We celebrate Durham in many different ways, including celebrating the Downeaster's steady service to Durham at ten trains per day everyday. But not many folks would think of using the Downeaster to go to the movies! With the 50% Senior Discount, and with Student and other discounts available, this is very doable, for there are extraordinary movie theatres showing great movies All Day Long, comfortably within the Downeaster's daily schedule, and close by several of the Downeaster stations.
Let's start with Brunswick's two great art house cinemas: Evening Star Theatre (only a 5-10 minute walk from Brunswick Station) and Frontier Theatre (a 15 minute walk from the station). These two art house cinemas have a very loyal clientele in Brunswick because of the great movies they show! Train arrives at 12:25(weekdays) and 1:15 (weekends), and departs Brunswick at 5:25 (weekdays) and 6:10 (weekends). Lunch or dinner on-board in the Cafe Car or in Brunswick. Both theatres also have great restaurants right at the theatre and are open all day. (Good lodging, if desired, is immediately available near the station - Brunswick Hotel and Tavern and historic Brunswick Inn B&B - for those who wish to stay overnight and enjoy Bowdoin College Museums and downtown attractions.)
Then there's FREEPORT. Immediately across from Freeport Station is the modernistic Nordic Theatre with multiple screens. Petrillo's Italian restaurant is right by the Station and theatre, as is the cozy Freeport Visitor Center. (L.L.Bean and many other stores are only a block away.) Train arrives 12:10 (weekdays) and 1 (weekends), and departs for home at 5:38 (weekdays) and 6:23 (weekends).
And, looking south, there is NORTH STATION, Boston, a new destination in itself, with the spectacular ArcLight multiscreen movie theatre, combined with Boston's newest hotel, the very modernistic Hotel Citizen M (for mobile), and, as well, multiple new restaurants and shops, all built right into the North Station Complex. North Station today is far more than a train station - it is a destination unto itself and does not require trekking any farther into Boston (unless you want to), for there is enough attraction here to make North Station your destination!
Life in Durham has just been further enriched and diversified. Just step aboard the Downeaster and enter into the world of good cinema and good food. No car necessary. And no winter weather to worry about!
Durham resident John E. Carroll has represented Durham on the AMTRAK Downeaster Operations Committee since its inception in 2001, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of Train Riders Northeast. He is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Conservation at UNH.