New Orleans has music clubs on every corner, galleries galore, and renowned restaurants aplenty. Once upon a time, neighborhood movie theaters were everywhere in the Crescent City, too. In fact, New Orleans was home to 50 of these community cinemas by 1945. Today, only one of these original theaters remains.
The New Orleans Film Society seeks to bridge that gap—by marrying community with cinema & bringing film to every pocket of the city with the launch of its 2012 Movies To Geaux Series.
For the first time, in 2011, NOFS decided to offer movies al fresco and hosted the largest outdoor film events the city had ever seen (nearly 1,000 people gathered for our first event at NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden!). In 2012, we’ve expanded in this arena and have purchased equipment so we can essentially be “on the geaux” with our very own mobile cinema system. We want to bring together audiences for exciting free and low-cost film events in neighborhoods around the city. We see the potential to show a wide range of films as part of Movies To Geaux: classics, cult films, Louisiana favorites and more. We immediately realized there was a hearty appetite for outdoor screenings after our first few events last year. We applied for and received a generous grant from the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation to help us buy this equipment and supplemented that with $5000 in Kickstarter funding. With that, we purchased a 25-foot outdoor inflatable screen, projector, and sound equipment which will allow us to bring the joy of outdoor cinema to more communities in the Greater New Orleans area.
In 2011 alone, we teamed up with NOMA for two film screenings; we partnered with NOLA Drive-In for a series of films on abandoned rooftops; we collaborated with the American Italian Cultural Center to show a film at the Piazza d’Italia; we worked with YLC to show a film as part of their One Book One New Orleans project; and we screened two films in Coliseum Square park, working in conjunction with the Coliseum Square Neighborhood Association.
In 2012, we are screening four films at NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Wizard of Oz. We want to continue to line up more outdoor screenings, with both existing and new partners. If you came out to one of last year’s events, you know the magic of Movies To Geaux—whether it’s sitting in a crowd of 1,000, watching Fay Wray scramble to escape King Kong or gathering with hundreds of 80’s film lovers to watch Ferris Bueller perfect the art of playing hooky.
Big thanks to all of the following individuals who supported our “Movies to Geaux” Kickstarter campaign:
Stephen F. Armbruster
Audrey T Benjamin
Lori Monahan Borden
Colleen Kane Gielskie
M Denise Hollier
John Vincent King Iii
Lynch Three Project
Sandra Leigh Spedale
Trevor Alan Taylor
Peggy Walton Walker
Cristina Daneze Wollenberg