This might just be the most local movie theater around. We rolled out the red carpet to chat with Matt Shuman, the Jamaica Plain resident who created Wenham Street Cinema — allow us to skip the opening credits and share what we learned.
It all began in 2015, when Matt created a mini movie theater in his 23 Wenham St. garage with a friend in an effort to create community connections. He was inspired by a book called“Palaces for the People” on the topic of social infrastructure. Think: parks, libraries, cafes, and other pieces of physical infrastructure that encourage gathering.
“I see the movie theater as just another way to enhance the social fabric of Jamaica Plain,” Matt said. “It’s a neighborhood of Boston that has a palpable identity of community, kindness, and arts.”
The theater has evolved a lot since it first started. Matt has gone from running an Ethernet cable outside of his window to show movies to a couple of friends to installing a new projector and spreading the word to more Bostonians through Instagram and Facebook.
All movies + events are freeand open to all. The biggest pro tip for visiting? “Bring food and drink to share, and your own chair if you’re able to,” Matt shared.
As far as programming goes, the theater has streamed “Paris is Burning” during last year’s Pride Month, Beyoncé’s “Black is King” this Juneteenth, and has even hosted a Boston Marathonlivestream complete with a neighborhood brunch party.
Wenham Street Cinema also hosted a concert series last year in partnership with neighborhood businesses, including Light of Day Records.
Mural Artist Talk | Wed., June 29 | 6-8 p.m. | 506 Cambridge St., Allston | Free | Join local artist Rixy to learn more about her mural “Rita’s Spotlight” honoring Rita Hester. 🎨
Pride Calling | Wed., June 29 | 5-8 p.m. | Boston Common | Free | Enjoy performances by local queer artists at this public benefit concert.
Cheap Date Night Wednesdays | Wed., June 29 | 5-10 p.m. | Bodega Canal, 57 Canal St. | $35 | Grab your date to enjoy three courses for just $35.
“Almost Famous” Movie Night | Wed., June 29 | 8:30 p.m. | Boston Landing | Free | Head over early for pre-movie fun beginning at 7 p.m. 🎥
Boston Calling Block Party | Thurs., June 30 | 5-8 p.m. | Dewey Square, Atlantic Ave. | Free | Join Boston’s favorite music festival for weekly block parties with activities, drinks, + plenty of great tunes.
Boston Jerkfest Caribbean Festival | Fri., July 1 | McCurdy Outdoor Track, 145 North Harvard St. | $23+ | Celebrate the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence with a two day family-friendly festival. 🍽️
Blues Jam at the Bebop | Sat., July 2 | 9:30 p.m.- 12:30 a.m. | The Bebop, 1116 Boylston St. | Free | Enjoy an evening of the Blues hosted by a local Berklee student. 🎶
The property manager for Assembly Rowhas announced the signings of seven new tenants, including Clover Food Lab, IT’SUGAR, and Volo Beach by Volo Sports. The Somerville shopping destination is approaching completion of Phase III of construction, which began in 2019. (Boston Business Journal)
With Fourth of July celebration preparation comes traffic preparation. The City of Boston issued a traffic advisory for Mon., July 4 — see the list of parking restrictionshere+ plan to walk, bike, or take the T around the city if possible. 🚗
The City of Boston announced that $2.2 million in federal funds will help protect Moakley Park and surrounding areas from the impacts of climate change. The pre-disaster mitigation grant will be used to complete all planning, design + permitting for key climate resilience projects on lands located on either side of the South Boston waterfront park. (Dorchester Reporter)
The City of Boston, Boston Public Schools district + Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education have reached an agreement on a systemic improvement plan for BPS. The plan outlines immediate action to address special education, English learning instruction, student safety, and transportation needs. (7 News)
A new 83,500 sqft high school facility for Roxbury Preparatory Charter School has been proposed for Magazine Street in Newmarket Square. The project involves construction of afour-story academic building with classrooms, a cafeteria, a gym + administrative and storage spaces.
In Your Ear Recordsplans to close its Boston location at 957 Commonwealth Ave. The final date has not been set yet (a sign at the store says it will close in the next three or four months) and the music store’s two Rhode Island locations will remain open. (Boston Globe)
Esquite Street Food’s new taqueria is now open at 1148 N Shore Rd. in Revere from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Stop by for tacos, burritos, quesadillas + new signature plates available only at this location. Find the original taqueria at 194 Shirley Ave. 🌮
Bond Vet Clinicis hosting a grand opening for the new Seaport location this Sat., July 2 from 12-4 p.m. Stop by the furry exciting event at 117 Autumn Ln. for custom pet portraits, free treats, and raffle prizes. Plus, there will be adoptable dogs from Last Hope K9 Rescue. 🐶
Baltimore Ravens fullback and Spencer native Patrick Ricardis giving back to his Massachusetts hometown next month. The Ricards will hold a pancake breakfast fundraiser for the DPHS Athletic Booster Club + Spencer Fire Association on Sat., July 16. Grab tickets here. 🥞 (WCVB 5)
No. 4. That’s where Boston Medical Center ranked on a list of America’s most socially responsible hospitals. The local safety-net hospital was found to be the top hospital for outcomes, value + equity in Massachusetts. (Boston Business Journal)
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Head over to the Paul Revere House to grab signed copies of “One April in Boston,” a children’s book by local author Ben Edwards. The book is available for $15 and 100% of the proceeds will go toward educational programs at the historical home.
You can also order the book (which is based on the lives of the author’s own ancestors) online here.
#DYK that your photos and quotes could be featured in our newsletter?
Editor’s pick:I’m hitting the road soon to spend the Fourth of July weekend in New Jersey, and I will definitely be avoiding the peak traffic times on Thursday + Friday.
For those who are staying in town and get to avoid traffic altogether, let me know how you plan to spend the holiday in Boston. I’d love local event recommendations to feature in our newsletter this week. 🇺🇸
Missed yesterday’s newsletter? Read up on The Dubliner, the new pub that just opened downtown.
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