WUMB March Program Guide

Remembering ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

Back in March 1964, The Beatles began filming their first full length feature film A Hard Day’s Night.

It was set to be released in the USA in July of that same year!

It was an exciting moment for me and millions of other kids.
At that point we have only seen The Beatles on our little black-and-white family televisions and in magazines and newspapers. We were excitedly looking forward to seeing the boys on the BIG screen!
For me it is etched in my memory, especially where and when I first saw A Hard Day’s Night back in 1964.

My experience was at a theater in Watertown, Mass on Mt Auburn Street called the Coolidge Theater. It certainly isn’t there today. When it was torn down, a Jack in The Box replaced it.

The Coolidge was just a few doors away from a store called Dines, which was one of those now defunct 5 and 10 stores. Dines was filled with Beatles items, it seemed liked thousands of them and far too many for me to purchase with my limited budget at only 7 years old.

I still recall the want and the need to own everything Beatles. What I did manage to buy at Dines I still have in my possession today.

I can still see The Coolidge’s lobby. Beatles Palladium posters hung everywhere and available to purchase. Kids lined up for tickets, an unmistakable Beatle-Mania energy was in the air. It was as if The Beatles were in the theater live in person!

The smell of the Coolidge’s freshly popped popcorn filled every space.

I took my seat with the intention of not leaving the theater until the last showing of the day.

The theater manager walked to the front of the screen and asks everyone to hold up their raffle tickets, it was time to raffle off a bike to a lucky kid in the audience. Once he was able to quiet down the audience, he drew the lucky number. Unfortunately, I did not win.

The lights go down and the giant Coolidge Theater screen flashed those first few moments of A Hard Day’s Night.

I had never seen The Beatles so big!! I was mesmerized.

Did I manage to see multiple showings of A Hard Day’s Night? Yes, I did. I hide under the seats after each showing. Then I ran home acting as if I were a Beatle being chased by fans.

Which I still do to this day.

~ Cha-Chi Loprete

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