The Berkshires are most recognized for their natural beauty, cultural attractions, and historic landmarks but they also contain less noticed attractions, such as our wonderful independent movie theaters. Along with the larger chain theaters, the Berkshires offer some fabulous, unique independent theaters. Two such theaters are the Beacon Cinema in downtown Pittsfield and the Triplex Cinema on Railroad Street in Great Barrington. These two theaters are vastly different from each other but both offer similar assets to the Berkshire community.
The Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington first opened in 1995 on the site of an abandoned lumber mill. At the time downtown Great Barrington was a burgeoning shopping destination and prominent businessman, Richard Stanley, had the foresight to realize that the downtown area needed more than a single theater movie house. So, together with architect Joe Wasserman, the four theater Triplex was brought to life. Offering nationally acclaimed independent films as well as popular blockbusters, the Triplex quickly became an entertainment destination for all of the southern Berkshires. In addition to its ever-changing line-up of movies, the Triplex opens its doors to the community at large, allowing different community groups to use its facilities for their events. Popular annual events, such as the Berkshire International Film Festival and the Project Native Film Festival, as well as events put on by non-profit groups, like Railroad Street Youth Project, all make use of this space.
The Beacon Cinema located on North Street in Pittsfield was, in its earlier incarnation, a popular department store. After several years of planning and restoring this building to its former glory, it was brought to life as a six-screen movie theater. This independent theater has won awards for its renovations, and the community is pleased to have this downtown theater available after a fifteen-year span with no theaters in the downtown area. The Beacon Theater runs new movies as well as occasional documentaries, sporting events and on screen concerts. The theaters feature stadium-style seating and offer two concession stands serving beer and wine along with typical movie theater fare all in elegant theater styling.
Both of these theaters are heavily invested in their communities and participate in a wide variety of community giving. They both offer a discount matinee day to make it affordable for families and groups that may otherwise not have a chance to enjoy the theaters. You can often see parents and children, young couples on dates, and friends meeting up to enjoy a weekday matinee. So come on out and enjoy a movie in the Berkshires.