Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What's Playing At The Movies?

Submitted by Barbara Search:

Sturbridge finally has a Movie Theater. But, how do we know what is playing? If you have a computer you can Google "Cinamagic" and find out or you can page through newspapers and you might find a listing of movies currently showing at various movie houses including Cinamagic. You won't find out what is playing by driving by Hobb's Brook on Rt. 20, nor will you find out by going into Hobb's Brook and driving by Cinamagic, because there are no signs anywhere to indicate what is playing at the movies.

When Cinamagic first opened I asked a Town employee, who should know, why there were no signs and I was told the owners of Cinamagic didn't want a sign. Recently, I asked a Town official the same question and was told the Town wouldn't allow a sign.

My point is Cinamagic needs a sign if they want to stay in business. I was there twice during the week and found six and two other people at the movie I attended, respectively. And, there was no one in the lobby either of those times. Fortunately, for Cinamagic, business was better on the Friday night I attended.

Whoever is responsible for the lack of a sign needs to rethink the decision if they want to see Cinamagic succeed. I know I certainly do.

 Great Article, Barbara!   You raise some great questions.   Anyone have a clue?--ed.


  1. Reading the adds in the newspaper and looking up the movies on line or calling the theater is far safer then trying to read a sign going 50 mph on rte. 20. Calling the theater is your best bet.

  2. Ahh, yeah. Might as well remove all the signs. Can't have anyone looking st them st 50 mph now can we?

  3. Now that i think of it this cinema is the only one i can think of that does not have a sigh displaying what is now showing. I went to wallmart today and looked over and did not see anything. There should be a decent sized sign with the shows and the times like every other theater i have ever seen. I know our town has a major issue with signage. There are far more pressing concerns for this town than petty sign violations.

  4. Call the theater for the most updated information

  5. "Let's go to the movies. I'll look it up and find out what is playing."
    "I just rode by the movie and saw that ????? is playing. I really want to see that movie. Let's go.

    Cinamagic needs both.

  6. Good letter, Barbara. I caught last week's Planning Board meeting on cable access and they're working on the sign bylaws. But they seem to be focused mostly on fixing the temporary sign bylaw.

    Before Cinemagic, when I wanted to see a movie, I had to go to Millbury, Worcester, or Springfield. In order to find out what was playing at those locations, I looked online or had to call. I don't attend movies here in Sturbridge anymore than I did when I had to go to Millbury and the other locations, so it's not signage that motivates me.

    Therefore, my view of the sign situation with Cinemagic is, having a sign that announces what's playing could tick up their business a bit but it's not going to make or break the business.

    Thanks for allowing me to post my opinion.

  7. Does everything have to look alike?Sunday, September 02, 2012

    Please say it isn't so! The TOWN won't let the theater have a movie listing outside the theater??? How crazy is that?
    We went to the theater once because it was something new. A listing down there might attract us to go back again. Otherwise, we just seem to forget its even there.
    I do notice dangerously over-sized shrubbery down by Staples and other places where you can't see to pull out onto the roads. So, by-law infringement doesn't seem to be too much of a problem...
    Sooo, what gives?
    Sometimes the thought of every business in town seeming to be required to hide behind trees makes me want to throw up.

  8. "They" might learn something at the movies.Sunday, September 02, 2012

    I'm tired of this town (because of those those who do the planning and permitting) wanting to look so lifeless while it claims to want to promote itself.
    Imagine a would-be attractive young woman with long hair who will not move her head because her hair might no longer look perfect. Not so attractive, huh?
    We need to show some uniqueness, character, color, and personality in this town. That would be better than any long drawn-out, costly and "perfected" welcoming sign.
    Until the theater gets a sign, it may as well be showing "The Truman Show," and "Pleasantville."
    If you haven't seen those two movies, indulge yourself, and see what "perfectly plastic" towns might look like. Believe me, you wouldn't want to live in either of them.
    Crazy? Fiction? Living in a dream world? Oh, yeah!

  9. A movie theater in Sturbridge? Do they play new movies?
    You'd think that if they ran first rate stuff they would be proud enough to list it.

  10. Funny thing is the sign bylaws are the way they are because the voters at Town Meeting have never allowed any real changes. Blaming town officials is way off the mark. The only people to blame are the residents who vote the way they do and won't let any changes take place. You can blame the old anti-walmart crowd who just don't seem to get it that Sturbridge isn't really OSV. OSV is a museum, Sturbridge is town, or should be.

  11. Just stick a flower on it, and it'll be okaySunday, September 02, 2012

    Here's news for some. OSV never was here until 1945ish.

    The commercial area where The Host is located began attracting large numbers visitors way, way before OSV came to town - and I am sure the famous old Fair Grounds (located where The Host is today) advertised their events.
    It makes no sense at all to invite a movie theater into town only to disallow a listing outside the building.

    And don't be so quick to blame the public, Anonymous. There is a small vocal group of folks in this town who seem have their hands in everything and they are not above trying to make the voices of others seem small.

    Speak up, people! YOU do have the power to change things. Use it!

    I mean, come on, now. Are we going to sit back and allow 18 million dollars worth of trails to be built here - in a town that is not even allowed an outdoor listing for a movie theater?

    Whoever is driving this horse dropped the reins years ago!

  12. Some people just want to complain about anything and everything. The author of this post is one of those who seems to be negative about everything.

    When she, and others, plan to go to the movies in Worcester or Millbury, do they drive to Millbury to read the marquee? And if you do, when they drive the main road near the plaza, can they see the list of movies.

    A sign on that busy and dangerous section of Route 20 could pose a hazard to those who are taking in the list movies while driving, which poses a hazard to those on the road who looked up the movie listings on-line, or called Cinamagic to hear the movie listing.

    Head to the next topic and begin complaining, this one is not as exciting as many on your list.

  13. An internally lighted sign would be a good thing for a movie theater. Neon lights at movie theaters are both fun and nostalgic. Like Mummers in a parade, a little razzmatazz and pizzazz here and there in life makes you feel good. Let's get on with the show!

  14. The movie theater did not ask for a sign to show upcoming movies. Lots of complainers here, signs don't make a business if that were true there would be flashing neon signs all over the world and the economy would the thriving. If there are shrubs blocking your view while pulling out of a business then tell that business and they will remove the shrub. It has been done before at the Bank across from Staples. Stop complaining and do something for yourself, stop asking other to do for you.

  15. It is not up to the general public to enforce the by-laws. The shrubs, which I am sure are supposed to "soften the look" around businesses, have become dangerous. Complaints from the public are mostly ignored.
    A movie listing is expected outside a movie theater. Passengers will notice it. If we (drivers) need to pull in to the parking lot to read it we can do that.
    We (drivers) cannot pull over and move the bushes out of the way when we need to pull out from an establishment.
    Yes, even a little neon sign, raised high, would be better than bringing the forests to the edge of the intersections.

  16. Wow, this is site whinersville. Is this how you people really spend your time? You need to get a real life.

  17. Too much planning, not enough varietyTuesday, September 04, 2012

    Quote from The Stepford Wives:
    "Where would people never notice a town full of robots?"

  18. Just went to the movies and checked what was playing on line. A sign won't tell you times or price.

  19. Are you happy to have a theater here or not?Sunday, September 09, 2012

    Dear Anonymous,
    But a sign will let you know what's playing and entice you to check for times and price - otherwise it's out of sight, out of mind, and we find other things to do. Hey, if you guys and the theater owners don't give a damn about making the movies more profitable we might not even have a theater next time you want to see a movie.

  20. Can you imagine the local playhouse without a sign to tell you what's playing? A drive-in without a listing? Even Old Sturbridge Village advertises events on its sign. Heck, they even do fireworks, jack-o-lanterns, and Father Christmas now to attract more customers. Letting people know what's available is a good thing.

  21. if speaking your mind is considered whining, please pass the cheese

  22. Funny, I see that Barbara Search didn't bother to come back and tell everyone that she spoke to the town planner who told her Cinemagic didn't want a sign. Their company approach is to stay away from them whenever possible. Hmmm, wonder why she left that tidbit out?

  23. Dear "Any Wonder,"
    What are you talking about? Ms Search wrote: "When Cinamagic first opened I asked a Town employee, who should know, why there were no signs and I was told the owners of Cinamagic didn't want a sign."
    Is that the tidbit you claim she left out? Perhaps you should be paying a little more attention to others.


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