Well, Charlotte, you’ve done it again. Sheer determination and a whole lot of creativity (and cash) is bringing new art-house theater to Noda. The Independent Picture House will have three theater screens. It will show independent and foreign films. The theater will offer annual memberships. Concessions include beer and wine.
A logo for the new facility was recently unveiled.
Demolition is well underway at 4237 Raleigh St. for the new space. Renovation of the old industrial building near the Sugar Creek light rail station will be extensive.
The theater fills a major void in Charlotte’s art scene.
When the Manor Theatre, a Charlotte Landmark since 1947, closed last spring, my heart sank. It was a sad day for the city’s film history and the nail in the coffin-at least temporarily- for the independent film industry in town. At one time Charlotte had 13 screens offering independent and foreign films. Suddenly it had none.
But in the true, never-give-up spirit Charlotte groups are known to champion, the Film Society began raising money in hopes of one day building a new not-for-profit art house theater.
Fortunately for all of us, other people in town supported the dream and quickly started opening their wallets. The goal of the GoFundMe campaign is to raise $150,000. That money is being earmarked for the projection equipment and installation costs of the Independent Picture House.
Hundreds of donors have tipped the amount raised well past the 100-thousand mark and the numbers keep going! But the fundraising isn’t over yet.
A new campaign is also underway. Through the help of Foundation For The Carolinas, the Charlotte Film Societly recently launched a campaign reaching out to 100 families and organizations asking for donations of $5,000 or more.
President of the Charlotte Film Society, Brad Ritter tells me, “Our ultimate goal is to raise $500,000 (or more) which will cover buildout costs and (hopefully) the first year’s rent. “
(photo rendering credit:Docklands Design)
The theater is part of the Greenway District, which includes 83 acres in NODA. The development is the brainchild of Charlotte-based Flywheel Group. Founded in 2013, Flywheel Group was established with a focus on urban, walkable, transit-oriented projects. Just the kind we love. Muti-family housing, retail spaces, and offices will all be a part of the same development.
Flywheel says ”NoDa has quickly become a magnet for millennial growth and resulting development surge due to its cultural cachet and broad appeal with an arts culture, vibrant pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, and notable restaurants, breweries, and entertainment venues.”
I, for one, can’t wait to check it out. The more walkable neighborhoods in Charlotte, the better if you ask me. It’s a model that works for a lot of reasons including it’s just a good way to live life and engage with your community. I’ll meet you there for a beer and a movie when it opens.