by Rick Winterson
For many years now, getting to a movie in South Boston was difficult, and occasionally impossible due to traffic, weather, and/or “T” breakdowns. The theaters in South Boston had closed down, including that one inelegantly known as the “Bug House” (something in the popcorn, perhaps?). That’s unfortunate, because film-making is really an American art – invented here, developed here, and even the home of Hollywood, the world’s first moving picture colony.
But no matter. That has changed, as of year-end 2017. We now have two theaters in our neighborhood that can be reached by auto, public transport, or (are you ready?) on foot, providing the weather smiles. One of these movie houses is located in One Seaport/Courthouse Square. It is called by the lengthy moniker of “The Kerasotes Boston ShowPlace, ICON Theatre”. It’s elegant; it’s on the third floor at 60 Seaport Boulevard. It overlooks Courthouse Square and the Boston skyline to the southwest. Given the cost and (lack of) parking availability, it’s probably best to take the “T”, getting off at the Red Line’s South Station stop, and then taking the Silver Line one stop to the Courthouse Station. Exit that station and you are there at ICON Theatre, with its ten screens to choose from, as well as its club-like atmosphere in the ICON lounge.
The other newly opened (in mid-December) movie house is the AMC Theater in the South Bay Mall. Yes, we are aware that’s just across the border into Dorchester, but it’s very near South Boston – just a ten-minute walk from Andrew Square, or if you are driving, you can use the spacious South Bay Mall parking lot. And don’t let the AMC logo deceive you. Their new South Bay theater is striking and modern, especially the “auditoriums”, which is what they call the ten individual theaters. In addition, there are a lounge and a cafeteria-style dining area, where you can wait in really pleasant surroundings.
Be aware that these new theaters cost more than existing movie houses. Tickets to the AMC in South Bay Mall are $13 (more for IMAX and Dolby); they start at $17.50 in the ICON Theatre. Note that the seats at the ICON are actually comfortable recliners, which (believe it or not!) feature adjustable heaters in the cushions.
You can make going to the movies a real event in either the ICON or the AMC Theatres. If you don’t choose to patronize their lounges and dining areas, other places to go are conveniently close. The AMC Theater is located in a “village” of restaurants at the southwest corner of South Bay – Panera, Applebee’s, and Olive Garden. There’s a Starbuck’s close by; a Gyu-Kaku (Japanese barbecue) will open soon.
The ICON Theatre in One Seaport is surrounded by places to go. The “Gather” restaurant in District Hall has quite good, reasonably-priced food, along with a smashing view of Seaport Green and the Fallen Heroes Memorial obelisk. Would you like something novel, especially if your kids are with you? Just take them to Wagamama at 100 Northern Avenue, on the other side of Seaport Green. Strongly recommended. They’ll love the place.
And the movie this writer viewed? “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, which has about the strongest, most talented cast he has ever seen – led by Frances McDormand (“Fargo”. Triple Crown awardee), Woody Harrelson (there’ll always be a Woody Harrelson), and Sam Rockwell, playing a disgraced cop who (sort of) finds redemption. “Three Billboards” was written by Irish immigrant Martin McDonagh, an astonishing story-teller, who got the idea for this story when he drove across America.
Enjoy. Movies are back in South Boston – good ones, too!