A revered movie theater is sold as Amazon seeks to create a second property

By Gabriella Celona 

Photo courtesy of Showcase Cinema de Lux. Showcase Cinema de Lux Revere will be closing after 72 years. 

National Amusements Inc., the owner of Showcase Cinemas, confirms that Revere Cinema will be closing. National Amusements Inc. reached an agreement with real estate firm NorthBridge Partners for the sale of the theater, and will likely lease the property to Amazon. Amazon will take the property and make it into the second Amazon warehouse in Revere, Massachusetts. At this moment, the date of closure is unknown. 

Revere Cinema, which has been open for 72 years, started off as a drive-in movie theater, and as cinemas started to evolve, it became one of the first theaters in the Boston area with more than one screen playing. 

Nostalgia has reached the hearts of many locals. “I grew up there, it was a part of my childhood, and my children’s childhood. My husband would take my kids to a movie every Saturday for years while I worked. The first movie I saw at Revere Cinemas was Star Wars at the drive-in movie theater they started off with. I might have been 5 years old,” Christine Beechin, a city local, mentions. Despite the nostalgic feeling, she was upset that as a direct consequence of the closing, her daughter lost her job. “My daughter loved working there and it’s a shame that it’s closing.” 

Brian Arrigo, mayor of Revere, praises the transaction and sees a bright future for Amazon and the Boston area. He believes that this will help create jobs for people of the city and economic development is the top priority. With the unemployment rate in the city of Revere sky rocketing, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the closing of the local cinema, Amazon plans on hiring over 650 people. Currently, there have not been any plans to give hiring priority to those who have lost their jobs at the cinema. 

“Amazon has been a good neighbor at its first Revere location, meeting or exceeding our expectations and their promises, and we fully expect that would be the case in a second location,” Arrigo says. 

A local citizen of the area, Louis Fronduto, stated that he will always have fond memories of the theater. “When Revere Cinemas first opened, it was a model of cinema theaters in the area. Most theaters had just one theater but this was one of the first multi theaters around,” he said “It was really something of its time.” 

Revere Showcase Cinemas was a place where the people in the community gathered together for years. From generation to generation, people would attend with family, friends, and loved ones. It was not only a place where people went to watch movies, but there was an annual carnival in the parking lot every fall and on the weekends there was a flea market. 

Michael Fronduto, another area local, expressed his heartbroken feelings for the closing of the cinema. “I feel sad honestly, it’s been there since I was a kid. I went to the carnival every year and they always had the flea market outside every weekend as well. We would go into the theater after the carnival and you would catch a movie with all of your friends. Ahh, the good times.”

 

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