This week, the marquee above the front door of the Studio Cinema, Belmont’s only movie theater, has been blank.
The doors to the cinema at the corner of Trapelo Road and Beech Street – which opened (as The Strand) to screen silent films 96 years ago – are shut and there is no activity from inside the lobby. Those online will discover a near empty web page with a cryptic note:
“The theater is closed for technical problems until further notice please keep in touch….. Jim” it reads.
A flurry of comments began as residents and movie goers worried that the Studio, one of the few remaining one-screen theaters remaining not just in Massachusetts but around the country, had become a victim of high definition, IMAX screens and Netflix.
While the venerable theater is nearing the century mark, it is not ready to be bulldozed to create a residential/retail complex. In fact, the “Jim” of the message on the website said that the screen will be back in operation within the fortnight.
“Don’t worry,” said James Bramante, the long-time owner of the Studio Cinema at 376 Trapelo Rd., in addition to the West Newton Cinema in Newton.
“What’s happening is improvements to the building,” he said.
“It’s more of a rehab, a touch up, cosmetic in nature which should require the theater to be closed for the next two weeks.”