‘Rocky Horror’ No More At AMC Loews In Harvard Square

AMC Loews movie theater in Harvard Square (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Fans of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” have lined up in outside the AMC Loews movie theater in Harvard Square for 28 years. But that theater announced Thursday that it will be going dark in July.

No more will the cult-classic’s Boston-area devotees dress as their favorite characters from “Rocky Horror.” They will no longer scream out lines of dialogue or throw rice at the movie screen. The longtime tradition will happen only three more times before Harvard Square’s only multiplex shuts down for good on July 8.

While Jeb Bowerin of Belmont never saw “Rocky Horror” at the theater himself, he said he’s been paying the price of admission to other mainstream Hollywood films since the ’80s.

“I saw a movie here yesterday, and I was sort of noticing how dirty is was, the particular theater that I was in a lot of seats were broken,” Bowerin said.

And now Bowerin knows why.

“I’m disappointed, just because it’s great to have it here in this location,” he said. “I’m always keeping an eye on what movies are here and it’s convenient for me, so that’s too bad.”

Beneath the movie theater’s marquee, George Clark told me he’s also disappointed to learn about the closing. He works at Harvard University.

“I used to live in Central Square and just enjoyed coming here. I think it’s kind of a cultural meltdown to lose a first-run movie house in the center of New England,” Clark said.

Ned Hinkle, creative director at the Brattle Theatre, just a few blocks away from the AMC Loews that is going dark on July 8 (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

The Brattle Theatre is only a couple of blocks away. Standing behind the concession stand, creative director Ned Hinkle admitted to being disheartened by the news, but not surprised.

“We’ve known for a long time, there have been rumors about maybe this happening, and I used to go to the Harvard Square when I was a teenager and I saw things like ‘Repo Man’ and ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ and ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ and arguably it colored my film preferences even more than seeing things here at the Brattle, which I did when I was a teenager, so it’s too bad to see it go,” Hinkle said. “I wish we had millions of dollars to get in there and take it over and make it a super amazing place, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

At the same time, though, Hinkle and his staff are preparing to absorb the AMC Loews moviegoers who might come the Brattle’s way now that it’s the only movie house left in Harvard Square.

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  • Dee

    Harvard University should reach out and buy this theatre as part of it Harvard Square
    Campus..It would be a shame to let it goo…So many graduates and locals have gone
    to see movies there…It’s part of Cambridge’s and Harvard’s history……Dee

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  • Marc Lamphier

    Not sure why anyone would lament the passing of Lowes. It was a chain theatre and really did not have much to offer outside mainstream Hollywood movies, Rocky Horror Show being the only exception. Doesn’t hold a candle to The Brattle Theatre down the street or the former Orson Welles theatre, theatres with independent programs and culture.

  • Isobel

    The article very peculiarly doesn’t say why the theater is closing, which would seem to be pertinent not only to the main topic but its sub-topic, the Brattle: if a first-run Hollywood blockbuster chain theater can’t make it in Harvard Square, mindless consumer capital of Cambridge (thank you, Harvard Corporation!), then how can the much more precious Brattle Theatre?

    • isolotus

      Yes, every article I’ve researched for a clue about the closing fails to mention why. The excuse that AMC gives is complete crap. The theater was not hurting for movie-goers. There were lines outside the place all the time. Something’s rotten in the state of Cantabrigia. And the commenter below was obviously not an attendee at Harvard Loews very often or he would have known that many art-house films have made their way through there. I’ve seen probably over a hundred films there since 1999. It was my refuge from the uber pretentious mall that Harvard Square has become.

  • CrimsonSun

    President Faust,

    Please buy this theater as a gift for the city!

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