Things are going well for Ciné, Athens’ downtown non-profit movie theater and arts forum.
A kickstarter campaign, which ended on Sunday, exceeded its goal of $60,000 in donations. The money will be added to another $100,000 raised privately that will allow the purchase of digital equipment.
And, according to director Gabe Wardell, Ciné is operating in the black. This is in part, says Warnell, because the theater featured a few movies that had flickered for a week or so across the screens at Beechwood Stadium 11 or Carmike 12. The decision to run mainstream, commercial movies wasn’t popular with some long-time patrons who prefer a steady diet of independent and foreign films, Warnell said, but showing “Flight” and “Argo” allowed Cine later to show films such as “Much Ado About Nothing.”
“You can’t dictate what they like to an audience,” Wardell said. “An audience tells you what they like.”
The board of directors appointed him the executive director of Ciné when it was converted to the non-profit Athens Film Arts Institute in 2012. Before coming to Athens, Wardell worked with the Atlanta Film Festival and with the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.
With his family and home in East Atlanta, Wardell commutes four or five days a week, often returning to Athens for weekend events or staying on into the evenings. His wife and he own a house in unincorporated DeKalb County, their children are in school, she works as an administrator at Georgia Tech—“so someone had to commute, and it was me,” he said. “Even when I’m not here, I’m thinking of Ciné and how we can improve things. Whether you want to or not, you carry the stress of what you’re doing.”
He's thilled that Ciné is going to be showing "Blue Jasmine," Woody Allen's latest movie, as well as "The Spectacular Now," directed by Athens native James Ponsoldt. Now, if Ciné could just get "Fruitvale Station".....