The new IU cinema will officially open in January 2011, but the grand opening was held today. It’s part of a larger renovation project of the IU Theatre and Drama Department. The theater will host film festivals, premieres and silent films with live music.
IU Cinema Director Jon Vickers said the film screenings will not just be for IU staff and students.
“We’re going to do probably 200 film titles a year and they’re all going to be open to the public, so we hope to really draw into Bloomington and neighboring communities,” said Vickers.
The building is pristine with new paint, carpet, seats and the Indiana Murals by Thomas Hart Benton. IU Cinema Technical Director Manny Knowles hopes it will become the best public screening theater in the country, eventually with a film program to match.
“When you consider this is a learning institution and a lot of the material we are going to show to students is not necessarily the material being produced today, we want to be able to show it in a manner that’s consistent with what the experience used to be like,” said Knowles.
Upstairs, the projection room is equipped with 16mm and 35mm film projectors as well as the standard 2K and state of the art 4K digital cinema equipment with a resolution 4 times that of HD television.
The new facility along with IU’s 70-thousand piece collection of film and archival materials is expected to help with preservation efforts while making the collection more accessible.
Some of the films on the 2011 calendar include Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai, Hoosiers and Breaking Away.