Film Forum is a nonprofit movie theater at 209 West Houston Street in Manhattan. It began in 1970 as an alternative screening space for independent films, with 50 folding chairs, one projector and a US$19,000 annual budget. Karen Cooper became director in 1972 and under her leadership, Film Forum has grown dramatically. Its current Greenwich Village cinema (on Houston Street, west of Sixth Avenue) was built in 1990. Film Forum is a 3-screen cinema open 365 days a year, with 280,000 annual admissions, nearly 500 seats, 60 employees, 4500 members and an operating budget of US$5 million. Film Forum is the only autonomous nonprofit cinema in New York City and one of the few in the United States of America.
Film Forum presents two distinct, complementary film programs - NYC theatrical premieres of American independents and foreign art films, programmed by Karen Cooper and Mike Maggiore; and, since 1987, repertory selections including foreign and American classics, genre works, festivals and directors' retrospectives, programmed by Bruce Goldstein. Their third screen is dedicated to extended runs of popular selections from both programs, as well as new films for longer engagements.
As a cinema of ideas, Film Forum is committed to presenting an international array of films that treat diverse social, political, historical and cultural realities. Unlike commercial cinemas that primarily book high-grossing, Hollywood films, Film Forum's programs are thoughtfully curated, with attention to unique cinematic qualities, historical importance individually or within a genre and, particularly for documentaries, relevance to today's world. In 1994, Film Forum was honored with a Village Award by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.
In January 2013 Bruce Goldstein started a series called Film Forum Jr. Every Sunday morning at 11:00am Film Forum Jr shows a classic film appropriate for children and their parents. The series was so popular that the first film in the series (The Red Balloon) had 2 screenings (one at 11:00 and one at 11:10) and were both sold out. Film Forum Jr also occasionally shows a short film before the feature (ex. An episode of Our Gang before The Kid (1921)) and also occasionally holds a contest of some sort. (ex. Fay Wray scream alike contest after King Kong) Film Forum Jr continues to inspire the next generation of film critics, directors and writers.
Other art cinemas in Manhattan
- "Past Village Award Winners". GVSHP.org. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
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- Film Forum - official site
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