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Save the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities: What You Can Do

by Scott Brown 0 Comments

Help save the NEA and the NEH

A great article from Pen America outlining things you can do to help keep funding for national artist and art programs from being gutted by the newly proposed budget.

President Trump is soon expected to propose a budget that would completely eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
» What do the NEA and the NEH do? The Endowments have been on the budget chopping block before. They survived because caring citizens who benefit from their […]

Source: Save the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities: What You Can Do – PEN America

Indie Movie Theaters Nationwide Screening ‘1984’ | The Huffington Post

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Indie Movie Theaters Nationwide Screening ‘1984’ | The Huffington Post

We have secured a spot on the nationwide roster of art house screenings of the film 1984, now we just need a theater.
If we secure the El Rey on April 4th, we hope that everyone will join us for a night of classic cinema and support of the National Endowment Of The Arts.

A complete list of participating theaters can be found here.

It’s all happening April 4. Mark your calendars, comrades.

Source: Indie Movie Theaters Nationwide To Protest Donald Trump By Screening ‘1984’ | The Huffington Post

Bryn Mawr Film Institute – History

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The Bryn Mawr Film Institute is another fantastic example of a community determined to keep it’s historic cinema alive. Their sponsored National Theater Survey is an eye opener for those who doubt the significant economical benefits of local Art House Cinema and civic performance spaces.

Source: History of Bryn Mawr Film Institute | Bryn Mawr Film Institute

A call to rescue the historic Seville Theater, a center of Bryn Mawr community life since 1926, inspired the creation of the innovative film exhibition and education center, Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

That call, sounded in 2002 by Juliet J. Goodfriend (shortly to become BMFI’s founding president and executive director), was answered by a group of like-minded civic and academic leaders equally alarmed at the prospective conversion of the derelict—but beloved—theater to a health club franchise.

After seemingly endless zoning hearing board meetings and fundraising events, the newly incorporated nonprofit, 501(c)(3), Bryn Mawr Film Institute purchased the building in December 2004 and began a decade-long restoration, renovation, and expansion project. With great community support, the theater complex today boasts four state-of-the-art theaters, classrooms, community gathering space, a café, and a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.


Sundance Art House Convergence – National Theater Operations Survey 2015

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Sundance Institute Art House Convergence
National Theater Operations Survey 2015

The Sundance Institute Art House Convergence’s comprehensive look at Art House theater operations ranging from concessions to fundraising. This survey, and others like it, confirm the viability of cinema and civic performance spaces for local economic and community growth.


Community Foundation Fund Now Open!

by Scott Brown 0 Comments

We are proud to announce that our fund at the North Valley Community Foundation is now open.

So, if you are still looking for a tax deductible donation on your 2016 taxes, and you want to help us keep the El Rey Theater open and vibrant, what better place than the El Rey Theater Alliance!

Visit our NVCF page below!

El Rey Theater Alliance

Update 11-23-2016

by Scott Brown 0 Comments
Update 11-23-2016
Just a quick update on our progress. We know we have been a bit silent for the last month or so, but rest assured it’s not for lack of tireless work on securing a future for the El Rey Theater.

We have finished drafting our business plan as well as a 5 year financial projection, and are currently working with an investor to secure the purchase of the theater. Unfortunately,  more details regarding the sale can’t be divulged at this point.
We have also joined the League of Historical American Theaters (LHAT) which offers a community of other historical theater operators as well as some amazing operational resource that we’ve already been able to take advantage of. We’ve also been graciously invited into the Sundance Arthouse Convergence, another incredible resource of theater operators created in connection with the Sundance Institute in Park City Utah.  We are certain that with our own efforts as well as our collaboration with these, and other prestigious national organizations, the El Rey Theater can become a local and state landmark with regular programming that rivals the most well known and profitable theaters in the country.
As most of you already know, our El Rey Theater is the oldest continuously operated movie theater in California, as well as 3rd in the US. We plan to use this distinction to make it a destination location for cinema and performance audiences worldwide not just for the theater itself, but for all of downtown Chico.

Thank you all for your continued support!

The El Rey Theater Alliance Team

How Alamo Drafthouse is redefining the cinema experience – Videos – CBS News

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Other visionaries that trust in the power of their local cinema house.

If you don’t already know about the Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain, it could change your view of going to the movies. Alamo Drafthouse is the brainchild of Tim League, a hardcore film buff since high school. It started small almost 20 years ago in Austin, Texas, but has grown into a high-concept theater chain with more than two dozen locations nationwide. Dana Jacobson reports from the newest site in Brooklyn, New York.

Source: How Alamo Drafthouse is redefining the cinema experience – Videos – CBS News

Our recent Letter to the Enterprise Record

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Recently, Councilwoman Ann Schwab asked that the City Council agendize the “El Rey issue”, at the request of constituents.  The city was charged to discover if they could protect the theater as a historical resource for the city of Chico.  In response, the city stated that the El Rey Theater is within a historical overlay zone, and acknowledged that the interior murals are historically significant. Information was also provided during the Council meeting proving that the El Rey is currently the oldest continuously operated movie theater in the state and third in the U.S. Any changes to the theater would be subject to the usual procedure for historic buildings in this district. It was also stated that the city does, in fact, have the jurisdiction to declare the El Rey a city landmark.

The El Rey Theater Alliance, a non-profit corporation, is currently negotiating a possible purchase of the theater with the current owner. It never was, or ever has been, suggested that the City of Chico purchase the building, or force the current owners to maintain a business that they no longer want. We are dedicated to finding solutions that work for everyone, and will continue to do so tirelessly in order to keep the El Rey intact, restored, and vibrantly serving our community.


Lisa West, President

El Rey Theater Alliance