Coolidge Corner Theatre Honored with 2024 Preservation Massachusetts Award



Brookline, MA - The Coolidge Corner Theatre is this year’s recipient of the Charles Eliot Award from Preservation Massachusetts. This recognition celebrates the organization’s outstanding contributions to historic preservation and its role as a vibrant cultural hub in Brookline, Greater Boston, and beyond.


“This year’s award recipients demonstrate the successful contributions from a lifetime of work in historic preservation,” said Jessica Rudden-Dube, Executive Director of Preservation Massachusetts, in a statement. A selection committee chose four nominated individuals and 20 exemplary projects that made significant contributions to preserving historic resources in communities across the Commonwealth. 


"The Coolidge is honored to receive this prestigious award in recognition of the important cultural and historic role it plays in Greater Boston," remarked Katherine Tallman, Executive Director & CEO.


Over the last century, the Coolidge Corner Theatre has been a cornerstone of Greater Boston’s moviegoing experience. Opening its doors in 1933 as Brookline’s first movie theater, boasting air cooling and heating, luxurious velvet seats, and an upper floor ladies lounge, the institution transformed in the 1970s into a beloved arthouse theater, quickly gaining a reputation as a unique venue where audiences could enjoy classic revivals, foreign films, and independent films. The Coolidge has faced challenges that threatened its closure or downsizing—including advances in technology and changes in cultural attitudes that transformed the way we consume films and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic—and yet, its dedicated supporters have helped solidify its legacy as a community landmark. Preservation of this cherished Art Deco building and the organization itself has been central to the Coolidge’s legacy.


Today, the Coolidge offers 7,500 shows and events annually that attract nearly 250,000 visitors and over 4,000 members. In 2013, the Coolidge embarked on a "once in a generation" expansion project, designed by Boston-based Höweler + Yoon Architecture, adding two new theaters, a new lobby, and more education and event spaces. This expansion not only enhances the Coolidge's facilities but also underscores the importance of shared cultural experiences in our digital age. 


“This award is a recognition of the collective effort to ensure that the Coolidge remains a cultural beacon for generations to come. It is also a testament to the Coolidge's unwavering commitment to preserving its rich history while evolving to meet the needs of today's audiences,” says Eric Höweler, co-founder of Höweler + Yoon and partner-in-charge on the project. 


The new addition builds on the visual language of Art Deco that is synonymous with the Coolidge experience. It is the latest example of the Coolidge reimagining itself to meet the needs of Brookline and Greater Boston’s cultural community.

This year’s awardees will be honored at an awards ceremony at the Massachusetts State House Great Hall, followed by a celebratory reception at Carrie Nation Cocktail Club in Boston on Friday, June 28, 2024. 


Founded in 1985, Preservation Massachusetts is a statewide non-profit organization that actively promotes the preservation of historic buildings and landscapes as a positive force for economic development and the retention of community character. Preservation Massachusetts is an advocacy and education organization that works with individuals and organizations striving to make an economic impact, create jobs, and enhance our collective quality of life through preservation. Visit for more information.