When I was a teenager, one of the things that saved me from doing all the wrong things (drugs, crime, whatever) were the local indie cinemas. My friends and I would go to the Fox Venice or the Nuart and watch a double feature and wind up THINKING about shit rather than committing crimes. I remember many instances of those indie movies influencing me. I distinctly remember the double feature of Breaker Morant and Gallipoli inspiring several of us teen boys to look into the idea of being conscientious objectors at the time we had to register for the draft. Practically every weekend we went to one of the local indie movie houses and watched a double feature and LEARNED some shit.
Here's some footage from the Nuart that got me starting my own personal conscientious objector file:
Indie is on its way out financially. Now my family LOVED the Lego Movie, but let's face it...it's not the same as seeing Dr. Strangelove or Breaker Morant on an indie screen.
We are losing the depth that those indie screens give us. As a teenager, I spent my extra money at these indie movie houses. It was my investment into my own personal development.
A friend of mine, a local progressive activist in Brooklyn, NY, is also the owner of an indie movie theater in Brooklyn. He has kept alive an incredible tradition of indie movies in an otherwise homogenous range of movie options. As a teenager, if I hadn't had those indie movie houses as my home away from home, I would have wound up unquestionably in the drug, alcohol, or crime cultures that were my other options for entertainment.
I am fine that most movie theaters have the cookie cutter, popular movies. But we need alternatives. Indie movie houses shaped my way of thinking for the better, plain and simple. I got to see viewpoints I would never have seen otherwise. Had they not been there, I would not be who I am now.
The indie movie houses that saved me personally from entertaining myself through drugs and crime are seriously endangered. See below for how you can save a local indie movie house in Brooklyn and help keep kids on track...
We have begun our crowdsourcing campaign to purchase a digital projector for one of our screens. As a supporter of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema we hope you'll donate to help us achieve this goal.
For the past 18 months we have been putting off buying a digital projector because our lease had expired and the landlord was trying to get his development plan approved by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. Fast forward 18 months and we are still here, and expect to be here through the summer and probably longer. While we can get away with having one screen showing 35mm film for a little while longer, there aren't enough prints being made for both of our screens. So we need to purchase a digital projection system right away. If we must relocate in the future, we have several places nearby we can move to and this new digital projector will work at any location.
We hope you'll go to our donation page, look at the video and find out more about the campaign. Please help us spread the word by letting your friends know about it by posting on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social network pages. We can only survive thanks to you and your generous help.
Thanks for your support and we'll see you at the movies!
Kenn Lowy and the staff of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema