Imagine if you couldn’t watch the Super Bowl.
That’s what it’s like for us film folks — call us cineastes, cinephiles or our preferred nomenclature: movie snobs — when we can’t check out the latest Michael Haneke joint or weird Czech horror flick that hits theaters everywhere in the country… except for here in arthouse-less Boulder. (Christ, we have to do better than Iowa City.)
I’ve touched lightly upon this issue before, but dag-gum-it, the need for more theaters that will show limited release pictures in Boulder is so essential that the topic deserves its own column.
There may not be a lot of us in town, but to be impotent in accessing arthouse cinema through the big screen/communal experience filmmakers intend can be downright torturous to our diverse demographic (depending on the film, of course).
It’s stupendous that we have the International Film Series, but we are greedy about our films and crave options.
I finally had an opportunity to check out the Dairy Center’s three-month-old Boedecker Theater, and digital projection or not, 60 seats only or not, it definitely fits the bill. (Which in this case for me was free. P.S.: The sound system is so substantive that one of the older fellows in our private party had to wear earplugs. Rock.)
Once it really gets going, the Boe will be a spectacular contribution to the cultural scene in town. But, as with the equally desperate need for more bodegas in the area and less spiritual tchotchke shops, chain restaurants or so-called wellness centers, we need an eclectic variety for our movie-going experiences.
This is Boulder, after all. An artistic, progressive community. So where the funk are all the arthouse theaters? Is the Twenty Ninth Street Mall’s Cinemark really that powerful in dissuading the 54 percent of Boulderites who still see movies in theaters from hitting up smaller, local venues?
“We’re delighted about the Boedecker,” said Joel Haertling, a Boulder native who has been running the Boulder Public Library’s Cinema Program for the last 13 years. “It’s all part of a robust cinema community in town.”
As with so many of us, Haertling is disappointed by the gross paucity of theater choices in Boulder, which he dubiously attributes to the rise of home theaters and the bulging licensing costs for film exhibition.
“What you lose (by not going to theater) is that group feeling,” said Haertling. “For example, it’s always great to have a good laugher in the audience. The human dynamic is what’s otherwise missing.”
As a pauper journalist and a cavalier newcomer to Boulder, there’s little more I can do than complain. But, hey, I can also decry cancer or the economic crisis without directly going in to stop either; that’s not my charge. Writing is.
And I tell you this: last Saturday, I was invited to a 26-year-old annual Kentucky Derby party that lasted a consecutive and discombobulating seven hours.
There was some real money represented there, and some very interesting, established artsy types. So, put down the margaritas, Boulder, buy up one of the many open spaces now available, and let’s get shit projected before we miss out on the latest movie from Lars von Trier. You’ll have my support…