The eclectic film series Art Cinema at the Crest closes out a successful inaugural run in downtown Delray Beach Wednesday night, with organizers already seeking your movie ideas for a 2014 edition.
The final film this season, “If I Were You,” screening in the beautifully nostalgic Crest Theatre on Old School Square, concludes a summer movie series that opened July 10 with "Casablanca," which was followed by such favorites as “The Big Lebowski,” “Anna Karenina,” “Quartet” and the 2013 rock documentary “Sound City.”
Each Wednesday-night screening has included a post-film “talk-back” discussion led by Caroline Breder-Watts, midday anchor on WLRN and host of “Cinematically Speaking” on Arts Radio Network.
Series creator Brian Ridolfo, assistant artistic director at the Delray Center for the Arts, says audiences were beyond his expectations for the inagural season, averaging around 100 patrons, which nearly filled the theater’s lower section. The biggest audiences (around 130) were for the Bogart classic “Casablanca” and the youth-skewing “Sound City” and “The Big Lebowski.”
Ridolfo says an informal show-of-hands poll at the “Lebowski” screening indicated that about 80 percent of the audience were at the theater for the first time.
“This is exactly what the series was intended for. We were thrilled with it,” Ridolfo says.
Audiences ranged in age from 12 to 80, he says, and defied all kinds of stereotypes.
“I got a call on the night of ‘Casablanca’ … You could tell it was an older lady by her voice, and she was asking me how to get to the theater and where to park. I gave her that information, and I said, ‘OK, see you in a couple of hours.’ And she said, ‘Oh, I’m not coming tonight, I’m coming for ‘The Big Lebowski,’” Ridolfo says with a laugh.
Ridolfo plans to continue screenings through the coming fall season, but on a more limited basis, as the theater is available. One and two-night offerings might be devoted to certain genres, directors (“Maybe a John Hughes marathon”) and actors, he says.
A summer 2014 edition of Art Cinema at the Crest will return, however, and Ridolfo is already thinking about the lineup. The one suggestion he’s heard the most? “Everbody has asked for ‘This is Spinal Tap,’” he says of the goofy 1984 faux rock-doc. “And that would definitely be a lot of fun.”
Ridolfo says he’s interested in your ideas, too. Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Movie Suggestion” in the subject line.
Wednesday night’s screenings of “If I Were You” are at 6 and 8:30 p.m. The Crest Theatre is at 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Tickets are $8, with a cash bar and concessions available. Info: 561-243-7922, DelrayCenterForTheArts.org.