the spirit of the times
AFFILIATION: Student-run non-profit at The University of Iowa
SPECIAL SKILLS: The only independent art house for who-knows-how-many miles around shows many different formats (see below), and is entirely student run, which is super cool.
DCP ?: Yes, but can also show 35mm, 16mm and even 8mm (bring those home movies)
FIRST ZEITGEIST MOVIE: Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 2003
PRICE OF A SMALL POPCORN: $1 — all concessions are $1! Except large popcorn: that’s a whopping two bucks.
Don’t let anybody tell you that art house movie theaters only live in big cities on the coasts. The Bijou Theatre, run by students at the University of Iowa, has been projecting independent and international cinema in Iowa City since 1974. When it comes to programming for such a large community and campus (the university has over 30,000 students), the Bijou aims to be an “educational cinema,” but always takes audience suggestions, favoring auteur driven material like Elena, which opens there on Friday.
Like independent cinemas everywhere, The Bijou is trying to keep up with the need to convert to DCP. Thanks in part to support from student government, they have recently completed the conversion process, but plan to maintain their 35mm reel to reel as well. The student-run theater is doing so well, they’re looking to move to a larger space in downtown Iowa City. “This is very exciting,” current executive director Jesse Damazo told us, “but also long term & challenging.” The student staffers are pictured here in lovely Polaroids—below are executive director Jesse and programming director Charles.
If you find yourself in Iowa City this weekend, shell out a dollar for a popcorn and catch Elena at The Bijou!