Cambridge Theatres: The Famous Brattle Theatre

Cambridge Theatres: The Famous Brattle Theatre

The Famous Brattle Theatre

The Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square has long been known as the place to go to watch movies you might not have seen before (or haven’t seen in a very long time). It is a small repertory theatre that has been in Harvard since 1953. On their one big screen each week or even month they show a programming format consisting of films from a specific director, genre or subject shown. The theatre shows classic, foreign, mystery, and art- house films every week.

Both Bryant Haliday and Cyrus Harvey, who both founded the creation of the Brattle theatre, had a screening in 1953 of the film Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (The Captain from Köpenick), which thus started regular screenings of classic films in this repertory theatre. Holiday and Harvey then “Janus Films” to spread foreign films nationwide.

The owner/creative director is named Ned Hinkle. He had been working at this theatre for 20 years, and founded the Brattle Film Foundation in 2001 which celebrates film as a “popular and fine art form” with the cultural and historic importance that excites, educates, and inspires the community. This foundation basically wanted to show the diverse range of films that are generally not shown anywhere else.

“The best part about the job is picking the films that play at the Brattle!” said Ned. I got to talk to Ned myself and he said that it is always exciting when there is a big audience enjoying the movie that he has shown. He did also say that the hardest part of working at the Brattle or being the owner of the Brattle is when he has chosen a movie that nobody wants to see and no one enjoys. Ned works as the main creative director where he works on the marketing, programming and special events. Ivy Moylan --who is the executive director-- also works closely with Ned on the Brattle Film Foundation.

My sister Moussou Ndiaye works at the Brattle theatre herself, so I go to ask her some questions about her experience. “It’s just nice to be around people who are excited to go see a movie” as said by Moussou. She stated that most of the customers come in happy and talking about the art from the small museum they have in the theatre. They are not a lot of exciting things that happen in the theatre, but she does enjoy the movies they show every day.