What can we do to preserve the repertory movie-going experience in Montreal after the closing of Cinema Du Parc?
July 20, 2006 12:31 PM   Subscribe

What can we do to preserve the repertory movie-going experience in Montreal after the closing of Cinema Du Parc?

Cinema Du Parc, my favourite movie house in Montreal, will be closing in early August, leaving us with the AMC and Paramount as the main movie houses. I love to watch a good movie with an audience and it seems like the success of Fantasia Festival proves there is an audience for repertory and leftfield cinema in Montreal. I don't know if Ex-Centris and Cinema Beaubien can take the torch from Cinema Du Parc, but I am wondering if there is anything we can do the preserve the repertory movie-going experience in Montreal.

1) Is there an effort being made in Montreal to preserve Cinema Du Parc, or the repertory movie-going experience in general, like this community group is doing in Toronto in a similar situation? I would like to help.

2) In the current economic market, where most people prefer to watch movies on DVD, are there exemples of successful small cinemas for those who prefer to watch a repertory movie on a big screen with an audience?

3) Actually, would a cinema with personality-plus like theAlamo Drafthouse in Austin (never been there, only read about it), providing an experience impossible to live at home on DVD, creating events around movies, be feasible in Montreal? Are there any other exemples of cinemas around the world creating a unique, original experience?

4) What are the legal issues to show a movie on DVD, say for exemple 2001: A Space Odyssey in a small, 50-some (paying customers) seats theater? If need be, is it difficult to secure the rights and clearances from studios and copyright owners?

5) Would a switch to digital projections be profitable to the repertory market? I'm guessing the transport and availability of reels is a limitation to repertory programmers that digital projections would perhaps eliminate (after of course a huge investment in equipment). Is it a direction repertory cinemas could possibly take in the future, or is it a move that will only be profitable to first-run blockbusters?
posted by jchgf to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I recommend that you enlist the advice and support of the staff at NYC's Film Forum. FF's been advancing the cause for many years.
posted by NYCinephile at 1:02 PM on July 20, 2006

Well, I think you can expect to see more repertory movies in english at:

a) the Ex-Centris, which just like the Parc is owned by Daniel Lanois. I've seen quite a few rep movies there. Great place.

b) the Imperial. Now that the renovations are done, and since Fantasia has moved to Concordia, you can expect to see more rep stuff play at the Imperial, like it used to do in the late 90s, early 2000s. It's a fantastic venue! As a mater of fact they are playing comedy movies there until the end of next week for $9 as part of the Just for Laughs festival.

c) AMC Forum. I'm always amazed at the stuff playing there, too bad it costs $13 for a ticket and it's on the other side of town.

Between these three venues, the ONF and the theatre at Concordia (am I the only one who went to the Kubric festival there a few years ago?) I think there will still be a somewhat viable repertory scene in Montreal. Too bad the Rialto is a steak house now. I must admit though, I went from a guy who used to buy at least two 10 ticket + 2 ticket + 2 popcorn passes a year and last time I checked you got 6 tickets on the pass, no extra passes and no popcorn, and for about $20 more than it cost before.

Maybe we need to start Flash Mob Drive-Ins with projector screens.
posted by furtive at 5:42 PM on July 20, 2006

Furtive, that's a diabolically clever idea.
posted by baylink at 7:21 PM on July 20, 2006

Best answer: There are a lot of people at the Alamo Drafthouse that might be willing to lead you in the right direction. One of the programmers, Kier-La, is Canadian (from Vancouver, I think). I believe she had a similar job while living in Canada. Maybe she has connections in Montreal?

The main e-mail for the downtown location is comments.downtown@originalalamo.com. They're pretty good about getting you in touch with whomever you need to get in touch with.
posted by lunalaguna at 2:44 PM on July 21, 2006

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