On November 30, 1916, the Walden Theatre first opened its doors. The theater’s grand entrance on Spring Street welcomed patrons into the impressive 400-seat house. This momentous event brought Williamstown to the cultural forefront of the Berkshires. In the early 20s, an eager audience was treated to silent film performances by Billie Burke, Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Cops. The late 20s brought talkies to the screen. From the romantic detectives of the 40s to Westerns of the 50s to the pop culture movies of the 70s, Images Cinema has featured the latest and greatest of the film world. Unlike the Mohawk, the Opera House and the Colonial Theatre, for more than 80 extraordinary years, Images Cinema has survived the challenges of an ever-changing culture.
As an independent cinema, Images Cinema struggles to carve out a space in an industry overwhelmed by multiplexes. Acquiring films from distributors is difficult for a small, hometown theater without the clout of a large corporation. Images not only competes with other cinemas, it rivals television, video and the internet for attention. Independent film — a film not financed by a major Hollywood studio — is free to be an expression of ideas and creative photography. The films Images Cinema features are movies that have, and will continue to have, an effect on filmmaking for years to come, allowing movie-goers a chance to experience the very best in the art of film.
One of the few remaining single-screen, independent theaters still in operation, Images Cinema is an historic part of the Northern Berkshires offering an exceptional variety of independent, foreign and classic films year-round. Images Cinema was an early pioneer in creating Berkshire County’s reputation for world-class culture and not many small communities can boast the sophistication to support this legendary cinema. It's been called "A metropolitan-quality art house" and "A permanent film festival" by The Berkshire Eagle and remains a vital institution in this region.