This story was last updated at 9:30am on Monday, March 8, to include a new rendering and fundraising update.
The new nonprofit art house cinema planned for NoDa has name: The Independent Picture House.
The name is an amalgamation of suggestions that the Charlotte Film Society came up with over the last several months. It’s meant to underscore that the theater isn’t linked to a corporate entity, says Jay Morong, the society’s program director. It will show independent and foreign films.
Why it matters: The closure last spring of the Manor Theatre, a Charlotte institution since 1947, marked a sad milestone for the city’s independent film industry. In the span of about 27 months, Charlotte went from having 13 screens specializing in independent and foreign films to zero.
- Last year, the Regal Ballantyne Village closed; before that, AMC bought Park Terrace at Park Road Shopping Center and began showing mainstream movies there.
- Brad Ritter, president of the film society and former manager of the Manor, said in a statement the nonprofit theater’s independence will allow it to work with local and regional filmmakers and film festivals and provide them with affordable place to showcase their work.
State of play: Ever since the Manor closed, the Film Society has been raising funds for a new nonprofit art house theater.
So far, they’ve raised more than $112,000 from more than 780 donors. The number of supporters points to the strength of the grassroots effort, Morong says.
- “If you’re going to build a community space to show film, you have to have community support. You have to show the community actually wants this thing. This does that. This was the goal all along,” Morong says.
With consulting from The Foundation For The Carolinas, the Film Society recently began a drive to raise an additional $500,000 from 100 foundations and families.
Details on the new space: Construction is underway at 4237 Raleigh St., an old industrial building near the Sugar Creek light rail station.
- The theater will have three screens. It will serve concessions, beer and wine, and will offer annual memberships.
The theater is part of the Greenway District, a development by Charlotte-based Flywheel Group. The area will have the feel of a small town center, with multi-family housing, retail, and office space.