Movie Theaters

Movie Theaters

Brandt Theater 1979
Brandt Theater 1979
Brandt Studio Theater- Located at the Port Plaza. Locate it
The Port Theater – Located on the corner of Pleasant and Titcomb St next to Brown Square. I saw my first movie here Pippy Long Stocking… Locate it
The Strand Theater- Located on Green St opposite the City Hall and Police Station.  Later it became the unemployment office.  It is now Talbots.  Locate It
The Premier Theater- Located on the corner of Prince Place (Hales Ct) and Pleasant St.
Bill Plante has provided the following information regarding this theater to me:

“…The first talking picture shown in Newburyport was “In Lilac Time.” My father, who was an electrician, assembled the projection camera equipment. Bill P.”  Locate It– is unsure of which corner…

After the Strand and Port Theater closed in the 70’s the Brandt continued on into the early 1980’s. Most of the local people started going to Cinema 95 on rt 110 in Salisbury during that time. Behind the site of Cinema 95 was a drive Inn theater.
Drive In Theater Rt 110 – Behind the the current Cinema 95 theater was this drive in.  Locate It This where I saw Grease with my family about 1976.

22 Responses to Movie Theaters

  1. What I remember the Strand Was on Green Street ..where the old Unemployement Office was acrossed from the Police Station..The Port Thearter was on the Corner of Titcomb and Pleasant ..which I believe is a Gym…

    D.A.KUSE September 16, 2008 at 8:27 pm Reply
  2. D.A.Kuse is right, I went to each and everyone of them when I was growing up. Strand Was on Green Street ..where the old Unemployment Office was located. The building on the corner of the parking lot there now. The Port Theater was on the Corner of Titcomb and Pleasant closed in 70’s Also; the Cinema was not on 110 it was on Beach Road in Salisbury next to the Winslow chip factory that was near the cemetery on the right going towards the beach. I think Winslow closed in early 70’s not sure though.

    dmeaton September 18, 2008 at 10:40 pm Reply

    D.A.KUSE September 21, 2008 at 9:31 pm Reply
  4. I second that. D.A.Kuse is correct. I have made the updates to the Google map and theater information.

    ***Now was there a mention of a Cinema on Beach Rd? As you can tell this site spills over a bit into a few surrounding towns. I know Cinema 95 was next to the Cross Roads Plaza beside the Winners Circle, or some would say the Losers Circle. Was there another drive in or movie theater on Beach Rd?

    Shawn G Mod September 22, 2008 at 7:48 pm Reply
  5. The Salisbury drive-in was actually behind where the Winner’s Circle and Sylvan Street are now on Rte110, and did close in the mid 70’s. There was ANOTHER drive-in on Beach Rd. next to Winslows which closed in the early 60s.

    Rick Eck March 8, 2009 at 11:15 am Reply
  6. Pingback: - History Your Way Newburyport Ma Circa 1950-1990 » The Daily News of Newburyport, Ma

  7. Rick Eck is right I now remember the Drive in on 110.

    dmeaton April 30, 2009 at 9:41 pm Reply
  8. We always refered to the drive-in on Beach Rd. in Salisbury as “Dirty Al’s”… Some “racey” movies were shown there on occasion. The other one was located on rte. 110 near “Rabbit Road”. I still have two speakers that were “accidently “pulled off of the pole one night. Anyone remember “Pic”? It was the insect repelent coil that was advertised on screen during intermission. When my brother and I were taken along to the drive-in as children. We would go there dressed in our P.J.s and brought pillows along too. We must have looked like a couple of A–holes in the concession building.

    p. j. nichypor July 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm Reply
  9. I remember the drive in on Beach Rd. . Was a bit smaller than the one on Rte. 110 .

    jfrost August 29, 2009 at 10:54 am Reply
  10. A Saturday afternoon “Matinee” at the old Port Theatre, had to have been one of the best bargains in Newburyport. For about half a buck, paid outside at the ticket booth, you were permitted access to the lobby. This space was pure Hollywood in design, lighting, and decor. At the far end of the room was the concession stand. Jumbo or in 60’s Newburyport lingo “Muckah” boxes of Jujyfruit, Snow-caps, Raisinettes, and my personal favorite, Good and Plenty, could be had for small change. We turned toward the auditorium entrance and followed the line, handing over our whole ticket and being handed back half of it. We entered into the huge, high ceiling-ed theatre. The lighting was dim compared to the afternoon glare we had moments ago retreated from. A shoulder high wall ran behind the last row of seats with a deep carpeted aisle running wall to wall. There were as I recall, three main aisles that sloped down toward the curtained stage and screen. One in the center and the other two off to the left and right of the rows of seats. The end seats had footlights built into them, illuminating the walkways. Seventh row center was something we as kids knew nothing about, nor cared. The best seats were those along the sides if you planned on throwing pieces of candy at the group of hoodlums occupying the first three or four rows directly in front of the screen. The walls of the theatre were stepped and also carpeted, my best guess at the time was that this was some sort of acoustic application, ( not a bad observation for a then eleven year old…). As the place filled with a couple of hundred of the City’s worst behaved, the noise level increased equally. It seemed an eternity, the waiting, as the placed filled. We ducked projectiles of rapidly launched confections and watched with delight, the near altercations and general “Grab-assing”. Cuffs to the backs of heads of kids from other wards from around town, knocking big drums of popcorn out of clasping hands. The call of “Dibs”, to beg a Twizzler or maybe a Nonpareil from a stranger not tough enough to say no. The emergency exit doors would be suddenly and violently kicked open, delivering a blinding flash of outside light and several non paying bodies who swiftly blended into the crowd. The show was really us, not the movies. Then, the house lights dimmed and the still curtain covered screen lit up brightly. The poor quality sound , slightly out of sync, crackled and boomed the track. The curtain parted with a distinct sound and the mob quieted and settled in our cushioned chairs. The general rule about these seats, was to never put your hands under them. If temptation and curiosity got the better of you, a nasty surprise was in store. For the bottoms were loaded with all manner of any discarded waste that was adhesive enough to stick under there. The afternoon was now officially underway. First was a “Short” feature, most likely a travel log film. This was followed by other selected short subjects, or as they were more commonly referred to, “Cartoons”. A short intermission was offered with the house lights being brought up for about ten to fifteen minutes. Just long enough to risk a trip to the Loo or perhaps to re-arm oneself with boxed candy. I remember walking past the Ladies Powder room and marvelling at the elegance of just the entrance, compared to the somewhat “Spartan” doorway to the Men’s room. Once again, the lights dimmed, the screen illuminated, and the riotous crew again settled down for the “Feature”.This was most often preceded by a battery of clips from “Coming Attractions”. We could comfortably look forward to ninety minutes or more of quality first run entertainment, barring the film being abruptly stopped due to too much horse-play down front. After a solid three or more hours of cinematic delight, the screen would announce “The End”, the curtains would close, and the theatre returned to semi light. We would throw our empty wax paper Pepsi cups and empty candy boxes under the seats and make a hasty run for the exits. I remember being caught totally off guard by the daylight that hit us like a South End Slap up side the head when we got to the street. Those afternoons were great fun and a great value for us. It literally kept us of the streets. At least for a few hours…. It was a freedom we kids got to cherish outside our regular and sometimes hectic and chaotic lives. Those were times when we got to mingle with people our own age from other parts of the city. It was a chance to make friends for an afternoon, all of us under one roof. Watching a giant Squid attack Captain Nemo’s submarine, or seeing Pirates messing with the Swiss Family Robinson.

    p. j. nichypor November 24, 2009 at 1:29 am Reply
  11. I noticed in the opening text above that the location of the old drive-in theatre is said to have been on the current location of the Cinema 95. That is close but only with-in about a block or two. The drive-in was actually a bit further East toward Salisbury Square. If you look at an aerial view of the area, you’ll see that the parking area beside of and behind both the Winner’s Circle and Silvan St. Grille next door, is huge. Notice the shape and how far back the lot goes. Better yet, take a walk in that rear lot. There, you will notice long ridges in the pavement, spaced with equal distance. These were the “Humps” you parked on with your car load of movie goers. We would move forward or back on the hump until the angle allowed a good view of the screen by those in the front and back seats. I saw bits and pieces of “Goldfinger” there in 1964. I was supposed to have been asleep in the back seat in my P.J.’s. I may have some old drive-in speakers that got pulled of the pole from one or the other drive-ins in Salisbury. The last movie I saw at the Hi-way drive-in on 110 was The Shining. Don’t forget the dirty movies a little further out of town in Georgetown. Of course none of us ever went there…

    p. j. nichypor December 9, 2009 at 12:33 pm Reply
  12. I have updated the post to include a Google Locate It link. This is what my memory remembers – am I closer?,-70.895312&spn=0.004327,0.008272&z=17

    Shawn G Mod December 9, 2009 at 10:23 pm Reply
  13. saw the dirty dozen when it first came out … at port theater … and got the free pencil box … felt proud to know the manager, archie janvrin’s son archie janvrin

    Bob January 10, 2010 at 9:47 pm Reply
  14. Growing up I used to go to The Port Theater on Pleasant St, fifty cents I think we payed to get in. I don’t remember the Strand, or the Premier theaters but remember my mom telling me about them, and they were both located right where it says they were at the top of this page. I also remember going to both the drive ins mentioned above, The one on 110, was owned I believe by the same family that owned one in Haverhill on River St, and the one one Beach Rd I think was owned by the man who owned The Country Pumpkin Stores, there were a couple of these, one right in front of the drive in.

    One Correction I would like to point out from above is that it was not the Winslow Chip Factory, it was called The Wonder Potato Chip Company, an oh were they good. I do however remember a potato chip brand from growing up called Winslow, but like Wise, I think they were a Maine company.

    Although I haven’t lived in Nbpt for quite some time, I had neighbors while growing up named Nichypor, st just wondering, you know.

    Todd B January 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm Reply
  15. Also I do remember going to the Brandt Studio Theater as well

    Todd B January 17, 2010 at 12:30 pm Reply
  16. The Strand was a little bit before my time, but I remember the Brandt and the Port well, having grown up during the late ’60s/early ’70s. I saw most of the standard childhood flicks (e.g. “Freaky Friday”, “Herbie the Lovebug”, etc.) at those two theaters. Also remember the Salisbury drive-in on Rt. 110 (next to where Mammoth Mart used to be). I think the last movie I saw there (or at ANY any drive in, for that matter) was “The Shining”, either 1980 or ’81.

    Mark August 10, 2010 at 11:31 pm Reply
  17. Saw Moonraker at the Salisbury drive-in. Then we started going to the Brant where I got to see Star Wars, Jaws, Star Trek the Motion Picture, Escape to Witch Mountain and a ton of others.

    What great memories.

    I remember the Brant was one of the last theaters to show cartoons between movies, instead of revenue generating advertisements.

    Deano June 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm Reply
  18. I also went to see my last movie at the Salisbury Drive-In “The Shining” on Route 110. I remember the first movie was “Grease”. I enjoyed them both, but always though that it was a weird combination….lol!

    Maria Hayes Gilfus February 19, 2013 at 11:50 am Reply
  19. Have wonderful memories of the Port, seeing various Disney films there with my mother and sometimes my cousins, late ’60s/early ’70s. I believe it indeed closed during the mid-70s, and later became a furniture store (Port Furniture). Also remember seeing movies at the Brandt with my friends as a teenager, and then walking to Papa Gino’s for pizza afterward. The drive-in in Salisbury (somewhat near where Mammoth Mart was) was called the Hi-Way Drive in. Like an above poster, I also remember seeing “The Shining” there, and I think that was shortly before the drive-in closed, and they built the current theatre there. I believe it was one of the first modern style multi-plex setups in the area. It would have to have opened prior to 1982, because I remember standing in the longest line I’d ever seen in my life to see ET there.

    Mar November 1, 2016 at 3:27 pm Reply
  20. I have a story about the Salisbury Drive In from the late 70’s. My mom was a pretty bad alcoholic back in the day. I had several friends over for a birthday sleep over one weekend and she crammed us all in the back of her white Toyota Corolla Wagon and went to see a double feature to include ‘Suspiria’…an Italian horror film. We had stole some beers from my mom prior to going to the drive in and one of my girlfriends ended up throwing up during the film. I remember us trying to tell my mom it was because of the film…not because we had downed some rank warm cans of Miller Light prior to going.

    Karon November 17, 2016 at 11:53 pm Reply
  21. My cousin’s husband, Steve Pattow (his parents owned Pattow’s variety store on the corner of Parson and Prospect Sts.) used to work as an usher at Port Theater. He would get us in for free, and during the movie he would have a flashlight as he went up and down the aisles and would flash it in our faces when he passed us….lol

    Maria April 25, 2018 at 11:48 am Reply
  22. My parents moved to Plum Island in 1968,I never went to the Strand but spent alot of time at the Port, the Brandt and the Highway, miss those days.10 dollars a car man could you jam a lot of people in a big car.Two people and a big ass cooler in the trunk alone.Lol

    Eric October 29, 2020 at 4:32 pm Reply

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