Mark Leffingwell / Colorado Daily file photo
Jeremy Papasso / Colorado Daily
If you go
What: Bohemian Film Series
When: Every Monday in October
Where: Bohemian Biergarten, 2017 13th St., Boulder, 720-328-8328
More info: Find Bohemian Film Series on Facebook
Boulder Outdoor Cinema is moving inside and getting some beer.
Every Monday in October, BOC will show a movie at the Bohemian Biergarten. The Bohemian Film series, as they’re calling it, kicks off this coming Monday with Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.” There’s no cover to get in, but seating is first come, first served, and 21-and-over only.
Appropriately, the partnership between BOC and the Bohemian Biergarten formed at a bar. When BOC co-owners Liz Marsh and Jeanine Fritz (an employee of the Daily Camera and Colorado Daily columnist) and Biergarten owner Zdenek Srom struck up a friendship at Conor O’Neill’s, they discovered a mutual love for film.
“I actually met them at Conor’s like, 100 years ago,” Fritz said. “They actually came to a bunch of Boulder Outdoor Cinema shows and just loved it.”
Marsh added, “It was funny, I mean, I think essentially it started out as a conversation about how we all love movies and it got into how we can have them at the Biergarten.”
Marsh and Fritz started BOC 18 years ago, and it’s become a Boulder summer staple. The weekly movies (plus live music and trivia) in the parking lot behind the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art has always been popular, and was one of 16 outdoor cinemas around the world featured in a TravelChannel.com article. But with aging equipment, and after a particularly rainy summer, BOC has been in need of some financial help. Two unsuccessful fundraising campaigns have come and gone this summer, so Marsh says she hopes the Bohemian Film Series will raise awareness.
For the Biergarten, the series makes sense, Srom said.
“Monday — people don’t know where to go to socialize because nothing’s going to be happening in this town,” Srom said. “Growing up in Europe, there were movie nights, so in bars and pubs, they set up tables and played movies, and they had outdoor movie theaters like what Jeanine does here. We grew up on having a beer and watching a movie, and that’s what we wanted to produce in this place.”
When the BOC ladies heard stories about this, they realized it fit right in with their mission.
“That’s kind of what BOC’s about, is that group experience” Fritz said. “You can watch all of that stuff at home, you can watch it on your laptop, or on a large screen with a bunch of people who are appreciating it.”
The indoor setting and, of course, the beer should be conducive to more discussion. Marsh said that even in a dark parking lot after summer BOC screenings, people will hang around to talk, so everyone is hoping there will be even more of that at the Biergarten.
Hosting a film series in a bar also means a shift in content for BOC. With a 21+ audience, they can be bolder about R-rated selections. And because it’s European, they’ve chosen the movies accordingly.
“We can program to a totally niche audience,” Marsh said. “We can program based on 100 people coming instead of 500 people coming. It gives us more freedom, I think.”
They wanted to pick films that would be fun to watch with a beer in hand, but also reflected an appreciation for the space. Looking at the lineup, the choices make sense: “Inglourious Basterds” has a European setting, “Amelie” is a foreign film, “Shaun of the Dead” takes place in a bar and “The Jerk” is, well, “The Jerk.” In addition to movie trivia, there will be beer trivia (so brush-up on the Biergarten’s offerings).
If the four October dates are successful, BOC and the Bohemian Biergarten are hoping to do more.
“We want to be able to do things in the off season. Once with have a new screen, we can do things inside as well,” Marsh said. “We already have interest from a couple other places in town, so if we can, this could be a totally new business model for us, and we get to start it with people who are enthusiastic about it. We’re just really excited.”