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Garen Daly on set with Austin de Bes
Fire Lobby 1 copy
Welles on Welles copy

About Us

It began with a torchlight parade – It ended in flames.

The Orson Welles Complex is a documentary film on the legendary

Harvard Square cinema, restaurant, and film school. 

It began at the height of the 60’s cultural revolution.

It defined an era and shaped those who touched it.

Today’s modern art house is the offspring.

Tommy Lee Jones was the first house manager.

Jay Leno started there.

Reggae was launched there.

A fast moving fire consumed it.

Miscalculation destroyed it. 

Yet its legacy echoes.

In our culture.

In our movies.

  • NAMED FOR AN ICON

    Named after a brilliant maverick The Welles did justice to its namesake.

  • BUSTED ILLEGALLY

    A politically motivated police raid over a controversial film would echo for decades.

  • IT SPAWNED REGGAE

    A  music genre was launched, a cult classic was born when The Welles relaunched The Harder They Come,

  • GOD SMITES THE HEATHENS

    Protesting religious conservatives swear their prayers were answered when the Welles burned. God smiting The Welles. It’s sin? Screening a Jean-Luc Godard film.

  • INDIE CRED BEFORE THERE WERE INDIES

    Early on The Welles supported American indie filmmakers like Jonathan Demme, John Sayles, Martin Scorcese, John Waters and more.

Celebrities Remember The Welles

Tommy Lee Jones

“It was the coolest!”

Tommy Lee Jonesfirst house managerIMDb
John Waters

“All my films played there.”

John Watersfilm directorIMDb
Errol Morris

“It was where I learned about movies.”

Errol MorrisOscar winning documentarianIMDb
Henri Langlois

The best movie theater in the world – after the Cinematheque Française, or course.”

Henri Langloisco-founder Cinémath eque FrançaiseIMDb

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