A couple weeks ago, I walked into the Paramount Theatre for the first time as the new Paramount Film Institute Programmer, and I was both overwhelmed and overjoyed.
Sure, I’ve spent plenty of time in the Paramount enjoying classic films and introducing new ones as the Film Program Director at Austin Film Festival, a job I held for the past two years. But this time, as I stepped into the room and let the responsibility of this storied theatre’s film program truly sink in, I fulfilled a longstanding dream of mine and also recognized that an awesome and exciting challenge now awaits me.
Or should I say, “awaits us.” The Paramount and Stateside Theatres are a part of that increasingly rare breed of community-based, mission-driven cinemas. The “community-based” part means that, even though it’s my responsibility to bring you the very best that both classic and indie film have to offer, you play a significant role in our theatres, too.
Beyond simply providing your support and attending our screenings, you give us the feedback that helps us make the Paramount and Stateside such great places to see films. Are you pining after a beloved film that you haven’t seen in years? Don’t be afraid to chat with me about it when you see me at the theatre (I love talking old movies, that’s why I’m here!). Have you heard about an exciting new indie film that has film lovers abuzz? Drop me a line and make sure it’s on my radar.
Long story short, my mission is you, the film lovers who will continue to put down their tablets and support the theatrical experience. The Paramount will carry on fighting for the preservation and exhibition of our cinematic history, and you, as always, will remain our greatest allies.
What I want, most of all, is to provide you with the same feeling I had when I arrived for my first day on the job: an appreciation of the great history and vital importance of these theatres, and an anticipation for all the great things to come. I look forward to meeting you at the movies very soon and staring up at all those wonderful flickering pictures together.
P.S. Stay tuned to this blog, as I will be updating it regularly with thoughts on films new and old. This week, I’ll be focusing on the great batch of holiday films we have for you, starting Sunday night 12/9 with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Bad Santa, both in the Paramount on glorious 35mm!