BROOKLINE (CBS) — Thirty years ago, the Coolidge Corner Theatre, known for its art deco style and late night showings of classic movies, almost closed it doors for good.

Fans of the theater gathered Tuesday evening to celebrate the anniversary of its turnaround by watching a documentary about its storied past.

“It has been 30 years since the Coolidge Corner Theatre was saved from the wrecking ball,” said Anne Continelli, media producer for the theater.

Coolidge Corner Theatre (Photo Credit: WBZ-TV)

In 1988, the theater was struggling financially. Film teacher David Kleiler organized a grassroots campaign to save it, leading a successful group effort to turn the theater into a non-profit.

The change in business model ultimately kept the theater afloat.

The theater now does much more than just show new movies, handing out awards to A-list actors like Meryl Streep, scaring audiences with midnight showings of classic horror movies and hosting educational programs.

Fans waiting in line to buy tickets at the Coolidge Corner Theatre Tuesday. (Photo Credit: WBZ-TV)

“It’s more than just a movie theater,” Continelli said. “We are a cultural center.”

Lisa Hughes

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