The Coolidge Corner Theatre Grand Opening is finally here! Fans of the historic theatre have been waiting with baited breath for years. If you’ve been in the Brookline area over the past few years, you’ve seen the ongoing construction and excitement in the air as movie-goers checked in on the progress. Well, the wait is over as the community readies for the Coolidge Corner Theatre Grand Opening on March 27th.

History of the Coolidge Corner Theatre

The Coolidge Corner Theatre was originally build as a church back in 1906. It was redesigned as an Art Deco movie palace in 1933, and has been open to the public since. It was the community of Brookline’s first movie theatre, and has been a non-profit foundation since 1989. The theatre and foundation celebrates the cinematic experience by highlighting and promoting the finest international, documentary, animated, and independent films. The Coolidge Corner Theatre’s mission is “to entertain, inform, and engage — building a vital community through film culture.”

The Coolidge Corner Theatre Expansion Grand Opening

After years of planning, fundraising, and I’m sure a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, the grand opening is finally here! On March 27th, you can join The Coolidge for their grand opening with two special screenings. Tickets are on sale now and here are the showtimes for the two new theatres:

The Wizard of Oz
4pm and 7:15pm in Moviehouse 5 (145 seats)

2001: A Space Odyssey
3pm and 7:45pm in Moviehouse 6 (53 seats)
9:30pm in Moviehouse 5 (145 seats)

Why the Wizard of Oz and 2001: A Space Odyssey you ask? Well, both of the films were inspiration for the design of the new space, a 14,000 sq. ft. expansion. The design was by award-winning architecture firm Howeler + Yoon.

In addition to the special movie screenings, there will be a Community Open House. It will be open to community members on Saturday, April 6th from 9am – 11am.

The importance of the Coolidge Corner Theatre

As someone who has been a frequent patron of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, I can’t tell you how excited I am for this new renaissance of the theatre. I love that they show movies that you can’t see in many other places, and don’t get the same attention that other big-name blockbusters get.

A core memory for me was watching the Mr. Rogers movie (Won’t You Be My Neighbor) there, and bawling my eyes out along with other fans in the small, dark theatre. I also saw I Am Not Your Negro about James Baldwin there, and was so grateful that it was available to see there.

In addition to movies, I got to see one of my childhood favorites Judy Blume, who was there to discuss her book In the Likely Event. It was hosted by the independent bookstore Brookline Booksmith, and I loved being able to fangirl with a theater full of other Judy fans. Another Brookline Booksmith collaboration I went to and loved, was with Elaine Welteroth about her book More than Enough. She was in conversation with another powerhouse, Bozoma Saint James. I left that event feeling inspired, excited, and empowered.

These are just a few examples of the power of The Coolidge, and I can’t wait to see more. I just signed up for a membership, and can’t wait to get there to have some of their delicious popcorn. It’s honestly next-level.

So what are these changes you can look forward to? Here are 7 that are sure to make your next trip there, a new and exciting experience.

  • Two new screens

    One of the exciting new features, is the addition of two renovated movie houses. On the second floor, you’ll find Moviehouse 5. It’s a 145-seat cinema that, if I have to be honest, looks a lot more comfortable than the previous seats. And above that on the third floor, is Moviehouse 6. That’s a new 53-seat cinema. Can’t wait to try both of them.

    Red colored screening room at the Coolidge Corner Theatre with a few people sitting in seats

    Moviehouse 5

    Small blue colored movie theatre with blue ceiling lights and two people sitting in the seats

    Moviehouse 6


  • An Education and Community Engagement Center

    There have been many incredible community events at The Coolidge, and it’s obvious that will continue with the renovations. There will be a first-ever dedicated Education and Community Center. That center will accommodate a classroom for educational offerings and post-screening discussions. And if you’re interested, the room will also be available to rent for events and community gatherings.


  • An Outdoor Roof Deck

    With warmer weather on the way, one of the most exciting additions is a roof deck. The outdoor roof deck is attached to the Education and Community Engagement Center. Of course no roof deck is complete without food. That said, there will be a catering kitchen as well. The video below shows more of the process and thought that went into the renovations by one of the architects named Eric Höweler (Höweler + Yoon).


  • A Brand New Lobby

    Large horizontal yellow structure inside the Coolidge Corner Theatre

    One of my favorite moments when going to the movies, is walking up to concessions. As I mentioned before, the popcorn here is some of the best popcorn you will ever have. When you walk in, you’ll find a spacious new lobby that includes an indoor box office. And more importantly (for me) a brand new concessions area.

  • A conference room

    This will be a great addition to the theater. The conference room will be home to the Jay Carr Film Book Collection. Carr was a film critic for the Boston Globe for many years, and  hosted a “Screening Room” segment on New England Cable News for many years. In addition to hosting various meetings, the room will also be available to the community. It will be available for rental by community groups and local businesses.

    The Coolidge's expansion is well underway!Earlier this week, our facilities committee took a hard hat tour of the new...

    Posted by Coolidge Corner Theatre on Friday, August 26, 2022


  • A new entrance

    Outside street view of the new Coolidge Corner Theatre. Large cream-colored structure

    Anyone who has tried to find a parking spot on Harvard Ave. knows that it’s a challenge. Personally, I’m one who parks in the lot behind the theater on Centre Street. I love that there’s a new entrance near that lot so you can avoid walking down the alleyway. It’s not sketchy or anything, I cut through there all the time, but I’ve also waited in lines in that alley, and it looks like this new entrance will make it more efficient.

  • Restrooms on every floor

    Hallway in the lobby of the newly renovated Coolidge Corner Theatre

    This is key. Who wants to have to run up or down the stair when you have to go to the bathroom. Having one on every floor is great. The other thing that is important is the fact that there are additional accessible family, and all-gender restrooms. It’s vital for spaces like this to feel accessible and safe to all. There’s also a new elevator; and improved accessibility for guests with limited mobility. Great job Coolidge!

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