Theater troupe hosts independent film series

posted by danpetitpas on November 18, 2008 at 7:45 am

FORT MYERS, FL — The amateur acting troupe Theatre Conspiracy has begun showing an independent film series at their 50-seat blackbox theater between theatrical productions.

The move comes as donations have dropped by 50% although tickets to their performances are selling well.

The troupe is negotiating directly with filmmakers' agents to obtain the films on DVD. They will be projected on a 16-foot by 8-foot screen in the makeshift movie theater.

The series, which started last weekend, consists of: the French thriller “Tell No One,” “Dialogues with Madwomen,” “Pi,” “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson,” and the Jean-Luc Godard film “Contempt.”

If the current series is successful, another one will be planned for the summer.

Read more at News Press.

Comments (1)

danpetitpas on November 18, 2008 at 12:12 pm

I think this is a really interesting idea. There are tons of blackbox theaters and little theater troupes all around the country, and for the most part, their theaters sit unused 95% of the time. Why not use them to show non-commercial and independent films?

There is a ton of product out there that is never seen by the public, and a small admission fee could keep some revenue coming in when the theater would have otherwise been dormant. And there’s usually the theater manager or stage manager hanging around doing paperwork during the day, why not set up a desk at the door and collect admissions?

You can get a decent 480p projector and DVD player for less than $1000. Or you can get a Blu-Ray player and a 1080p projector for around $2500. That’s just about the same quality of the first generation of digital cinema projectors. The light output won’t be the same, and it’ll feel more like a home theater, but this could increase the number of venues for indie films exponentially if other theater companies did this.

I remember seeing an unreleased Kenneth Branaugh film at the Coolidge Corner’s video screening room on ¾" video tape some years ago, and I still remember it fondly despite the 8-foot wide screen image. So it could work, and I hope other theater companies pick up on this.

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