‘The big screen is back’: Garden Cinemas celebrating first Cinema Week

  • Co-owner Isaac Mass stands behind the ticket counter at Greenfield’s Garden Cinemas. The movie theater is participating in Cinema Week from June 22 to June 27. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 6/18/2021 2:40:45 PM

GREENFIELD — There’s a week for fashion, a week for restaurants, and even a week for sharks.

And this year, the first Cinema Week will be celebrated in cinemas nationwide from June 22 to June 27, including at the Garden Cinemas on Main Street.

“We want to let people know the big screen is back,” said Isaac Mass, who owns the Garden Cinemas with his wife, Angela. “You spent a year on your couch and it’s time to get out and see movies the way movies were meant to be seen.”

One of the founding members of the event, Brandon Jones, said in launching Cinema Week, the goal is to help preserve the culture of going to the movies.

“Movie theaters connect us,” Jones, executive chair of the Founding Committee of Exhibitor and Studio Partners for Cinema Week, said in a press release. “They are where stories are shared and discussed in a communal experience. Following such a challenging year, I’m humbled by the enthusiasm and support from our sponsors and partners who want to help us remind audiences that the magic happens when you go to the movies. There’s nostalgia there.”

Mass said the majority of programming scheduled for Cinema Week is unique to the Greenfield theater.

“It’s custom-built around us,” he said. “The Throwback Thursday event … the Netflix Night, those aren’t being done anywhere else.”

He noted a few events will take place at theaters everywhere, including a double feature — two for the price of one — of “A Quiet Place” Parts I and II on Wednesday, June 23, and early access to “Werewolves Within.”

Cinema Week has also offered theaters opportunities to partner with local businesses and organizations, Mass said. Netflix Night on Tuesday, June 22, for example, during which free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream will be offered to the first 25 people at the 6:30 p.m. screening of “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” is sponsored by the internet service provider GCET (Greenfield Community Energy and Technology).

“You can access the movies that we’re showing that night, but ‘Mank,’ it won the Academy Award for best cinematography,” Mass noted. “You can’t experience the best cinematography on your television.”

The Garden Cinemas also partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County “for what I think is going to be the most fun event of the week, which is the trivia night,” Mass said. Trivia night is scheduled for Wednesday, June 23, at 7 p.m.

“We’re hoping to turn this into an annual event, where we do trivia for a different charity every year,” he said.

Other events during the week include the Fashion Friday red carpet event on June 25, and the Lundgren Pre-Car Show Exhibition on June 25 and June 26.

“We have a backdrop that we ordered … that people can get their photo taken in front of. We’re rolling out the red carpet and GCTV will be doing interviews when (patrons) come in,” Mass said of Fashion Friday. “It’ll be the full red carpet experience.”

For the two-day pre-car show, guests who test drive a Jeep Gladiator at the Federal Street lot can get a free ticket to see F9, the ninth chapter in the Fast and Furious saga, at the Garden Cinemas. Then, on June 27, the theater is holding a car show from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with prizes for best in show, best muscle car, best pre-1970 vehicle, most fast and furious, and people’s choice.

“Because (Cinema Week) is a national effort, involving all cinemas, especially a lot of independently owned cinemas … it allows us to sort of get everyone’s attention focused on getting back to the movie theater,” Mass said.

He said that since restrictions lifted Memorial Day weekend, business for movie theaters has been growing.

“We’re still slow,” he said. “But we’re coming back.”

To learn about more events scheduled during Cinema Week at the Garden Cinemas, visit the theater’s Facebook page at facebook.com/GreenfieldGarden7 or its website at gardencinemas.net/content/Special+Events.

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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