11 Theaters In Mass. Join National Screening Of '1984' In Response To Trump Administration

John Hurt as Winston Smith in the film version of "1984." (Courtesy United State of Cinema)
John Hurt as Winston Smith in the film version of "1984." (Courtesy United State of Cinema)

April 4, 1984. That's the day George Orwell's protagonist makes his "decisive act" of rebellion — beginning a journal — under his government's oppressive regime.

This year on April 4, independent movie theaters across the nation are screening a film adaptation of "1984." The dystopian tale has become a popular talking point for critics of President Trump's administration.

Book sales for "1984" have been skyrocketing — with one edition of the book seeing a sales jump by 10,000 percent since Trump's adviser Kellyanne Conway used the term "alternative facts" in a January interview.

This isn't the first time independent theaters have voiced their thoughts about Trump through programming. Around Election Day last November, The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge hosted a double feature titled, "Bad Hombres & Nasty Women," crafted on phrases Trump used during his campaign. But the scope of this screening — more than 190 art house theaters, in 44 states as well as five locations in other countries — is speaking volumes.

The organizers, United State of Cinema, write on their website that the screening was coordinated in reaction to proposed cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and other attacks on free speech. The goal, they write, is to "initiate a much-need community conversation at a time when the existence of facts, and basic human rights are under attack."

The 1984 production of "1984" was directed by Michael Radford and stars John Hurt as the protagonist Winston Smith.

The Massachusetts theaters taking part in the day (so far) are:

  • Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton
  • Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield
  • Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline
  • Images Cinema in Williamstown
  • The Luna Theater in Lowell
  • Regent Theatre in Arlington
  • Towers Theaters in South Hadley
  • The Center for Arts in Natick
  • The Cape Ann Cinema & Stage in Gloucester
  • The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge
  • Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington


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Amy Gorel Senior Editor
Amy Gorel is a senior editor of digital news at WBUR.



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