the spirit of the times
BORN: First in 2003, then in its current location in 2011.
AFFILIATION: The Miami Beach Film Society owns and operates the Cinematheque
SPECIAL SKILLS: Where to begin? First of all, LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS THEATER IS. Secondly, your popcorn is made by The Raleigh Hotel and can be covered in dark chocolate, white chocolate, or white truffle oil.
DCP ?: High def digital — “High definition technology with historic ambience.”
FIRST ZEITGEIST FILM: “In the Mirror of Maya Deren” July 24, 2004
PRICE OF A SMALL POPCORN: $3
The Miami Beach Cinematheque first opened in a Gothic Revival building on South Beach’s Espanola Way on the 10th anniversary of the Miami Beach Film Society (the non-profit that owns the space). It moved to its current space in 2011 thanks to a large fundraising effort by the community. In a town like South Beach, where, in the words of director Dana Keith, “most holidays become giant Mardi Gras-style occasions,” offering a unique experience for filmgoers is essential. The Cinematheque did not shy away from this challenge. “The experience of watching a film should be as memorable and interesting as the film itself,” Dana said, and it’s easy to see how the theater strives to do just that. The gorgeous space in Miami’s Historic City Hall offers an intimate experience, furnished with lavish details, as you can see in the pictures here.
But hey, they’re not just a pretty face. Cinematheque is bringing cutting-edge independent work to South Beach, with a major focus on auteur filmmakers. T-shirts available in the lobby sum up their mission quite well: “Subtitle-lover” and “AUTEUR-ism.” Combining a bit of both, ELENA opens there tomorrow, bringing some chilly Moscow air to Florida.
And look at this friendly staff! Go get some chocolate covered popcorn, see ELENA, and say hi to these nice people (below: Director Dana Keith with Assistant Manager John Physioc, and intern Eliza Orange)
BORN: Opened in 2009 by Nancy Sabino and Mike Sodano
AFFILIATION: Works with the Asbury Park Film Initiative and the local arts organization ArtsCAP, and together they have created AP IndieFest, as well as The AP in 3 Contest for “homegrown” filmmakers.
SPECIAL SKILLS: Popcorn hand delivered to your seat! Plus local vegan ginger cookies and personal introductions before each screening.
DCP ?: Not currently, but a digital conversion is being considered
FIRST ZEITGEIST MOVIE: The Horse Boy
PRICE OF A SMALL POPCORN: $3.50
Tucked away in The Boss’s stomping grounds about 60 miles south of Manhattan, The Showroom is a nearly-new gem art house dedicated to bringing “relevant and thought-provoking” fare to their audience. “Even though movie-theater impresario Walter Reade started his empire in Asbury Park in 1927 and there were once 7 movie palaces in town,” co-founder Mike tells us, “no new movie theaters had opened in more than 30 years.” So in 2009, he and Nancy opened the theater on Cookman Avenue in what was once a shoe store. The Showroom has been able to thrive thanks to the devotion of a core local audience in addition to cinephiles from the tri-state area who make the trip for the theater’s international, documentary and independent fare.
Known for its exceptional customer service, The Showroom prides itself on being attuned to the needs of its audience, and makes the extra effort to bring in quirky qualities not found anywhere else. Canning jar of ice water? Special Showroom coffee blend? Free lollipop? They’ve got you covered. And when they’re not showing first rate films, there’s readings, improv comedy, spoken word performances and multimedia events.
After just two years, they’re already movin’ on up—well, across. This fall, The Showroom will move to its new home across the street from its current location, and will boast two ground level theaters, plus an upstairs VIP screening room. We’re thrilled they’re playing Elena starting this weekend, and can’t wait to see how this theater continues to do great things in Asbury Park. They aim to be a part of the community. Mike says that though Asbury Park is known for being the former hangout of Springsteen, “we look forward to being the former stomping grounds of the next yet-to-be-discovered Coen Brothers.”
One of our nearest and dearest neighbors, Posteritati is always on our minds (because we’re lusting after their latest acquisitions). And we’re not the only ones - The Village Voice, NYT Style Magazine, and Vanity Fair (among others) have covered this amazing SoHo treasure.
At the time of this writing, the store is doing a spotlight on sci-fi posters. We’re in love with an Argentinian Empire Strikes Back poster they have up, and one of us couldn’t stop herself from picking up this trippy Japanese Alien poster a little while back.
You can see some of the posters on display in our pics here, but the Posteritati catalog is WAY more expansive than what’s on the walls.
We also like that they have a candy bowl, seen above on the coffee table.
The staff are really cool about pulling out posters for you to get a closer look!
You can search through the entire Posteritati collection on their site or in store (by genre, director, star, or keyword) on one of those computers you see above… or you can ask owner Sam Sarowitz - a veritable scholar of movie poster history/art, with several BEAUTIFUL books to his name.
If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by - you won’t want to leave.
AFFILIATION: Independently owned and operated, thanks in part to the support of Belcourt Theatre Inc. (formerly Belcourt YES!), a not-for-profit organization that helped to reopen the theater (see thorough history lesson below).
SPECIAL SKILLS: 16mm outdoor showings (against the side of the theater), special posters designed by Sam Smith (see more on that below)
DCP ? : Aside from the occasional BluRay, it’s all film at the Belcourt. “For now, we are not rushing to install the new equipment. The digital kinks – and there are many - are still in the process of working themselves out,” said Belcourt program director Toby Leonard.
FIRST ZEITGEIST MOVIE: “Taste of Cherry,” June 5, 1998
PRICE OF A SMALL POPCORN: $4
The beautiful Belcourt Theatre in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, began its life as a silent movie house called The Hillsboro Theater in 1925 that had the largest stage in the city. It also housed the Children’s Theater of Nashville, and The Grand Ole Opry through the 1930s. By 1937, The Belcourt stage could flexibly show both film and live theater, and did so until it returned to showing films exclusively in 1966.
The theater thrived for nearly 30 years as a family owned operation, but with increasing pressures from mall multiplexes, the theater faltered in 1999, and was ultimately forced to close. The not-for-profit grassroots group Belcourt YES! (now Belcourt Theatre Inc), a group dedicated to the preservation and successful operation of the theater, formed though the theater reopened in 2000. Founding YES! member Thomas Wills bought the theater outright in 2003, and sold it back to the board of directors for its exact purchase price in 2007.
The Belcourt now shows first run films as well as repertory and special outdoor screenings—the theater lugs a 16mm projector and PA outside for these special showings. If that’s not enough to get you through the door, there’s local draft beers (plus wine and liquor) waiting for you in the lobby, along with local cookies and chocolates. Deepening its indie/art cred, local Belcourt fan/Ben Folds drummer/Elena poster designer Sam Smith often makes original posters for the theater’s repertory shows.
Beer, cookies and great movies all under one roof at The Belcourt make us want to hit the road due south immediately. If you’re in town, grab a red wine and check out The Salt of Life, opening at the Belcourt tomorrow.
AFFILIATION: Not associated with any film societies or the like, but The Fine Arts does play host to the Asheville Jewish Film Festival and QFest, a LGBT festival.
SPECIAL SKILLS: Affordable concessions in the lobby ($2 Sno Caps?!) and a wide selection of local beers to enjoy with your favorite art house film. Also they have this incredible list of every film they’ve ever played. It’s amazing, and makes you feel like you need to update your Netflix queue pronto.
DCP ?: Still runs 35mm, but they are currently converting to digital projection; the transition should be complete sometime this summer.
FIRST ZEITGEIST MOVIE: “Fire” on December 19, 1997.
PRICE OF A SMALL POPCORN: $3
Tucked away in Asheville, North Carolina, this beautiful Art Deco theater is “dedicated to first run art and independent films,” and plays nearly 50 films per year according to manager Neal Reed. Originally a movie house called The Strand, and then later an X rated adult film house, it was totally renovated and reopened in 1997 by John Cram, who set out to revitalize the art scene in Asheville by opening several galleries, and then renovating the Fine Arts—one of the galleries, Blue Spiral 1, adjoins the theater (with the blue awning in the picture). The theater has transformed into the destination for Asheville movie lovers. The Salt of Life opens at the Fine Arts Theatre on May 18th, and Neal reminded us that all shows are $5 on Tuesdays — so grab a popcorn, mix in some Sno Caps and a local brew, and go check it out!
Directed by Emmy-Award-winning filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine (Ballets Russes), this entertaining and inspiring documentary nimbly maps the creation of an industry that went on to become the single greatest engine of innovation and economic growth in the 20th century. Told by the visionary risk-takers who dared to make it happen—Tom Perkins, Don Valentine, Arthur Rock, Dick Kramlich and others—the film also features the audacious industrialists behind such groundbreaking companies as Intel, Apple, Cisco, Atari, Genentech, PowerPoint and Tandem. Our lives would be dramatically different without the contributions that these venture capitalist pioneers and their entrepreneurial partners have made to the creation of life-saving drugs, personal computers and the Internet.
Reblog for the chance to win Something Ventured on DVD!
By now you may have seen our fabulous poster for ELENA and read about the signed, limited edition screenprint by designer Sam Smith. We are offering two of these screenprints signed by director Andrey Zvyagintsev for two lucky winners of our Film Forum raffle.
If you see ELENA at Film Forum in its opening weekend (*Wednesday 16th through Sunday 20th May), save your ticket stub and we will enter you in a raffle to win one of these posters.
To qualify simply take a photo of your ticket stub (with your name written on it) and email the photo to us at email@example.com (subject line ELENA POSTER). Or, if you’re feeling old fashioned, mail the ticket stub to us along with your name and email address, to: Zeitgeist Films, attn: ELENA POSTER, 247 Centre St, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013.
The raffle will be drawn on May 29th and winners will be notified by email.
[As previously announced two signed screenprints will also be raffled at BAM Cinematek at the screening of THE RETURN on Tuesday 15th at 6:50pm]
Limited edition screenprint poster for ELENA (Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia, 2011)
Designer: Sam Smith
Poster source: Sam’s Myth
Read all about the design process for this poster and see designer Sam Smith’s 10 favorite movie posters of all-time at Movie Poster of the Week on Mubi.com.
BORN: America’s oldest performing arts center was first founded in Brooklyn Heights in 1861. The original building burned down in 1903, and the current location in Fort Greene opened in 1908. BAM Rose Cinemas opened in November of ‘98, and our beloved BAMcinématek came to be in July of 1999.
AFFILIATION: These fall under the larger umbrella of BAM = Brooklyn Academy of Music (For an amazing tour through BAM’s 150 year history, click here)
SPECIAL SKILLS: The special series and repertory showings are BAMcinématek’s signature speciality. They not only put on filmmaker retrospectives (Bresson and Spike Lee were the first two; Andrey Zvyagintsev is this weekend!), but also invite filmmakers to be guest programmers and introduce their favorite films.
“We always try to come up with interesting way of presenting the films or get guests to introduce films,” explains BAMcinématek program director Florence Almonzini. “For example, we first showed ‘My Sex Life’ in the Best of the 90’s, and again with a Desplechin retrospective, then we asked [My Sex Life director] Arnaud Desplechin to come here to introduce one of his favorite films, ‘The Royal Tennenbaums.’”
DCP ?: Fully outfitted for DCP, HD and 3D, but still prefers to play films on their original format, 35mm prints
FIRST ZEITGEIST MOVIE: “Taste of Cherry” and “My Sex Life” in July 2000.
Places like BAM make Molly have slightly less anxiety about possibly moving to Brooklyn. With concerts, theater, and film festivals, there is just no shortage of awesome here. From contemporary first run releases like “The Hunger Games” to live organ accompanied silent film, BAM is dedicated to giving its audience a wholly unique experience.
The photo below shows a screening of audience favorite, “Treasure from the Chest” by film preservationist/silent film accompanist Serge Bromberg. Not only did the guy find the footage and restore the film, but then he comes in person to play the piano and tell stories about each film in his curated series.
We’re thrilled that BAMcinématek’s extremely popular filmmaker series has invited ELENA director Andrey Zvyagintsev this weekend—they will be featuring “The Banishment” (perfect for Mother’s Day, right??), “The Return,” and a special sneak screening of “Elena.” The director will be in person for a Q&A on Tuesday night following “The Return,” AND you can enter a chance to win one of the incredible Sam Smith screenprint posters too!
An emotionally and sexually charged psychological thriller from director Bernard Rose (Candyman, Immortal Beloved) featuring Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as a husband who is consumed by feelings of carnal desire and violent jealousy over his pianist wife’s (Law and Order’s Elizabeth Röhm) possible affair with a handsome violinist. Based on the classic novella by Leo Tolstoy, this gripping dissection of a modern marriage also features Oscar® winner Anjelica Huston (Prizzi’s Honor).
Click-through for the webstore!
Director Jon Knautz (Robert Englund cult fave Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer) returns with a blood-curdling tale of sacrificial cults, demonic possession and ancient evil. After a young American backpacker vanishes in Europe, three journalists trace his disappearance to a mysterious Polish village. They travel there hoping to get the story, but instead find a grotesque, fog-shrouded shrine—and hostile locals hell-bent on serving up for their next ritualistic human sacrifice. Praised by such prestigious fan sites as Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting and FearNet, The Shrine features rising stars Aaron Ashmore (TV’s Smallville), Meghan Heffern (The Fog) and Cindy Sampson (TV’s Supernatural).
Click-through pic to the DVD store!