Questions and Answers
- Who/what is FilmScene?
- Why a non-profit cinema?
- What will FilmScene look like? Where will it be located?
- How will FilmScene be funded?
- What kind of films will FilmScene show?
- How can I help make FilmScene happen?
FilmScene is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the cultural vitality of the Iowa City area through the presentation and discussion of film as an art form. With programming that entertains, inspires, and educates, FilmScene works to build and connect the community through film.
Founded by Andy Brodie and Andrew Sherburne in the fall of 2011, FilmScene is working to open a full-time cinema in downtown Iowa City, beginning in fall 2013 with our Scene 1 facility on the Pedestrian Mall.
In addition, FilmScene will offer programs designed to cultivate our film community, which may include filmmaker workshops, film literacy programming, and other special events.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, FilmScene is mission-driven and community-oriented.
With community in mind, our primary goal is to open a first-rate cinema for the Iowa City area that provides an enjoyable and rewarding moviegoing experience, and enhances the area’s artistic and cultural opportunities.
Additionally, FilmScene is working to develop a variety of programs that will promote arts education and community development. As an organization, FilmScene is committed to building and promoting a robust film community and film culture in the Iowa City area.
Most of all, we chose to go the nonprofit route because it’s a common model used by successful art-house cinemas across the country. These cinemas provide guidance for FilmScene, and we are especially grateful for the support and encouragement of two nearby sibling organizations: the Ragtag Cinema in Columbia, Missouri, and Film Streams in Omaha, Nebraska.
FilmScene is committed to opening its cinema in Downtown Iowa City. As the hub for area arts and culture, Downtown has a number of venues devoted to music, literature and the performing arts but lacks a full-time cinema. This hasn’t always been the case, and the community has shown a strong interest in seeing a cinema return to Downtown [#1 Entertainment desire, Downtown Iowa City Market Niche Analysis, 2007]. Movie theater was also the top choice by survey respondents in a recent downtown market assessment conducted by Divaris Real Estate, Inc., on behalf of the City of Iowa City and the University of Iowa.
Our goal is to build a comfortable and modern two-screen cinema that provides patrons with a fun and respectful setting to enjoy screenings with first-rate technical presentation. A menu of quality food and drink options will also be available to enjoy while watching movies, and the lobby/cafe will provide a welcome gathering space before or after a screening, or at any other time folks may be looking for a cool place to get together.
We are proud to be a part of The Chauncey, a proposed multi-use arts and entertainment destination currently under consideration by the City of Iowa City. A great deal of work has been done by the development team and, if built, The Chauncey would stand among the coolest cinema spaces anywhere in the country.
At minimum, The Chauncey will take three to four years to open.
In order to begin full-time film programming downtown more quickly, FilmScene plans to open Scene 1, an intimate 85-seat, single-screen cinema on the Iowa City Pedestrian Mall in the rear of the former Vito’s building, which is currently being renovated. That space will open in 2013, and will be operated by FilmScene showcasing the programming and experience that will be fully realized when FilmScene is able to open the doors on a permanent location.
FilmScene will be funded by donations as well as through partnerships which could provide financial support. If you are interested in making a donation to FilmScene, please contact us.
Once the cinema is open, revenue will be generated from ticket sales and food and drink sales. As a nonprofit, FilmScene will also pursue traditional methods of fundraising (donations, grant support, etc.).
Following the model of other nonprofit cinemas, annual memberships will be available for patrons. Patrons supporting FilmScene though membership will receive discounted admission and a variety of other perks.
FilmScene will showcase the best in American independent and international filmmaking, as well as a variety of repertory (classic films) and specialty programming like late-night movies and genre films.
Additionally, FilmScene will host a variety of special guests and events. We enjoy a strong working relationship with the Englert Theatre, which will be a go-to venue for events that require a larger seating capacity.
For now, the best way to help FilmScene is to spread the word by telling others about us.
For future news and announcements, plus exclusive giveaways, sign-up for our email list.
FilmScene still has a small number of Board vacancies and limited opportunities to serve on board subcommittees. If you are interested in a substantial role with us, please send us an inquiry to start the conversation.
Moving forward, there will be volunteer opportunities and announcements about fundraising efforts.