Monday, April 15, 2013

Little Art renovations to begin with festival

The Last Reel Film Festival

The Last Reel Film Festival will honor a few of the Little Art Theatre’s “Most-Loved Films” as part of the Little Art’s temporary goodbye before closing for major renovations. 

The Last Reel Film Festival runs from Friday, April 26, through Tuesday, April 30. The movies, selected for their popularity over the last fifty years, are King of Hearts (unrated, 1966); Harold and Maude (PG, 1971); ET (PG, 1982); Cinema Paradiso (PG, 1988); and Amelie (R, 2001). The final show will be Cinema Paradiso, about movies, memories, love, and a small theater in a Sicilian village—a fitting way to say farewell to the Little Art’s vintage Italian reel-to-reel projectors.

The festival follows the nonprofit organization’s wrap-up of a successful 2012 capital campaign, which met its fundraising goal of $475,000 towards an industry-mandated transition to digital projection.  The trend toward digital projection is exemplified by lack of availability of quality 35mm prints: for Cinema Paradiso and Harold and Maude, the only available prints have serious flaws. (The latter will be projected from a Blu-ray; quality permitting, the former will still be shown from 35mm, but after evaluating the print Little Art management may decide to show it digitally as well.) For ET, on the other hand, a brand new 35mm print marking the movie’s 30th anniversary will be shown.

The historic theater, which has operated continuously since 1929, will close immediately after the festival for several months while undergoing a transformation to digital technology and a renovation of the lobby and auditorium.

During the festival, the Little Art’s lobby will exhibit original work by the late Dick Miller, an artist who painted custom posters for the theater from the 1950s through the 1980s. A selection of monthly program guides, which were a familiar sight on local refrigerators for decades, will be on display, along with other pieces of Little Art memorabilia. Ticket prices will also temporarily go back in time: $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for children under 12, seniors, and college students with ID and  $6.00 for matinees.

Festival-goers are invited to show their love for the Little Art Theatre:

•Wear a Little Art T-shirt to the show and receive a free soft drink, tea, or coffee.
•Share memories of the Little Art on the Memory Wall in the lobby and on Facebook.
•Take a photo in the “I Heart the Little Art!” corner.

The Little Art Theatre invites everyone in the region to take part in this celebration of watching films on film together. A full festival schedule is available online at or by calling 767-7671.

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