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Support your local cinema

Movie theaters bring people together.

Two separate but related events in eastern Massachusetts left Woman on the Verge no choice but to switch gears this week.

Originally, I was planning to tell you how much I loved “The Fall Guy,” but savvy readers would have guessed as much, right? I had so much fun seeing this flick on the big screen, and you will, too. Also, my favorite scene involves an extended yet magical split-screen moment between Jody (Emily Blunt) and Colt (Ryan Gosling) before the stunt show goes full speed ahead.

My own split-screen reality came into full view last week in the form of not one but two different surprises. First, I was overjoyed after reading about an anonymous donor who pitched in $5.2 million dollars to save West Newton Cinema. Whomever you are, thank you!

At the same time, a “programming pause” greeted me as I checked listings for the glorious single-screen Cape Cinema in Dennis, Mass..

Cape Cinema in Dennis, Mass. Photo by Sarah Wright.

Blessedly, the “programming pause” pop-up has since disappeared from their website. But Cape Cinema’s financial picture is concerning, alas. Sadly, there is no exact date as to when the movies will return there.

Why is this important? I routinely scour movie theater websites throughout the Northeast to learn about films I would otherwise miss, like this:

Courtesy of Gebeka Films.

I learned about “Chicken for Linda” from the Maine Film Center, which is screening the animated mother-daughter French film all week through Mother’s Day.

Closer to home, I appreciate Images Cinema’s free screening of “Shot in the Arm” on May 20:

Courtesy of Black Valley Films.

Of course, if you can’t make it then but want to celebrate World Vaccine Day in real time May 14, you can catch “Shot in the Arm” by clicking here. Voilà!

Lastly, I never would have known about director Jeff Mertz’s “Seven Sentinels” were it not for a fundraiser screening May 18 to benefit Hudson River Maritime Museum.

Mertz’s film “explores the architectural, geopolitical, and social history of the Hudson River’s seven remaining lighthouses, as told by the people interpreting and caring for them today.” How cool is this?

Graphic courtesy of Upstate Films.

In other words, local cinema and arts centers need community support to support communities. What is happening in West Newton and Dennis bears similarities to last year’s reincarnation of The Triplex Cinema, given how all three were previously privately owned. Notably, all are now 501 (c)(3) nonprofits.

In any case, let’s say you have $5 million dollars lying around—or just five bucks. Please consider how to help your local cinema thrive well into the future. If you’re not sure, just ask.

What I mean is: When you support your local not-for-profit cinema, you foster social connection. This is true because movies bring people together to watch, to listen, and to learn.

My deepest thanks to all the local venues that take the time to select films for a diverse audience. This includes Images Cinema in Williamstown, The Millerton Moviehouse (New York), Bantam Cinema & Arts Center (Connecticut), Time & Space Limited (New York), and Great Barrington’s triumphal Triplex Cinema.

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The Edge Is Free To Read.

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