Some Of Our Favorite Movie Houses Don't Exist

This is a re-post of an email I got from Film Forum. I thought you all should consider it. It is reprinted without permission... Each of these NYC cinemas played provocative art films and/or classic revivals. But over the years they closed their doors for any number of reasons. Not one is in business today.

The Metro, The Baronet, Festival Theatre, Cinema Studio, 68th Street Playhouse, Carnegie Hall Cinema, Art Greenwich, Garrick Cinema, The New Yorker, Charles Theatre, The Little Carnegie, 55th Street Playhouse, The Gramercy, The Coronet, Embassy 72nd Street Theatre, Fine Arts Theatre, Sutton Theater, The Beekman, Bleecker Street Cinema, The Elgin, Cinema III, 8th Street Playhouse, The Biograph, Plaza Theatre, The St. Marks, First Avenue Screening Room, The Regency Theatre

2010 marks Film Forum's 40th anniversary, a landmark occasion for us. Thanks to friends like you, we are able to continue to present the best in new and classic film.

Members and individual donors give more than $800,000 a year to offset our operating costs.

Your generous gifts make it possible for us to:

  • take chances on new American and foreign independent premieres
  • create ambitious repertory programs spotlighting classic directors, stars, genres and themes
  • bring films from abroad that do not have American distribution
  • ship 35mm prints of rare films from international archives
  • provide live piano accompaniment for silent movies and other live events
  • update our equipment to assure superb image and sound
  • encourage filmmakers to make special appearances and meet our audiences
  • attend film festivals throughout the world to find the most exciting, undiscovered directors
  • pay filmmakers and distributors a fair remuneration

By supporting Film Forum now with a contribution - of any size - you will help ensure that Film Forum thrives for the next 40 years. We would not exist without the loyalty of our members and donors.

Please make a 100% tax-deductible gift to our annual appeal. Your generosity will guarantee that we are here for your enjoyment now, and for years to come.

Click here to donate online.

Click here to print a donation form, if you prefer to send a check.

What do I get for my donation? The knowledge that you've helped independent and repertory movies stay alive and well in New York City. And our sincere appreciation.

What don't I get? Not a single Film Forum-embossed tchotchke.

Many thanks for considering this request. We look forward to seeing you at the movies.

Best regards, Karen Cooper Director

For more information, contact Keith Butler at 212-627-2035 x225 or

"That Was A Good Trailer"

Film Forum showed this trailer before the restored print of METROPOLIS. When it was done, the nine year old young man next to me turned to me and said "That was a good trailer". He knows of what he speaks. And thus how little we have traveled. Fifty years is the age of Godard's BREATHLESS and it still feels fresh even to an innocent's eyes. And for that matter, METROPOLIS totally stood up and got the approved stamp of "exciting" from both my son and his friend.

Support Your Family! Give To Indie/Art Film Infrastructure

I have always supported the idea that you need to vote for the world you want with your dollars. I am the odd bird that believes in both optional and mandatory contributions to a better world; what's all the beef about taxes? If our tax dollars really went to things I cared about, I would be all for more of them (as long as there was REALLY HEAVY penalties for corruption too that is). Hey, I'd even vote for mandatory conscription if it had more options than just military and if they provided some real training to the participants. But that's a different subject, better suited for rants elsewhere. Let's get back to the world of cinema...

Here on TrulyFreeFilm the goal is to find a way to build an infrastructure that can support diverse work (and promote it -- the work, the participants, & the infrastucture). To that end, I think everybody that partakes in and benefits from the infrastructure, should give back to it. Sometimes this giveback comes in the form of labor and participation, and sometimes it depends on $$money$$. It costs to build the world that we want and being responsible means accepting that fact, and recognizing that it is our place to contribute.
By that standard, how much show one give to build the infrastructure for the culture we want? Should it be 5% of your income like they encourage in some churches? Perhaps even more is mandated when it also is your livelihood that needs support, right? If we don't support our industry's infrastructure, how can we expect it to be around to support us?
Beyond money though, we must fight for what we want with our actions. The phrase "stand up for what you believe" always felt off to me. Shouldn't it be more "Step forward for what you believe". Even if you are broke (it is indie film afterall) then hopefully you still have some time you could you give weekly to move the culture a bit closer to the one you want. Why don't more people use their labor in this way?
So... what should we all be doing? Well, I have made that list before.
Maybe it's time to air our laundry. Show our true colors. Perhaps we should discuss what we each really do, and figure out what more we can do. I am pretty public with my thoughts already, and with most of my actions too. But is it enough?
So... this is that list of mine as to what I have done this year to support indie film in terms of donations. I am showing you mine, not so much in hoping you show yours too, but to motivate you & others to do likewise). I recognize this list is just a start. I want to get more on the ball. I hope this list doubles next year -- particularly in the artist support category (this is the dawn of crowdfunding). We all have to do a whole lot more. I know I have to give more money for a more diverse and vibrant cinema. I need to do more to support the existing apparatus. So this is that list in hopes that maybe you will be motivated to give a little more.
Exhibition Membership: Film Forum
Sundance Creative Producer Lab Mentor
Made In NY Mentor
This is that Internship Program
Active Membership In Organizations
The thing that I have been wrestling with is that I do not participate in any organization. I have previously been on the board of the IFP and have been on various advisory boards, but as of now I am not on any other than the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. I have thought hard about becoming more involved in the PGA, the IFP, & FIlm Independent but for various reasons of my own, haven't thought my time is best spent there, as much as I admire each organization. I think this is a failing on my part but am not sure how to best to resolve it. I like to work where I am most needed and those organizations have a lot going for them already -- although personally speaking I still think it is a lame excuse.

Supporting More Artists
Hopefully this will become easier to both identify and give in the new year with the rise of crowdfunding models.

Supporting More New Model Exploration
Hopefully this too will become more widespread and easier with crowdfunding in the new year.
Note to self: resolve to do better in 2010.