Hello Future Movie Mogul,
I opened the living-room-style Cape Ann Community Cinema in historic Gloucester, Massachusetts in 2008. I designed it to be a resource for the residents of Boston’s North Shore to not only have a comfortable and welcoming place in which to appreciate great films, but also as a means by which to offer access to filmmakers and their process. In the 7 years during which we as a community have built the place up to become the premiere arthouse cinema on the North Shore, we have shown over 1,500 films, hosted hundreds of filmmakers, launched a thoroughly modern performance stage, and given over 100,000 guests a filmgoing experience that serves as a high standard by which all other nights out at the movies are now judged.
I have been in the movie business for nearly 30 years. I started out in high school as a clerk in a video store that I would later spend my college tuition purchasing. I became a full-time film critic and award-winning writer. I became a stand-up comic and made a novelty record and got it played on The Dr. Demento Show. I sold my largest video store to a national chain. And then I started showing movies… and making them. I have been fortunate to do what I love, and love what I do.
But with all this work, I forgot to take time for myself. My last vacation was in 2004, and it has finally caught up with me. I now have a medical need for more time off than I can safely put the Cinema on auto-pilot for. So in the interest of keeping this vital resource alive beyond my time with it, I have decided to find a new steward for The Cape Ann Cinema & Stage while I focus on my health and my family. This is where you come in.
Through June 30, the Cape Ann Cinema & Stage will host an essay contest. Write us 250 words on “Why I Want To Own And Operate A Small Seaside Cinema,” and if you can convince us that your passion for film and community is greater than all others’, I will gift you not only a totally debt-free majority ownership of the CAC&S, but will give you $20,000 with which to get started, plus a variety of support for the first year. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are from, and if you’d rather take the cash award and start your own cinema in your own community, you can do that. You can read all the rules and find out how to enter with the menu button at the top-left of this page.
Please share our story with anyone you feel might be interested in a shot at this rare opportunity. While only one person will win, all contest funds raised beyond our minimum threshold will be gifted to communities in need of this kind of resource in the form of equipment and consulting (we started our Cinema for under $10,000). The more we raise, the more community cinemas we can help seed (just call me Johnny Applescreen!). If you want to help but don’t want to enter the contest, you can help via our local-level Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
Thank you for reading, now let’s make some dreams come true!
Owner & Creative Director
The Cape Ann Cinema & Stage