December 4, 2012

Film festival organizers to purchase Waterville cinema

Organizers of the Maine International Film Festival plan to buy Railroad Square Cinema to help guarantee the cinema's long-term health.

By Amy Calder
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville

Contributed photo

Waterville City Council
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: City Council Chambers, 93 Main St., third floor
What: Food and theater licenses for Maine Film Center Inc., doing business as Railroad Square Cinema
Maine Film Center Board of Directors
President: Emilie van Eeghen
Vice president: Julie Macksoud
Treasurer: Jennifer Strode
Christopher Brady, Jill Gordon, Michele Leavitt, Joan Phillips-Sandy, Steve Wurtzler

Both she and Eisen emphasized that the 12 cinema employees, nine of whom are part-time, will remain and it will continue to offer the types of independent, American and foreign-made films it has in the past. Now it will be able to expand offerings, they said.

They also said Railroad Square memberships will continue and current members will automatically become members of the Film Center.

Haines said Railroad Square was one of 12 independent cinemas invited to take part in the Sundance Film Institute's Art House Project, which annually brings hundreds of people involved in film together to discuss what works best.

Seventy to 80 percent of art houses are federal nonprofit organizations, she said.

The Film Center has worked during the past year to raise money for the cinema's purchase, according to an announcement Haines prepared for later this week, but provided to the Morning Sentinel Monday.

Private donors include Colby College, whose president, William Adams, has supported connecting the college's mission to arts entities in the community, it says.

"Colby has always considered itself lucky to have Railroad Square Cinema and the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville for the significant cultural offerings they bring to our students and employees and their families," Adams said in the announcement. "The chance to work with the Maine Film Center to enhance our curriculum is unparalleled and we are excited to be supporting the initiative."

The digital equipment is scheduled to be installed in January and other improvements, including painting and landscaping, will be begin in the spring, according to Haines.

Haines, 37, is the only full-time employee of the Film Center and its office is expected to open by the end of the month at 76 Main St., above Barrel's Community Market. She said her primary goals are to raise funds for programming and operations, which includes applying for grants, developing memberships and developing a sustainable plan for the cinema.

The Film Center in January will launch a new film series, Monday Night Movies, at the Waterville Opera House, she said. The Film Center installed 35mm projection equipment at the Opera House as part of recent renovations there. Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" will be the first film shown as part of the classic series.

Amy Calder -- 861-9247


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