Company/Organization Profiles | Massachusetts | Theatres

New Screening Room for Indies

1 Sep , 2000  

Written by Alex Rapp | Posted by:

A new screening room for video and digital media at the Coolidge Corner Theater promises to create a space for indies.

In early October the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline will unveil a new addition: A small, multi-purpose video theater built on the second floor of this Harvard Street landmark.

The new room’s modern feel will be in stark contrast to the art deco styling of the Coolidge’s main theaters. Instead of ornate chairs, there’s bench style seating for about 45 people. Instead of a film projector, there will be an LCD projection system and a digital surround sound system donated by Bose.

According to the Coolidge Theater’s Executive Director, Joe Zina, the plan for the screening room is diverse. The room is outfitted to show video and digital media of all types; all genres will be welcome. Showings will range from documentaries to local independent works to anything else imaginable. “What it does best is expand our educational programs,” said Zina. Although presenting these kinds of works in the larger rooms is considered financially “risky,” the Coolidge will now be able to stage regular educational and other niche series.

Marketing Director, Clinton McKlung, states that there are also more offbeat possibilities for the screening room, for example, a series of 1960’s era classroom films. Additionally, the theater plans to tap the local pool of film professionals to curate their own series of showings.

The screening room will also be available for rental by local filmmakers wishing to show their own work. More details are available by calling (617) 734-2501.

The public opening will be on Friday, October 6, with private group functions planned earlier in the week. As for what we can expect for this opening week, Zina only says the program will remain fluid until the very last moment.

Highlights for the fall in the Coolidge’s main theaters include a brand new monthly series called “The Director’s Cut.” Filmmakers will attend screenings of their work, speak, and answer questions. The first installment is slated for Wednesday, September 20, with the documentary “Live Free or Die”. Subsequent visitors will include Brad Anderson, Jay Craven, and John Marshall.

Also in September comes “Goya in Bordeaux”, the 1999 Spanish language feature by Carlos Saura, portraying the last days of life of the exiled painter. Zina describes it as a “great, epic film” with “colorful cinematography.”

In October, there will be a marathon showing of the “Decalogue” series, created by Krzysztof Kieslowski (“Three Colors: Red, White, and Blue”). It’s a group of ten films, one for each holy commandment, and each about an hour in length. The films will run for only a week and Zina warns it could be the last time they are distributed in theaters.

And finally for horror fans, there will be a “Coolidge Halloween Marathon” on Sunday, October 29. “Mad Monster Party” shows in the morning for children followed by a day and night of eclectic ghoulish favorites ranging from “Halloween” to “Cemetery Man”.

For more information about films or membership, call the Coolidge at (617) 734-2501. The theater also has a web site at www.coolidge.org. The Coolidge Corner Theater this year celebrates its 66th season. Originally built as an Universalist church in 1906, the first movies were shown in December, 1933. The modern era of the Coolidge took root in the late 70’s when new owners began showing more artistic and independent films. Shortly thereafter, the balcony was blocked, and the original one room was converted into two. With the theater facing bankruptcy in the 80’s, the Brookline community was forced into action. The Coolidge Corner Theater Foundation was established in 1988 and operates the theater today as a non-profit organization. The Coolidge remains the first and only movie theater in Brookline.


For more information about films or membership, call the Coolidge at (617) 734-2501. The theater also has a web site at www.coolidge.org. The Coolidge Corner Theater this year celebrates its 66th season. Originally built as an Universalist church in 1906, the first movies were shown in December, 1933. The modern era of the Coolidge took root in the late 70’s when new owners began showing more artistic and independent films. Shortly thereafter, the balcony was blocked, and the original one room was converted into two. With the theater facing bankruptcy in the 80’s, the Brookline community was forced into action. The Coolidge Corner Theater Foundation was established in 1988 and operates the theater today as a non-profit organization. The Coolidge remains the first and only movie theater in Brookline.