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A new independent movie theater will open in Charlotte

by Stewart Cole

The non-profit community cinema plans to screen different, foreign, artistic and independent films.

CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte will soon have a new theater where independent films will be screened.

The Independent Picture House hosts its inauguration on June 24.

The non-profit community cinema plans to screen different, foreign, artistic and independent films.

It is located at NoDa at 4237 Raleigh St., but Brad Ritter, president of the Charlotte Film Society, said he hopes to see the area where the cinema is located evolve into its own identity and become known as the Trailhead Arts District.

Inside the doors of the Independent Picture House, it has all the backgrounds of a movie theater, from candy to popcorn, but the stories that will be told on the screens will be unique.

“Art houses tend to have a common sense,” Ritter said. “It’s the kind of movies you want to watch and then, you know, go out in the lobby and talk to your neighbors and discuss them.”

The Independent Picture House has three theaters of different sizes and plans to screen five or six films a week.

It plans to screen foreign and independent films, which have been missing from Charlotte’s big screens since the Manor Theater closed amid the 2020 pandemic.

RELATED: The Regal Manor Theater will close permanently after 73 years

Jay Morong, Charlotte Film Society creative director and senior theater and film lecturer at UNC Charlotte, said Hollywood mainstream big-budget films tend to have a standard narrative process. He said there was nothing wrong with that, but he believed that there was tremendous value in the individual stories told by independent filmmakers.

“Independent film matters because stories matter,” Morong said. “The stories these artists tell about their experiences, their ideas, their thoughts, their beliefs are important.”

Now, the independent films will once again have audiences in Charlotte inside the Independent Picture House.

The The Charlotte Film Society raised more than $ 600,000 to open the Independent Picture House through GoFundMe campaigns, niche campaigns, t-shirt sales and more.

“The community is really behind what we are trying to do,” Ritter said. “We take it as they say we want this community nonprofit in Charlotte.”

The illustrated house pays homage to the movie houses of Charlotte’s past, with pictures on the walls and in the bathrooms. It even gives a new home to the Manor Theater popcorn machine at the concession booth.

The stories told by independent films are ready to unfold on the big screens of the painter. Morong said he hopes people will move away from the movies they watch at the Independent Picture House and spark a conversation, either within themselves or with other people.

“Art has value in our lives and it is, you know, important to teach us how to be human, so I hope that stays with them,” Morong said.

Tickets for the opening on June 24 is now for sale.

Contact Kendall Morris at [email protected] and follow her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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