NH Movie Theaters: North Country Cinemas, the Who, What, When & Where

NH Movie Theaters: North Country Cinemas, the Who, What, When & Where


North Country Movie Theaters

by Dan Crawford
Movie theaters are like air travel-people used to dress up and enjoy the thrill. Today, people crawl in and wait with cell phones, game boys-usually wearing stretch pants and tank tops, but that's alright. Why not get out of the house and support your local cinemas?

In recent years, there have been many closings of movie houses across the North Country. Blame it on TiVo and Movies on Demand at home, and Netflix on your PC. It's nice to use the pause button, but what about a little interaction with your fellow human beings?

Littleton: Jax, Jr.     444-5907     28 Main Street, Littleton

This theater has a rich and fiery history...literally. The theater burned in 1924 and was rebuilt. Then, it burned to the ground again in 1949. The theater was created by Groveton resident John B. 'Jack' Eames (1891 - 1951) who bought the entire block in downtown Littleton in 1920.

Aside from the two towering infernos (pun Intended), the Jax, Jr. has enjoyed a great history. It was the site of the debut of the Bette Davis film, The Great Lie in 1941. This event happened on Bette Davis' birthday-so it was quite the bash. In 1952, the Jax, Jr. was the recipient of Jay Emanuel Merit Award-the highest award for a movie theater, sadly just after the death of Mr. Eames in 1951.

In 1982, as was the custom of the time, the theater was divided into two theaters.

In 2011, the Jax, Jr. returned as a digital 3-D theater, and is enjoying a renaissance that coincided with advances in technology. The theater can be rented for birthday parties, corporate training or whatever you like.

The Jax, Jr. offers first-run motion pictures and offers matinées.


Lincoln: Lincoln Cinema IV     745-6239     Main Street, Lincoln

This four-screen theater tries to combine the multiplex with the small town movie house. The films are generally first-run feature presentations, with occasional classic film events. They are located just off Interstate 93 at exit 32, just off Main Street in Lincoln at the Lincoln Center North Shopping Center.

Theaters are available for private parties and viewings. The facilities are also available for corporate training sessions and other professional activities.


Lancaster: Northern Nights Drive-In     745-6239     51 Causeway Street, Lancaster

Located near the intersections of Routes 16 and 302, this seven screen theater offers first-run features, and is available for private parties.

Recent renovations have been completed, and advanced equipment has been installed.

You thought they were dead and gone, like LP records and tailfins…but the tradition of the drive in movie theater lives in Lancaster!

The era of enjoying a movie from the privacy of your own car lives again. Necking is optional, and so is a trip to the snack bar, with all your favorites from yesteryear-onion rings and hot dogs-but adds some modern twists like steak Alfredo and deep fried mushrooms.

Movies are usually double features (as the tradition dictates) and seemingly first run, big budget movies.

As their way hip website intimates, this is homage to the 1950s and 60s.

Lancaster: Rialto Theatre     684-1121     80 Main Street, Lancaster

The Rialto dates back to 1928, and its signature steel siding dates back to 1930. It is a charming small town American Theater on Main Street, just like you may remember from childhood.

The word rialto, in Italian is defined as a plaza that was open to the penniless to the wealthiest members of society. In an old-world rialto a visitor could see plays, opera and other forms of entertainment. Rialto is the financial district of Wall Street of Venice. It is also the name of a small city in San Bernardino County, California.

The name "Rialto" seems to have no corporate connection. However, nearly every state in the US has had a Rialto theater.

The Rialto offers first run feature films. The theater is available for birthday parties, live performances and corporate functions.


North Conway: Mt. Valley Mall Cinema 7     356-6703     32 Mountain Valley Blvd., North Conway
Located near the intersections of Routes 16 and 302 in the Mountain Valley Mall, this seven screen theater offers first-run features, and is available for private parties.

Recent renovations have been completed, and advanced equipment has been installed.

Support your Local Movie House

The movie-going experience need not be a solitary one. I think there's nothing better than seeing a comedy on the big screen, and enjoying other people's reaction. There's that magic of escaping into a film world for a matinee, and emerging into the bright afternoon sunlight. Admit it: don't you get a secret thrill at watching the person in front of you cringe in horror at a thriller or horror movie? Besides, everyone knows that movie popcorn tastes better than anything your microwave can produce. When was the last time you tested your fillings with a box of Milk Duds?


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