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Is it curtains for Belmont's 96-year-old Studio Cinema?

The Belmontonian and Wicked Local Belmont both report that town officials have closed Belmont's only movie theatre, citing code violations.

The single-screen Studio Cinema on Trapelo Road has entertained Belmont residents since 1919, but owner Jim Bramante told The Belmontonian that he sees "only about a 10 percent chance" than he can make the repairs that the town is now demanding.

The popular Belmont World Film series had to hurriedly relocate its upcoming Family Film Festival to the West Newton Cinema (also owned by Bramante) and the Regent Theatre in Arlington Center. If the Studio cannot reopen soon, Belmont World Film may also need to change its name.

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Comments

Quite sad, but to keep a threatre built originally for silent films up to code in that location must be horrifically expensive. I imagine the best hope is to campaign for Alamo Drafthouse or similar venture to inject the funds needed to preserve it.

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Someone needed to 'find' code violations so that the theater could be demolished for a cookie-cutter plastic luxury condo building.

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Have you been there, anon? I have, and I'm not surprised there were code violations--it's pretty run down. I'm sorry to see a small business in trouble, but my experiences there have never been very pleasant.

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The Somerville Theatre was in pretty sad shape in 1989, but look at it now. It was also built for silent films (and vaudeville), and it celebrated its 100th birthday last year.

They aren't making any more of these, so let's keep the few we still have.

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I would love to see the cinema brought back to life. I have very fond memories of the old-timey second-run theater I went to when I was a kid. I'm just saying that I can believe there are currently code violations.

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but one has to admire the charm of going in there for a 3:30 afternoon show and the lady behind the counter telling you you're the only one there. She then offered to screen the film for me, but I told her to go home and have some dinner and I'd be back for the evening show.

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Is this "old-timey second-run theatre" you speak of Studio Cinema? I thought you said you have never had a "pleasant experience" there... what's wrong? not a fan of free popcorn refills? smh...

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My fond memories are of the Stoughton Cinema. I spent a lot of time there in the 70s and 80s (I'm old!). I didn't know the Studio had free popcorn refills, but honestly, I've never had food from there. One of my unpleasant experiences involved a rodent...
I would love the Studio to come back as a good place to see a movie--who wouldn't?

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The Somerville Theatre and the Coolidge Corner Theatre were both slated for the wrecking ball at that time (1989), but were saved from demolition due to community efforts. Glad to see that they're still up. As for the Belmont Studio Cinema, I've never been there, so I can't compare it with anything. Most of those theatres now only have first and second run movies, as opposed to the arts/classic films. Too bad, because there is such a dearth of independent, non-profit movie theatres here in the Boston area (as well as in the United States, generally.).

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Highly suspicious that these code violations would suddenly be cited now when they appear to be long standing issues. If they've been fine and unchanged for a century. Why all of a sudden the big deal?

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Let's just wait until someone gets killed in a fire and then we'll worry about the building code.

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It's in the middle of a commercial strip, not exactly a good location of a "plastic cookie cutter luxury condo building." Not to mention that ever since the brick apartment building debacle in Belmont, the town has no interest in building anything over 2.5 stories.

Although something interesting is going on in the Silver Maple forest and it looks big - maybe that's csmbridge and not belmont.

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At least the part that's about to be built upon.

What was the "brick apartment building debacle" ? Did something fall down after being built?

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God, I would love for the Alamo Drafthouse to expand to Massachusetts, I'd never go to another theater ever again

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The Alamo Draft House would be a wonderful movie theatre to have come to the Boston, MA area, at least in part because they have an excellent zero-tolerance policy on texting/general cell-phone use in their movie theatres. It's a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy if a theatre-goer is caught texting or using their cell phone in any way or form in the movie theatre during the movie. The third time involves the persistant trouble-maker getting promptly evicted from the movie theatre, with no refund(s) of their money, or anything.

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Get a load of this:

and have afew laughs!

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This is a great little relic. Hoping for something to break in their favor. Maybe some community support? In a town that's as warm, welcoming, and business-friendly as...hmm...Belmont?

Well, there's always Kickstarter.

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Belmontian: "Town officials are playing their cards close to the vest, only indicating that all departments are working collectively to resolve any remaining issues to allow the operation to open for business."

Wicked: "With regard to the code violations, Belmont Fire Chief David Frizzell said “We did an inspection back in August which revealed missing hardware and inappropriate hardware on the exit doors, like panic bars, so you can egress quickly.” He also said that there are electrical issues, for example, the theater is using multiple extension cords and it needs new circuit boxes and covers for junction boxes. Frizzell added that he is primarily concerned with patron safety, “We’ve had a lot of historic fires in the fire service across the country that have dealt with large occupancy facilities, so we need to be on top of these things and make sure that facility is safe when they go to see a show there.”

Sounds to me like the fire inspection showed some pretty basic stuff. Fix the exit doors. Lose the electrical cords. Repair the junction boxes.

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Isn't there a castle in Belmont where only the chosen are allowed entry? Maybe their king could summon his holier than thou vassals to pitch in to help fix the problems.

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Mitt Romney?

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