Thoughts: Southside needs an Arthouse Cinema

I love theatre. Sure. But I love movies too.

I think it comes down to Storytelling.  Who among us fails to fall under the spell of great storytelling, whatever the medium?

Which is why I propose this:  One of the things most needed on the Southside is a great, quirky, inclusive little arthouse cinema.

Frankly, I’m tired of having to drive up to the city to see half of the films nominated for awards. The great little films that tell stories – often stories of underrepresented voices. Little known histories. Unique visions. Something other than things blowing up.

Husband and I, we lived in Norfolk, Virginia for 30 years – from just after college until 2010. Norfolk is a terrific little town; it’s right there on the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay, the land bisected by rivers and marshlands. Sad to say, one of the reasons we left is that the sea is pushing in, reclaiming the town as sea level rises. We made lives there, and many good friends, in a town that is, at least for now, a very liveable city.  And one of the best things about it was a little arthouse called “NARO Cinema”.

The NARO is decades old now, but when it came into the funky little neighborhood called Ghent, it pretty much singlehandedly kickstarted the revival of that once genteel area.  On Colley Avenue where the NARO is located, stores and restaurants quickly filled in the storefronts around it.

They show The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Friday night, at midnight. They have a LGBT film festival. A Jewish film festival. I saw Shakespeare in Love, Brokeback Mountain there – before they ‘hit’ and moved to bigger venues. Lots of other great films too.

A great little cinema that shows great little films would be a terrific addition to say, downtown Newnan. It would drive traffic down, bring business to local restaurants and encourage folks to dawdle around the square. Remember, too, that we’re quickly becoming a major film production center. Surely all those people who have come, are coming to our area to work in the business would support it.

I’m tired of driving up the Sandy Springs (Lefont) or Midtown (Midtown Arts) or Buckhead (Tara Cinema).

Let’s get our own Arthouse.