Art House Theater Day announces first wave of programming

Cinemas News

The Art House Convergence, an international consortium of independent, community-based, mission-driven movie theatres, announced its first wave of programming for the inaugural Art House Theater Day, taking place on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. More than 185 theatres will participate in this nationwide celebration of the cultural and community growth that art-house theatres promote.

This lineup has been curated to celebrate first-run and repertory films across a variety of genres. On the heels of announcing Magnolia Pictures' theatrical premiere of the documentary Danny Says, Art House Theater Day revealed it will screen the brand-new restoration of Don Coscarelli's 1979 cult sci-fi/horror classic, Phantasm: Remastered, making its first appearance in theatres nationwide following its world premiere at this year's South by Southwest Film Festival. Additional films announced include the beloved Terry Gilliam-directed fantasy classic Time Bandits and a one-day-only presentation of GKIDS’ A Town Called Panic: The Specials.

Distributed by Well Go USA Entertainment, Phantasm has been given a 4K restoration from the original camera negative and a new 5.1 audio soundtrack, overseen by longtime fan J.J. Abrams and his production company Bad Robot. "When I made Phantasm three decades ago, the term ‘indie’ didn't have the same positive connotations that it does today. But that's what Phantasm was,” says filmmaker Coscarelli. “And in the decades since, the art-house movement has cultivated an appreciation for independent films that break molds and push boundaries. That's why it doesn't surprise me that in 2016 art houses have embraced Phantasm and are giving it new life on Art House Theater Day. It's really a dream come true to see it playing in so many exceptional theatres on the big screen, the way I originally intended.”

Dave Jesteadt, senior VP of distribution at GKIDS, said, "The local art-house cinema is an essential meeting place for the celebration of movie culture in the community, and it also has a vital role to play in the creation of the next generation of film-obsessed moviegoers.”

A menu of exclusive programming options will be offered to participating theatres, including sneak peeks, major art-house films, and repertory re-releases. Theatres will also have exclusive memorabilia and giveaways, and will host events like filmmaker visits, live music, and parties.

"Art House Theater Day is a chance to show film-lovers that their local theatres are part of a larger cultural movement,” stated said Art House Theater Day co-founder Gabriel Chicoine. “These cinemas are not passive, insular venues—they are passion-driven institutions that collaborate with distributors, filmmakers and each other to deepen film appreciation and to increase the diversity and artistic integrity of what you see on the big screen.”

Co-founders Chicoine of Amherst Cinema in Amherst, MA, and Lawren Desai of Aperture Cinema in Winston-Salem, NC, were inspired by the success of Record Store Day and its commitment to promoting independent record shops.

To see the complete list of participating theatres and for more information, visit