2009 Art House Convergence

the Peery Hotel in SLC

I’m packing my bags and heading for Sundance. If it seems a bit early (the festival runs from January 15 – 25), that’s because I’m first going to a three-day Art House Convergence event that is being held in Salt Lake City’s Peery Hotel. The Art House Project was spearheaded by Sundance in 2006 to “celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Sundance Institute and pay tribute to to Art House theatres nationwide.” My organization was one of twelve selected, but this year six new theaters have been added to the fold – thus bringing the AHP up to 18 members. Here’s an overview of the participating theaters, in alphabetical order:

BAM

BAM Cinematek (Brooklyn, NY) – One of the new additions. And also no surprise here, as the Brooklyn Academy of Music has played host to a variety of Sundance film packages since 2006. “With its first performance in 1861, BAM is a long-standing cultural anchor of New York, particularly Brooklyn. Uniquely situated in the tight-knit neighborhood of Fort Greene, in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, BAM—believing a rising tide lifts all boats—understands that institution building goes hand in hand with community development.” Admission: $7 – $11. (AHP participant: Lisa Mallory)

Belcourt (Toby's going to kill me for using a googlemaps jpg - oh well.)

Belcourt Theater (Nashville, TN) – From their plaque: “In 1925, the Hillsboro Theater opened as a silent film house with its entrance on 21st Avenue South. The stage arch was decorated by Italian craftsman, Raffaelo Mattei. It was the home of the Children’s Theater of Nashville after 1931, the Grand Ole Opry between 1934 and 1936, and the Nashville Community Playhouse after 1937. It became the Belcourt Cinema in 1966. Admission: $5.75 – $8.50 (AHP participants: Toby Leonard & Stephanie Silverman)

The Tower - endangered? Say it ain't so!

Broadway Centre Cinemas (Salt Lake City, UT) – The Salt Lake Film Society runs both the Broadway Centre Cinemas and the Tower Theatre. I attended the latter many years ago and remember being delighted by the fact that they had a resident cat that was allowed to make the rounds during the films. It saddens me to see from their homepage that “the future of the Tower Theatre is threatened!” Admission: ??? (AHP participants: Tori Baker)

Coolidge Corner Theatre

The Coolidge Corner Theatre (Brookline, MA) – Housed in a historic 1906 building that was originally a sanctuary for the Beacon Universalists Church, it now gives sanctuary to film lovers looking for a beautiful auditorium in which to enjoy films. Admission: $6.75 – $9.75 (AHP participants: Tim Jackson, Denise Kasell, Elizabeth Taylor-Mead, and Joe Zina. Honorary mention: Connie White, who used to program the Brattle Theatre and then the Coolidge – she also now heads Balcony Booking and was a key player in organizing the AHP at its inception.)

Enzian Theater

Enzian Theater (Orlando, FL) – “Central Florida’s only full-time, not-for-profit alternative cinema,” it was founded in 1985 and “now reports the highest grosses in Florida for many art house releases. Adventurous programming, and a willingness to book self-distributed films, has garnered Enzian a national reputation as a trendsetting venue. Admission: $6.50 – $9.00 (AHP participant: Chris Blanc)

Hollywood Theater

Hollywood Theatre (Portland, OR) – A new addition to the AHP. “The Hollywood Theatre was built in 1926. Over the years, the Theatre has seated audiences for vaudevill shows, silent films accompanied by live orchestration, Cinerama and more. Currently, more than 70,000 people visit the historic Hollywood Theatre each year.” Admission: $4.00 – $6.50 (Participants: Richard Beer)

Muenzinger Auditorium - International Film Series

International Film Series (Boulder, CO) – “Established in 1941, the IFS is Boulder’s first art-house film series, screens over 100 films a year, and has a yearly attendance of somewhere between 20,000 – 30,000 film lovers. It plays host to a variety of special events and regularly brings in high-profile filmmakers for free shows that are open to the public.” Admission: $5.00 – $6.00 (Participant: Pablo Kjolseth [aka: Keelsetter, yours truly, guilty as charged, etc.])

Jacob Burns Film Center

Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, NY) – The JBFC got its start in 1998 when it purchased “a beautiful Spanish mission-style, historic landmark building (that) was built in 1925 as one of the first movie theaters in Westchester County.” Five million dollars was raised to fund this 18,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility with three theaters. Admission: $6.00 – $10.00. (Participants: Stephen Apkon, Dominick Balletta, Lois Dino, and Emily Keating)

The Loft Cinema

The Loft Cinema (Tucson, AZ) – A new addition to the AHP. “The Loft Cinema is Tucson’s premiere venue for art films… was purchased in 2002 and transitioned into a nonprofit arts organization, (and) the cinema has hosted more than 100 filmmakers and scholars and screened films from more than 50 countries.” Also: “Now serving beer, wine & Fresco pizza!” Admission: ??? (Participants: Peggy Johnson, Lisa Stark, Joe Tarver, and Luanne Withee)

Michigan Theater

Michigan Theater (Ann Arbor, MI) – Two venues, including a historic auditorium “constructed during the silent film era when films were shown with live musical accompaniment.” It has a 1927 Barton Theater Pipe Organ. The theater has “real gold leaf” and puts “real butter on the popcorn.” Admission: $6.oo – $9.00. (Participant: Russ Collins)

Musicbox

The Music Box (Chicago, IL) – A new addition to the AHP. Another beautiful, historic building (1929), and also equipped with an organ. This one even comes with a ghost! “‘Whitey’,”as was his neighborhood nick-name, was the manager of The Music Box from opening night 1929 to November 24, 1977…On Thanksgiving eve, 1977, Whitey returned to close the theater. He fell asleep on the couch in the lobby and never woke up…He is sometimes felt to be pacing Aisle 4 (protecting the alley doors where kids used to sneak in). Admission: $7.25 – $9.25. (Participant: Brian Andreotti)

This theater was "absorbed" by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art - which kept some of its structural architecture.

Oklahoma City Museum of Art (Oklahoma City, OK) – Nestled inside the museum is the Noble Theater, “incorporating the original 1947 Centre Theatre as a preservation/reconstruction, the 250-seat Noble Theater offers state-of-the-art projection systems.” Admission: $5.00 – $8.00 (Participant: Brian Hearn)

Palm Theatre

The Palm Theatre (San Luis Obispo, CA) – A new addition to the AHP. “San Luis Obispo’s Only Locally Owned Movie Theatre (&) The First Solar Powered Cinema in the USA!!” How awesome is that? They must have full battery back-up for cloudy days. Admission: ??? (Participant: Jim Dee)

A rendering of what the Pickford Cinema will look like in the near future.

Pickford Cinema (Bellingham, WA) – “With its limited seating capacity of 88 seats, the cinema has seen a 68 percent rise in attendance since opening in 1998. During 2004 alone, the Pickford saw an increase of an additional 20 percent. This growth, combined with other limitations of the current venue, prompted our organization towards the goal of relocating to a larger space. Plans are now underway to renovate an historical building downtown into a two-screen film center with an anticipated opening date of winter 2007.” Presumably the economic downturn has resulted in a slight delay? Admission: $5.00 – $8.00 (Participants: Michael Falter and Susan Tive)

Rafael Film Center

Rafael Film Center (San Rafael, CA) – “Owned and operated by the California Film Institute, the non-profit organization that also produces the Mill Valley Film Festival, this beautifully restored Art Deco theater with three screens and state-of-the-art presentation is located in the heart of downtown San Rafael.” Admission: $5.50 – $10.00 (Participants: Richard Peterson)

Ragtag Cinema

Ragtag Cinema (Columbia, MO) – “Taking as inspiration Bertolt Brecht’s quote — “A theater without beer is just a museum” — Ragtag has attempted an unusual fusion of a high-minded arthouse cinema with a playful, lively beer hall….we show movies that others dare not to. We show movies that are fun and we show movies that are thought-provoking, and, hopefully, we show movies that are both. We highlight homegrown and far-flung filmmakers, musicians and performers and make space on our walls for emerging artists. And everyone gets in for the same price.” Admission: $4.00 – $9.00 (M.I.A.: David Michael Wilson)

Railroad Square Cinema

Railroad Square Cinema (Waterville, ME) – The Railroad Square Cinema has been providing “alternative cinema in Central Maine” for over 30 years. They promote art in their lobby and provide great eclectic programming. Admission: $5.00 -$ 7:50 (Participant: Meg Fournier)

Google has its limitations - but I think The Screen is one of these buildings.

The Screen (Sante Fe, NM) – A new addition: “The Screen is New Mexico’s premier Cinematheque. Founded at the College of Santa Fe and curated by Brent Kliewer, The Screen showcases the finest in World, Art, and Independent Cinema. The Screen features a 16 speaker Dolby Digital 6.1 Surround Sound system, a High Definition curved screen, and luxurious stadium seating.” Admission: $6.00 – $10.00 (Participant list pending.)

Next week: highlights from both the Art House Convergence and Sundance. For the official press release, click here:

http://festival.sundance.org/2009/press_industry/releases/sundance_institute_expands_collaboration_with_local_art_house/


0 Response 2009 Art House Convergence
Posted By hollywood movie theatre : January 12, 2009 3:01 am

I came across this blog – interesting read

Posted By hollywood movie theatre : January 12, 2009 3:01 am

I came across this blog – interesting read

Posted By Medusa : January 12, 2009 1:17 pm

Kudos to all these theatres who keep the tradition alive! And have a wonderful trip, Pablo!

Posted By Medusa : January 12, 2009 1:17 pm

Kudos to all these theatres who keep the tradition alive! And have a wonderful trip, Pablo!

Posted By keelsetter : January 12, 2009 3:22 pm

Thanks, Medusa – I think this will be my 14th trip to Sundance. Next time I should really consider something warmer. Like Thailand.

Posted By keelsetter : January 12, 2009 3:22 pm

Thanks, Medusa – I think this will be my 14th trip to Sundance. Next time I should really consider something warmer. Like Thailand.

Posted By MrAtomic : March 27, 2009 2:02 am

Having worked at two of these theatres in my projection career, all I can say is congrats to Pablo and Brian Hearn. Thanks guys for keeping the true spirit of cinema alive!
(BTW, I think I owe you a beer Pablo)

Posted By MrAtomic : March 27, 2009 2:02 am

Having worked at two of these theatres in my projection career, all I can say is congrats to Pablo and Brian Hearn. Thanks guys for keeping the true spirit of cinema alive!
(BTW, I think I owe you a beer Pablo)

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