The Once and Future Cinema
Once upon a time, there was a movie theater in Salem. Actually, there were a lot of movie theaters in Salem once upon a time. (Check this out.) But the one we’re talking about opened in 1982 as the Sack Cinema in Salem’s East India Mall. The mall had opened just a couple of years earlier. The cinema boasted three screens and had an arcade next door. Who knew?
Lots has changed since 1982. The mall and the cinema have had a succession of names with more or less success. Today, it’s the Witch City Mall that houses the cinema. Its latest incarnation, Cinema Salem, opened in 2006. It quickly became a popular community treasure, but business flagged in recent years.
In the fall of 2019, the cinema’s owner announced he was looking for a buyer. For a variety of reasons, including Covid-19, a sale was not finalized until almost a year later. By that time, the theater had been closed for the better part of 2020, and no one could predict a timeline for reopening.
Understandably, some folks thought the new owners might be a little crazy. But they and their team prefer to call themselves optimists as they prepare to crank up the popcorn machine in 2021. Exact date TBD.
And yes, it’s the same machine that made the popcorn everybody raved about. When you catch the aroma one day, it will be a very good sign. But we promise to keep you posted on plans, so follow us.