West Newton Cinema Foundation makes year-end push for donations

The West Newton Cinema Foundation is making an end-of-year push for help in keeping the cinema open.

The lot upon which the cinema has sat for nearly 90 years ago was purchased in 2022 by Mark Development, with plans to build housing there.

“We think West Newton Cinema holds enormous potential,” the email to supporters from the West Newton Cinema Foundation Board of Directors reads “We are here to change the trajectory of this story.”

And that story’s ending is up in the air, because Mark Development has told the West Newton Cinema Foundation that they could purchase the cinema for $5.6 million if they raise the money by next August.

So the advocacy group has been working on that lofty financial goal ever since. And now that the clock is ticking and a new calendar year is here, they’re making a push to the community for donations.

The group plans to transform the cinema into a cinema that also has group nights, arts classes, foreign film showings, author events and more— akin to Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline.

“Imagine a local hotspot where intellectual discourse and the best new films converge,” the Cinema Foundation Board email continues. “A place alive with the excitement of exclusive film previews and directors’ talks, where you can catch a movie and linger for drinks with friends; where an evening out is an experience worth having.

“Films tell stories that are meant to be experienced together,’ the message reads. “In 2024, we hope you will join us for more ‘Behind the Screen- events that use current films as a starting point for meaningful discussions that bring our community together.”

If you’d like to donate to the West Newton Cinema Foundation or learn more about the cinema and the effort to save it, visit their website.