“Toga! Toga!”: College Nights at the Movies

Originally published in The Daily Free Press on September 1, 2011

Watching “Animal House” and reading the four copies of Dr. Seuss’ poetry you received at your graduation party couldn’t have prepared you for this. You’re here. Welcome.

Your Terrier attire brands you as an exclusive member. Brass bands announce your arrival. Between Dean Elmore’s march down Comm. Ave, the Programming Council Drive-In Movie and free trinkets on every street corner, the excitement seems interminable.

But as the red and white confetti settles and fades into the cobblestone you pound on Comm. Ave 15 times a day, the excitement wanes. Dry freshmen classes parch any remaining vivacity.

It’s time to replenish. It’s time for the movies.
Just as in any metropolis, movie theaters abound in the Greater Boston area, but a few are particularly able to provide escapism.

Regal Fenway: Situated in the chaos of Fenway Park, the Regal may be the closest theater to campus but game day mobs make the theater impenetrable. The Regal shows mostly mainstream Hollywood flicks on its thirteen screens, so whether you desire a comedy to laugh a bad grade away or a romance to counter the frustration of a fleeting Allston fling, check out Regal. | 201 Brookline Ave., Boston.

AMC Boston Common: There’s something patriotic about indulging in a genuine American tradition exactly where British troops marched during the Revolutionary War. Right in the midst of one of the country’s most historic areas, the AMC Boston Common is the most popular theater in Boston, boasting 19 screens all linked by an impressive web of escalators. AMC too features mostly Hollywood productions but a few independent films slip onto the screen occasionally. Close proximity to the Common and theater district eateries makes AMC a great date location, but be warned – prime location comes with a price. | 175 Tremont St., Boston.

Kendall Square Cinema: You are about to live in a world-renowned Mecca of creativity – and this refreshingly unique art house theater exemplifies the magic of the Boston/Cambridge partnership. With a surprising nine screens, Kendall is the place to see limitedly released flicks, unpronounceable foreign films and even to catch some Hollywood names. Kendall is also distinguished in offering frequent cast and crew Q&A’s to accompany their screenings, so make sure to join their email list for announcements. | 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge.

Coolidge Corner Theater: It’s a beautiful thing when one of America’s oldest cities hides relics amid contemporary skyscrapers. The Coolidge Corner Theater, first installed in 1906 and refurbished in Art Deco style in 1933, recalls an age of sepia celluloid and crackly soundtracks. The gorgeous theater houses both modern small-budget films and past Hollywood classics on its smaller, but unique, screen set-ups. Coolidge is popular on Boston campuses for their “@fter Midnite” showings of cult hits such as “The Room” and “Clueless.” Be sure to bring lots of spoons to throw at the screen. | 290 Harvard St., Brookline.

Remember, “life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” Happy viewing.

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