Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Robinson Film Center construction nearly complete

Here are a few photos from a recent tour with executive director John Grindley. The Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas St., will open May 3.

The bistro's balcony will offer a view of Texas Street and downtown Shreveport. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)

The bistro -- which will serve soup, drinks, sandwiches, tapas and other eats -- will seat between 65 and 80. It's the warmest, most relaxed space in the building. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)

The three-story building anchors the 600 block of Texas Street. The dumpster should be gone by the end of the month. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)

John Grindley says RFC's bistro will also offer patio dining on nice days. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)

The smaller Celebrity Theater -- seats 49 -- will be a cozy but comfortable space to watch movies. During morning hours, it appears the theater will be used by the film industry for the screening of dailies. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)

The larger Grand Theater -- seats 135 -- really feels as if it seats a few hundred. From what I can tell, this will offer a pretty close to perfect screening experience. Big seats. Stadium seating. Really sharp resolution. Very loud sound. A throne for me in the back. Me like. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)

The multipurpose space will serve a variety of needs -- teaching classes, wedding rentals and general public programming. This large room can be divided into three smaller spaces. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)

NOTE: I spoke with the architects March 20, and they provided different seat totals for the theaters. Numbers have been corrected.


bigmoneygrip said...

Will they screen the classics, like "Casablanca", "Gone With the Wind", "2001" and "Lawrence of Arabia" there? If so, it may be a valid enough reason to move back to S'Port/BC. As a moviephile, I would KILL to live in a city that regularly screened the classics in a place they are meant to be shown. My 42-inch plasma TV is a decent substitute, but not close to a real theater.

Alexandyr Kent said...

That will be up to programmer Chris Jay, who you can email at He can tell you where classics fit into their overall programming mission.

I used to live in Mpls/StPaul where we could see classics pretty regularly. They were screened at where I worked (Walker Art Center) and at a great movie house called the Oak Street Cinema. A few other places screened the oldies, too.

Cinephile crowds are the best (in both a fun and a weird way), and I miss 'em. I remember a woman who sat through a Chinese director's retrospective knitting a sweater from some stinky, moldy yarn. Disgusting, but unforgettable.

Anonymous said...

These pics and the reporting make the RFC sound more and more enticing. I cannot wait to see movies with people who LOVE movies (not my friends who think the "Saw" flicks are amazing films.....shudder).

And since the subject of programming has been broached, maybe Chris Jay and company can find a way next year to screen all five best pic nominees. Since none of our other megaplexes will, I'd love to see a local house pick up the slack! Or, you know, they could just have "LaMovBlog" posters' selections. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea!

Anywho, congrats to all involved. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Chris Jay said...

Howdy fellow cinephiles,

To answer the easy question first, yes we will be doing repertory screening of classics at the RFC. Our challenge is to program classics in an educational manner - anyone can see "Citizen Kane" at home on Turner Classic Movies, so we will be enhancing repertory programming, as often as possible, with educational elements like discussions, guest lectures, etc.

As for the general programming, expect 3-4 first run (i.e. not on DVD yet) independent feature films rotating show times in our two theaters at any given time. At least 75% of these presentations will be on film, but up to 25% may be presented in HD through our digital content provider, Emerging Cinemas. Emerging is helping us program content like live concerts, the La Scala Opera series, smaller-release indies ("Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten," "Taxi to the Dark Side," "Paranoid Park", etc. are some titles they currently offer). On weeknights, we'll be enhancing our regular programming with special events such as the Regional Filmmaker's Spotlight, a night dedicated to exposing the work of aspiring local and regional media makers of all ages. And I believe some special guests will be hosting nights of their own, on, who would be perfect for that?

In complete sincerity, my door is always open when it comes to programming suggestions. During our series of one night-only screenings at the Regal, several films were essentially programmed by audiences. So many people requested "Once" and "La Vie en Rose" that we booked them both, and sold nearly 1,000 tickets between the two. So I respect our audience and I feel like I should always be available to discuss what's out there, what we can get (sometimes we just can't get a film, for various reasons), etc.

Can't wait to see you guys at the movies. Rest assured, when we have the Grand Opening programming lined up, this blog will be the first place you'll see the titles and show times.

Anonymous said...