This is really terrible news, even moreso since the Pleasant Street is the last movie theater in Northampton. It was also the first "indie" theater I ever knew, the place where you'd see the non-mainstream films that the Academy of Music (now no longer showing pictures) hadn't picked up. Their teeny-tiny "Little Theatre" in the basement, no bigger than the coach section of an airplane, was an odd screening room but it worked. Heck, I was part of a pick-up performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in that little space once when it was screened as part of the Northampton Film Festival in the mid-90s, playing Riff-Raff as usual along with much of the same crew who terrorized the Tower Theater in 1991-1992. (Yes, I used to be stick-thin before my hummingbird metabolism departed for parts unknown sometime around 1997.)
The Pleasant Street was my theater of choice in the 1990s. I remember seeing so many Spike & Mike animation fests there, including the Sick & Twisteds. I remember seeing Welcome to the Dollhouse there because no other theater would pick it up; ditto Heavenly Creatures. There was a row or two in the back of the main auditorium that featured special cushioned loveseats designed for two. Jendave and I had our last date there in 2003 (we saw The Station Agent.) The only video store I had a membership at was the Pleasant Street Video store next door; I still have its black-and-magenta card somewhere. (The video store had an extensive collection of Japanese animation and I went through every single offering they had; in one memorable evening of cognitive dissonance, I watched My Neighbor Totoro followed by Legend of the Overfiend. Um.)
Nothing lasts forever, but I never expected the Pleasant Street Theater to go. Y'know? It was always there, a permanent, integral part of Northampton like the courthouse and the mural on the Route 9 railroad overpass and the Pride March. Now it's going to go the way of Jack August, Myers Eatery, Sheehan's, the Words & Pictures Museum, Bart's Ice Cream, Childs Toy Store, and the hideous four-story 1960s plastic facade that hung above the Woolworth's.
Hmm. Perhaps some change is for the better, but losing the Pleasant Street most certainly isn't.