Even though UMass Amherst has a giant campus with dozens of facilities and activities to do nearly everyday, every so often it is quite nice to venture out and explore Amherst and surrounding towns.
Downtown Amherst actually has quite a lot to do and is famously known for its vibe and essence it gives. With various shops, restaurants, and more, there is bound to be something you and your friends can go to. A hidden gem that not many people may know about, however, is the Amherst Cinema Arts Center!
If you want to go to the movies, chances are you will end up at the Cinemark Theater in Hadley. This major chain movie theater definitely has very comfy seats and shows all the latest and greatest of movies, but the Amherst Cinema actually has its own perks and unique and charming qualities. For starters, its location is perfect. If you want to experience Amherst, there is no better way than to walk around downtown, get dinner at a local restaurant, and then head to the cinema for a nighttime film. With its central location, there is much more to do before and after the screening.
Even in the cinema itself, visitors and patrons rave about the atmosphere and sensations the facility gives. Being a locally owned, independent nonprofit, the staff and employees are extremely friendly and will give any information you need. There are numerous special events and showings scattered throughout the year, making it stand out brilliantly compared to your corporate theaters. Not only this, the prices for tickets and food are very reasonable and tickets are even discounted for students with an ID.
The Amherst Cinema is also very focused on promoting the arts, and in this case, its films. Here, you will find movies that have been considered cinematic masterpieces being played weekly at the theater. They are usually showing a couple of current movies, but there is nothing better than watching a nostalgic movie with a movie theater-like experience. Just last year my favorite movie, “Donnie Darko,” released in 2001, was playing at the cinema. Rewatching it on a big screen was more than satisfying. With the diversity of films, you are bound to find something unique and enjoyable.
Amherst has many hidden gems that add to its charm. Learning about these places and experiencing them really is part of the UMass experience!