Our Top 5 Films of 2016 So Far

Programmer's Desk
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Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in the strange, hypnotic film The Lobster (photo: A24)

Believe it or not, we are already in the middle of 2016. We began to discuss the titles released in the past six months, some upcoming movies, and what we liked and what we missed. Chris and I recently shared an email correspondence counting down some of our favorite titles of 2016 thus far.

Listen: Our Conversation with Director Whit Stillman

Programmer's Desk
Writer and Director Whit Stillman stopped by the Princeton Garden Theatre for a Q&A and book signing.

Writer and Director Whit Stillman stopped by the Princeton Garden Theatre for a Q&A and book signing.

We were very fortunate to host director Whit Stillman at the Princeton Garden Theatre for a Q&A and book signing following a screening of his latest film Love & Friendship on Sunday night. Mr. Stillman is the writer and director of the smart and charming indie comedies Metropolitan (1990), Barcelona (1994), Last Days of Disco (1998), and Damsels in Distress (2011). His latest film is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novella “Lady Susan,” for which he also wrote a novelization. Whit offered an insightful and humorous talk-back following the film that we are delighted to share with you! The full conversation is streaming below. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for future filmmaker events and guest speakers.

Don’t Miss These Hollywood Summer Nights Favorites

Programmer's Desk
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Humphrey Bogart with one of the most famous movie props of all time. (Photo: Warner Brothers)

One of my favorite times of the year is upon us: Hollywood Summer Nights. For the uninitiated, every year we program a slew of classic and neo-classic films that are widely regarded in the canon of film. Some are fun and lighthearted, and some skew a bit more intense and dramatic – but all of the titles reflect a piece of film history from their era. I’ve just finished booking the titles at our four theaters, so I wanted to share some a few notes on some of the films that will be playing this summer. Titles vary at the different theaters so be sure to check out all our Previews flyers below.

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Indie Radar – Cannes Edition

Indie Radar

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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

News/Updates

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

News/Updates
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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.

THE WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN

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.

THIS IS JUST THE FIRST STEP

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

News/Updates
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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
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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.