Sitting in the Coolidge with over 400 people, watching this graphic film was scary. I was so disturbed at some points that I had to physically remove myself for a couple of minutes to get some air. Because of the span of this historic theatre, I underwent an unforgettable experience. The crimson curtains and golden decorations of the theatre should be enough for you to want to check this place out, if the educational and cultural programs don’t bring you there first.