Left In Lowell

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July 7, 2012

Enough Movie Buffs?

by at 8:40 am.

I want this to succeed:

Now, a group of movie-loving Lowellians with downtown connections has been meeting quietly in hopes of returning just a little piece of the majesty to the downtown business district by opening an independent movie theater.

During the last several months, the group has studied the rich movie-house history of Lowell, taken road trips to numerous urban movie houses throughout New England, researched the projection and sound equipment needed for a venue, developed capital equipment and operating budgets, drafted the necessary nonprofit legal documents, and toured about 15 potential sites in downtown Lowell.

The current concept is for a downtown site, 2,500 to 4,000 square-feet with 75 to 125 seats. It would show everything — from popular box-office second-run titles to classic and Golden Age movies to award-winning and festival-circuit films to documentaries to midnight screenings of cult favorites — six days and nights per week with periodic film festivals and filmmaker events.

It would be a gathering place for movie lovers of all ages, from students to seniors,” said lawyer Michael Gallagher, who is among those leading the effort. “It would be clean and neat, and have a contemporary feel with first-rate projection and sound equipment.”

I grew up watchng the greats. To this day, my favorite actors are Henry Fonda & Jimmy Stewart. This is not to take away from modern day films. My facebook page longs for the release of the next Peter Jackson movie, The Hobbit. But the classics relied more on actors, than special effects. The scripts were more nuanced, allowing the actors to fill in the difference with facial expressions and body language. These actors studied people. Each scene was a tutorial on the human condition.

Okay, I’m back. They were awesome. We don’t truly appreciate their craft, as much as we should. So, such a theatre would allow for us to reexperience these artists. That would be wonderful.

Further, some films are just fun or quirky. I’d love to take my daughters to see the Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense or the Scorcese film The Last Waltz.

Your taste in cinema may vary. It’s all good. If the folks behind this effort get the formula correct, Lowell will be that much better for it.

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