ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Broadway Centre Cinemas to reopen Friday after 19 months of closure

Oct 21, 2021, 5:01 PM | Updated: Oct 23, 2021, 1:23 am
broadway centre cinemas box office...
The Salt Lake Film Society's Broadway Centre Cinemas, photographed March 29, 2016. Photo: Whitney Butters Wilde, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A very long 589 days have passed, but the wait is finally over. The beloved Broadway Centre Cinemas will reopen on Friday October 22, and Tori Baker is ready.

“We are so excited. Really tired, but so excited,” said Baker, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Film Society.

One of the longer closings in Utah, Broadway Centre Cinemas and Tower Theatre have been closed for 19 months, “but a few of our peers around the country are still shuttered as well.”  

Though closed, Baker said the Salt Lake Film Society never slowed down, continuing to provide quality film content to the hungry masses.

“We had done a lot of really great mission work, have done 5 cultural tours, and we created an at-home art cinema which is also being used by 34 other theatres in the nation, and helped get them through COVID,” Baker said.

Broadway Centre Cinemas reopens, but not Tower Theatre – yet 

Tower Theatre, another popular venue known for its old school charm, will not reopen just yet. Supply issues have made getting some necessary renovations ready, but they’re hoping to take it one day at a time.

In the meantime, Baker recommends checking out slfsathome.org, which brings art house cinema to the comfort of your living room.

Miles Romney, head of their MAST media accelerator program, lead the effort to make the Salt Lake Film Society the true digital experience.

“We had the ability to curate films so you aren’t stuck in streaming land, where there are millions of offerings. You don’t know if it’s the algorithm telling you what to watch or if it’s worthy of your time,” he said.

The movies on this service get rotated on a regular basis, as with any true cinema experience.

Expect more “Studio Backlot Motor Cinema”

The Film Society has had much luck with the Studio Backlot Motor Cinema, which is a project they’d still like to continue. A seasonal drive-in theater, the studio backlot is designed to be a semi-permanent venue, not just your regular run of the mill pop-up. 

Baker said it was important to SLFS to keep their take on the drive-in movies small-scale and enjoyable. 

“We wanted to do this right from an exhibition standpoint,” Baker said.

As to physical locations like the Broadway Centre Cinemas, Baker said safety protocols remain important to the Film Society. After studying what other art venues have done, they opted to require proof of vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test to enter. Additionally, they plan to limit capacity to 50% and space out the seating. 

What to expect line-up wise for their opening weekend

“We love the line-up, premiering the cinematic history of ‘Dune,” she said. 

Denis Villeneuve’s long awaited take will premiere this weekend, with David Lynch’s cult classic to open the following Friday.

Fans wanting to get into the Halloween spirit can enjoy seminal thriller “Possession,” directed by Andrzej Żuławski.

And there’s much more to come, with “The French Dispatch,” directed by Wes Anderson, coming in the near future.

“We’re really just so excited to see everyone’s faces,” she said. 

For the most up to date show times and safety protocols, visit saltlakefilmsociety.org.

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Broadway Centre Cinemas to reopen Friday after 19 months of closure