COMING SOON to the Newburyport Screening Room, Merrimack Valley’s indie cinema

It’s no secret to our film friends and supporters that the Lowell Film Collaborative would love nothing more than for Lowell to have its own indie movie house. But even as we work to get Lowellians thinking about film and the joy and relevance it brings to all our lives, there’s no reason we can’t go out and support the indie cinemas that DO exist in our area. While these venues may not be a quick drive, they always appreciate our patronage and should be the first place we look to when heading out to the movies. Today we’re focusing on a 99-seat, single-screen theater right here in the Merrimack Valley in the heart of lovely Newburyport, MA: The Newburyport Screening Room. They’ve got 35 mm and Blu-Ray capability and an unbeatable $7 admission price, though we believe it’s still cash only. Bring some greenbacks with you just in case.

Movie-lovers at the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival at the Newburyport Screening Room.

Founded by Nancy Langsum and Andrew Mango, the Newburyport Screening Room started out as a small business dream built on grassroots ideals, passion, and perseverance. It’s an AMAZING story, and fortunately, all the details of their multi-year (at times uphill) venture are perfectly captured on their History Page which we wholeheartedly encourage you to read. Again, fascinating stuff and all documented. We have great admiration for this duo!

A treat for those of us who adore chatting endlessly about film is the Screening Room’s monthly film discussion hosted by the Newburyport Film Society. Founded in January 2010, the Film Society is an informal group open to the public that meets the first Monday of the month at the Screening Room for a flick and post-film discussion. (Read “Port Film Society Nights look to get people talking,” Jan. 2010). Film discussion groups are a great way to hone your movie chops, meet good people, and share those intense post-film thoughts floating around your head. Er, Tree of Life anyone? The Newburyport Film Society also produces the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, an annual event held at the Screening Room and the Firehouse Center for the Arts, a marvelous performing arts center also in downtown Newburyport.

The coming attractions at the Screening Room are impressive and have us dashing to our calendars. We’ve listed their schedule below through September 15, but please visit the Newburyport Screening Room for full details and descriptions. Hit this marvelous little venue and enjoy your summer film viewing while supporting a local indie/art house cinema. And let them know the Lowell Film Collaborative sent you!

July 8 – 21: Beginners
Get those happy endorphins going — see this film! Two thumbs WAY UP from the LFC.

July 22-25: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall All His Past Lives
A winner at Cannes 2010 with an international ghostly twist. 

July 29-August 4: Cave of Forgotten Dreams [in 2D]
Werner Herzog’s newest documentary mesmerizes — a stunner.

August 5-18: Buck
At the top of our own must-see list — we’ll be hitting this one for sure.

August 19-22: The Trip
This Steve Coogan/Rob Brydon venture had us longing for food, travel, and our own British sidekicks. Two thumbs WAY UP on this one.

August 26-29: Tabloid
You can’t go wrong with director Errol Morris, just bring along that open mind.

September 2-15: Magic Trip
Try to catch the Monday, September 12 screening which features a Q&A with Alison Ellwood, the film’s writer, director, and editor!