Indie Radar – Cannes Edition

Indie Radar


Indie Radar is our monthly look at what’s coming up in the world of independent and foreign films. Here you’ll find film stills, trailers, and clips from movies you’ll see in theaters in the next couple of weeks or months. We can’t promise they will all play on our screens, but these are the titles on our radar.

This month we’re taking a look at the films that are playing at the Cannes Film Festival. In its 69th year, this festival has a pretty impressive list of winners including David Lean’s Brief Encounter, Carol Reed’s The Third Man, Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, and Coppola’s The Conversation to name a few. The films that come out of Cannes aren’t always Oscar winners, but are often cited among the greatest artistic achievements from the year. Check out some of the trailers and stills below.

Ambler Theater to Benefit from Historic Bethlehem Pike Give Back Program


hbpgbpThe Ambler Theater is honored to have been selected as one of the recipients of the Historic Bethlehem Pike Give Back Program (HBPGBP).

Every month, the HBPGBP selects local 501(c)3 nonprofits as beneficiaries of a special, community-minded shopping weekend. This month, a portion of the proceeds from all sales at four Flourtown merchants – Barbara B’s Jewels, Boyd’s Antiques, Scarlet Begonias, and Scoogi’s Italian Kitchen – will go to two local arts organizations: The Ambler Theater and The AnA Project. Please come out between Thursday, May 19th and Saturday May 21st to support these local businesses and organizations.

Announcing the Winners of the County Theater Ideas Competition


Some examples of the 189 design ideas we received from all over the world as part of our ideas competition to brainstorm the look and functionality of our future addition to the County Theater. All of the designs have helped inform the design process and have opened up many doors to new possibilities about what our new addition can and will be.


We are excited to announce and share the winners of our Ideas Competition. The competition produced 189 submissions of plans, drawings, layouts, and ideas for the County Theater’s planned expansion. Our esteemed jury selected five entries for the top prizes and honorable mention.


We have not “picked” the design of the building or our architect. Instead, this process is the starting point for gathering ideas and concepts for how to best utilize this space, both as an addition to the County and as a resource for the Doylestown community. This is the start of a conversation.

All of the designs have helped inform the design process and have opened up many doors to new possibilities about what our new addition can and will be.

We will be scheduling public meetings to discuss this process and to get feedback and encouragement about the function and design of the space.

New Caption and Hearing Assist Systems at Ambler


Ken and Linda Regan showcasing the new closed caption eyewear and assistive listening headsets at the Ambler Theater. The Regan’s donations and encouragement led to the upgrade our systems.

Update: Due to many requests, we now also have cupholder caption readers in addition to the eyewear. Both the cupholder and eyewear options are available at the concession stand.

The Ambler Theater is proud to announce the installation of new closed captioning eyewear and assistive listening headsets. These upgrades were generously underwritten by a number of donors, but spearheaded by the enthusiastic support of Ken and Linda Regan.

These new systems make use of our digital projection systems to provide more comprehensive accessibility to our films for those patrons with hearing or vision difficulties. This upgrade has been a couple of years in the works and we are thrilled to announce that the system is now installed and operational. The new headphones and closed caption eyewear are currently available at the concession stand.

A Word About the Proposed “Screening Room”

Programmer's Desk

Several big name directors who have expressed divided opinions over Sean Parker’s new Screening Room proposal.

In the recent weeks you may have heard the phrase “Screening Room” in news outlets or uttered by your favorite directors and actors. The Screening Room is a proposed business from Sean Parker, who you may remember as the co-founder of Napster in 1999 or as immortalized by Justin Timberlake in David Fincher’s 2012 film The Social Network. Parker’s idea is a platform for customers to stream big Hollywood films at home on the day of their release for $50, after purchasing a receiver (sort of like a Roku or Apple TV) for a one time fee of $150. (So, for this fee, you could hypothetically watch Batman v Superman or Hello, My Name is Doris tonight from the comfort of your own home.) You can read about Parker’s proposal in more detail from a variety of sources that are both positive and negative. Obviously this is the type of news story that we at Renew are following closely, so we wanted to share with our members and patrons what is at the heart of the debate.

Our Favorite Irish Films

Programmer's Desk

The omnipresent Domhnall Gleeson and Saoirse Ronan walk the beaches of Ireland in BROOKLYN. (Photo: Fox Searchlight)

Whether or not it was apparent, this year was actually a pretty big year for Irish filmmakers and actors. Michael Fassbender was nominated for his performance as Steve Jobs; Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson made his breakout hit ROOM, and BROOKLYN, from an Irish filmmaker, about Ireland, adapted from an Irish novelist’s book, and starring an Irish lead, was massively popular. We’ve seen new movies with Saoirse Ronan, Colin Ferrell, the irreproachable Brendan Gleeson, and these days it’s impossible to avoid seeing a movie starring his son, Dohmnall Gleeson (for example). And so, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Irish films either set in Ireland, starring Irish actors, or made by Irish filmmakers.

Kristopher Jansma’s remarks on Whit Stillman’s ‘Metropolitan’

Programmer's Desk


The cast of Whit Stillman’s ‘Metropolitan’ [Photo: Rialto Pictures]

On Wednesday, March 9th the County Theater partnered with the Doylestown Bookshop for a special event with author Kristopher Jansma. As part of his book tour for his new novel, ‘Why We Came to the City,’ Jansma introduced a screening of Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan and read selections from his novel, which also centers around a group of young New Yorkers. We are pleased to share with you Jansma’s introduction and comments.

On Metropolitan
By Kristopher Jansma

Tonight I’m very pleased to introduce one of my favorite films, Metropolitan, by one of my favorite directors, Whit Stillman. Last year marked 25 years since the release of his generous, sweet ode to youth, idealism, and how they collide and thrive in the bustle and energy of the big city. From its perfect crackling dialogue to its deep themes of facing uncertainty in both adulthood and the change of generations, it is a film that has profoundly inspired me in my own work. Most importantly, as I hope you’ll soon see, it affected me in the way that Stillman treats his characters – which is to say, sincerely and never without humor – the same way that they treat the ever-cynical world around them.

Shakespeare 400 at Renew Theaters

Programmer's Desk


April 23rd, 2016 marks the 400th (or quadricentennial if you want a mouthful) anniversary of the death of one of history’s most influential and beloved writers: William Shakespeare (you might have heard of him). Why are we celebrating his death? Well, although it is usually written that the Bard was born and died on the same day, we are not certain of the exact date of his birth because record-keeping in the 16th Century was… let’s call it medieval (early Modern at best). When I say influential, I mean they are still making popular, mainstream films based on his work. As much as I love other Renaissance writers like Christopher Marlowe and Ben Johnson, we won’t be seeing Michael Fassbender starring in The Alchemist anytime soon. From teen movies like 10 Things I Hate About You to Laurence Olivier‘s classical adaptations, Shakespeare’s stories and legacy have extended into all facets of our culture. As such, 2016 has been chosen as the world-wide celebration of all things Shakespeare – and we at Renew are thrilled to participate. Below are some of the classic adaptations and films inspired by The Bard that we’ll be showing at our theaters.