Monday, September 22, 2014

Thanks for the Memories

Photo by Sky Andersen for RVA Magazine
Ed. Note: The Bijou Film Center, such as it is, wants to say thank you to the great audience that showed up to see “A Hard Day’s Night” on The Byrd’s big screen last night. That so many people took the time to help us begin the process of building The Bijou, by watching a 50-year-old black and white movie, was very encouraging. In the photo above that's James and me, Terry, in front of The Byrd last week.

The warm reception “A Hard Day’s Night” received confirmed our thinking that today Richmonders will turn out to see good movies, old or new. 

At the top of the Thank-You list we have to cite The Byrd’s Todd Schall-Vess and the Byrd Theatre Foundation for providing that grand movie palace for the screening. Plus, the theater’s staff did a fine job of showing the films and handling the large crowd smoothly. And, naturally, we’re happy to have helped The Byrd’s non-profit foundation raise some money for its restoration campaign, Journey to the Seats.

Several websites picked up the story of the screening and live music show from articles that appeared in STYLE Weekly, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond Magazine, RVA Magazine, etc., and posted the essential information without any prompting from us. WRIR's Open Source devoted a segment to chatter about the project, thanks to Don Harrison.

It all helped. Plan 9 put news of the event on its website and donated Beatles-related prizes that we raffled off. Volunteers (Julia, Wayne, Brian, Lynn and Nathan) helped us with that raffle, selling and taking the tickets. Deep Groove also donated a just-released Beatles album to the cause. On top of the unsung help several other people provided in making the benefit show possible -- then successful -- eight sponsors contributed to the project in significant ways: They were: Anchor Studios, Bygones Vintage Clothing, Janus Films, New York Deli, Portrait House, Steady Sounds, Uptown Color, 97.3 FM WRIR Richmond Independent Radio.

After the movie ended the after-screening live music show unfolded in the New York Deli, two doors west of The Byrd. The Taters put on a splendid show that were well received by a packed house. The range of ages on the dance floor was impressive.

Mark Brown's photo of James singing "Act Naturally"
with The Taters at the Deli.

For James and me it was a lot of fun presenting such quality entertainment to an audience that obviously appreciated it. Soon we’ll have news to share about our next pop-up event. In addition to staging more fundraisers at various venues, our plan is to establish a film restoration/transfer business first; our studio space for this work will be in Anchor Studios at Foushee and Broad. All the while we will be striving to open a small cinema with an adjoining cafĂ© in that neighborhood -- the Arts District. The intention, as a film center, is to eventually become involved in preserving films, exhibiting films, distributing films, and the production of films.

After several conversations with members of last night’s audience, we now know the feedback we‘re going to get from lots of people, folks who want to be a part of this venture, is going to influence the direction of the Bijou Film Center‘s endeavors from here on.  

What happened at The Byrd and the New York Deli on the last night of 2014’s summer was a good start. With any luck, we'll always remember it. Thanks. 

1 comment:

  1. Great Event looking forward to the next The Bijou Film Center Happening