New Bedford’s Cinema 140 Was a Movie House Full of Memories
Earlier today, in the WBSM and Fun 107 offices, I was talking with a few colleagues about how much I loved New Bedford’s long-gone Cinema 140 movie theater.
Neither of them had never been there, but that didn't stop me from waxing nostalgic.
It’s been over 20 years since Cinema 140 shut down for good, and to this day, it’s still my favorite local movie theater of all time. Sorry, Buzzards Bay Cinema, you’re a close second. Fairhaven’s Bijou also deserves an honorable mention.
There was just something about Cinema 140, though. Just pulling in to that barely-lit parking lot off Hathaway Road got you in the mood for the movies.
The prototypical sticky floor, the rickety seats that were in dire need of reupholstering, the long dark drapes hanging on either side of the screen – it was both a true movie house and also a place that seemed like it had been past its prime for quite some time. It opened in 1968, and looked every inch of it.
I can’t remember what the first movie was that I saw there; I’m pretty sure it was The Crow, released late in my sophomore year of high school.
The dingy main theater of Cinema 140 was the perfect place to see the dark, brooding film that already had a pall over it considering star Brandon Lee was killed while filming it.
Other films I saw there included Spawn, the controversial Kids, The Cable Guy and the twisted horror film The Cell – the latter of which my date walked out of because it was so sickening, while I remained in the theater until the credits rolled. Thankfully she was still waiting for me in the parking lot when it was over.
I even attended a shadowcast showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show there that somehow just seemed like the perfect environment to do the Time Warp again.
Now that I think of it, I can’t remember ever seeing an upbeat film, a comedy, a rom com, an animated film or any kind of lighthearted fare there. It seems as though those types of films were what I’d go to Dartmouth to see. New Bedford and Cinema 140 were for the darker films, the scarier films, the freaky films.
Of course, any trip to Cinema 140 also required a pocketful of quarters, because the Guns N’ Roses pinball game in the lobby was without par.
In 1999, it was announced that the movie theater was going to be reimagined as a cinema pub, but alas, it never happened. Cinema 140 closed in 2000, but it packed a lot of movie memories in its 32 years.
What movies do you remember seeing at Cinema 140?