Hello Fabulous Film Faithful,
I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I’d have some news soon. Well, it’s soon now.
When the Covid lockdowns began in March 2020, we, like everyone, thought that things would probably be back to normal in a couple weeks. We were planning to resume a regular schedule at our temporary location on Rogers Street, downstairs from the Floating Lotus. Weeks turned into months, months into years, and here we are.
COUCHES. CULTURE. COMMUNITY. That’s our slogan, our vibe, our mission. Over our 12 magical years serving greater Cape Ann, we showed over 1,000 films, hosted hundreds of talented filmmakers, actors, writers, and musicians, as well as countless celebrations of life and love.
And where are we, the Cape Ann Community Cinema? Well, we opened our charity video store, HelpFlix, here at our new home base in Rockport this past fall, and while I’d certainly like more people to find us when we’re open on weekends (12pm-6pm), the online side of things has exploded. We’re shipping your donations of movies, books, music, and tech all over the world, for the benefit of 13 Cape Ann non-profits. Thank you to everyone who has brought us the DVDs you raised your kids on, your late father’s collection of John Wayne and World War II VHS tapes, or that 8mm rig that projected your mid-20th century memories onto a sheet hung over the clothesline in your back yard. We’re happy to adopt all your wayward wares and tech, so please keep them coming.
This is the space across the hall from our charity video shop, HelpFlix, that will house the first of what we hope will be many screening rooms here at The Whistlestop Mall. It will seat 20-25 people quite comfortably.
There’s a 500 sq. ft. space across the hall from the shop that was originally supposed to be one of two CACC screening spaces, this one seating up to 33 people. The first delay in opening it was safety-related, having to do with sprinklers, installation of which was cost-prohibitive. I am very happy to report that this is no longer an issue, and while the space is presently occupied by not-us, it will be available again on March 1, 2022. I am even happier to report that I have signed a lease on the space, and will get to work on bringing independent, foreign, and local films back to Cape Ann in the space just as soon as there is money to do so.
It’s always a beautiful day in our neighborhood. (These are pieces produced for a Mister Rogers museum installation, which we adopted when our friend David “Mr. McFeely” Newell came to visit our humble movie loft.)
In that two years dark has hobbled CACC financially, we are asking – as we have in the past when there has been Big Important Work to do – for your help in this endeavor. By spring, we would like to be able to start offering private rentals of a 20-25 seat luxury screening room, initially as thank-yous to donors who will help us outfit it. The space would also be used as a classroom, with a summer filmmaking camp for middle-schoolers to begin in July (I went back to school in the fall to earn a teaching degree), and for meetings, parties, and all the other functions that a true community space performs.
When was the last time you felt like this at a movie? We’d guess that it was probably in this room, with a group of old friends you’d just met.
A regular schedule – limited to 3-4 days a week to start – would return when the Pandemic is downgraded to endemic status, and we can return to something resembling normal. But in the meantime, we will build that vibrant and essential space, and look forward to welcoming you back to it.
Cape Ann Community Cinema: A Place Of Note!
And the second space we had planned, next door to it, for up to 49 more guests at a time? Let’s call that “Phase 2,” and we’ll tackle that after we make a go of this “Sandy Bay Screening Room.” However, it’s no secret that I would love to team up with Arnie Morton at Little Art Cinema to bring on a larger scale our particular brand of magic to his wonderful space. While I have nothing on that front to report at this time, discussions are ongoing, and I think we – me, Arnie, and the Cape Ann community – could really knock it out of the park with an additional curatorial option there on School Street here in Rockport.
Won’t you help us build a new place to enjoy film, food, and all the other things?
A detailed breakdown of project expenses is below. Please consider making a donation to aid us in our quest to make your world right again, at whatever level works best for you? As usual, we are offering some nice thank-you gifts, including HelpFlix store credits, outdoor movie parties, and private luxury cinema rentals.
And away we go!
Founder & Creative Director, CACC