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By Rebecca Ostriker February 6, One after another, doors have closed at Boston's cinemas. Over the past decade or so, Loews has shuttered the Beacon Hill, Paris, Charles, Cinema 57, Cheri, and Nickelodeon theaters -- and now the Copley Place, where the projectionists' lights flickered out for the last time one week ago. The lease on the space expired; now it's slated to become a Barneys New York emporium.
While the Copley was never one of area moviegoers' favorites -- its reverse-raked seating could be particularly aggravating -- it will nonetheless be missed by many, particularly for the slate of indie and foreign films it had been bringing to Boston in recent years.
Though it seems odd in retrospect, the theater had a brief early life as an art house when it opened 21 years ago in the Copley Place mall. Then, after years of showing mostly mainstream fare in tiny, boxlike rooms, it ended as one, too. When Loews opened the glitzy Boston Common inthe chain began to use the screen Copley to show more offbeat films, including, last weekend, "The Woodsman," "Kinsey," and "The Assassination of Richard Nixon.
The closing has left the Boston cinema community buzzing over what the future holds.
Because the only theaters left within city limits are the Boston Common and AMC Fenway -- and no theater regularly showing foreign or independent films -- some say the market's dramatically underserved; it's an excellent opportunity for a new theater to open in Boston. But none of the chains will say that's in their plans. Loews spokeswoman Jane Lanouette states that Loews does "not have any site in Boston for a new theater," though it's "always looking for good opportunities in major markets. I could certainly tell you that we're always looking for opportunities in appealing areas," she says.
How about Landmark Theatres, whose Kendall Square cinema has won praise for its art-house programming? Of course, some of the films that might have shown at the Copley could end up at their theaters in the future. While the chains chart their strategies behind closed doors, independent-theater directors in Brookline and Cambridge are practically rubbing their hands in anticipation of Copley audiences coming their way.
Brattle Theatre creative director Ned Hinkle thinks the Kendall and Coolidge will reap the biggest benefit, as their programming was closest to the Copley's. If the Kendall sees new people coming from Boston, manager Bryan Murray is prepared.
Not to knock the company or that theater, but it was a very old theater. Closing theaters can be bittersweet. It's tough, because sometimes it's time for something to go. So when citizens filed into cinemas to see "Black Forest Girl," it seemed like a vision.
There on the screen was a colorful romantic comedy with an opening musical on ice skates! Get some kitsch with your culture by calling or visiting www. You can take any dance form and do it as something beautiful, or do it as something to [excite male spectators]. Judge for yourself what music impresario Miles Copeland had in mind when he put together the Bellydance Superstars and the Desert Roses, a dance troupe showcased in Brandeis's new documentary.
Amar Gamal of the Bellydance Superstars and group representative Za-Beth will shake things up with an introduction. For tickets, call or visit www. It's a collection of portraits of powerful women athletes, some from Boston, in sports from pole vaulting to my favorite the gymwheel.
And if you want to know what that is think Spirograph in 3-Dhead to the Coolidge Corner Theatre tomorrow night at The HFA kicks off a Korean cinema series tonight with a special guest: director and TV personality Kim Hong-Junwho'll host a double feature of his films "Jungle Story," the tale of a rock band on the rise, and "La Vie en Rose," about three fugitives hiding in a comic-book store.
Rebecca Ostriker can be reached at ostriker globe.
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Credits roll for the Copley Place cinema