Coming out of a great weekend of indie film at the Sidewalk and SHOUT film festivals in downtown Birmingham, there’s hopeful news on two fronts for lovers of smaller distribution films that are often hard to find in town.
While a lot of us are used to Netflix and other means of watching films at home, there’s something about watching films in public, in a cinema, that can’t be beat. There’s something even better about such a cinema being woven into the urban fabric so that you can grab a quick dinner before the show and walk over, or stroll for a drink afterwards to discuss the film you’ve just seen with friends. It’s been many years since we’ve had this amenity in Birmingham–all cinemas moved out to mall locations years ago.
Most exciting, there was an announcement at Sidewalk’s opening night about a possible new indie theater opening sometime soon. [Full disclosure: this author has been involved in this effort for a good while.] You can join the Facebook fan page here. I hope to be able to announce more details about this independent, community-oriented project in the near future.
Secondly, the new Edge 12 cineplex in Crestwood has opened, replacing the older Regal 18 that used to anchor the now frayed shopping center. While there is no website yet, their advertising claims 2 screens are dedicated to independent film. So while we’re all waiting for the larger project, support indie film by checking out the Edge (205-595-8900). Currently on those 2 screens? The Girl who Played with Fire and–well, as far as I can tell all the others playing there are regular mainstream movies you can see elsewhere. Maybe a second screen for indies isn’t quite open yet.
Regardless, Birmingham for too long has been the largest metro area in the country without dedicated screens for indie films. Mobile, Montgomery, and now Huntsville all have this option. It’s about time for the largest city in the state to start showing some quality, non-mainstream movies. Walker Percy would be happier along with the rest of us.
[thanks to kencta for the shot of the IFC Cinema (formerly the Waverly) in Greenwich Village]