Spotlight on Long Beach Cinematheque

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Spotlight on non-profitEverythingLongBeach.com recently spoke with Logan Crow, Founder, Executive Director of Long Beach Cinematheque, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.

How long has Long Beach Cinematheque been around? Did it start in Long Beach?

Hello!

The Long Beach Cinematheque was founded in Long Beach, CA, and is celebrating over two years of cinematic, multimedia, and community events and programming.

Describe Long Beach Cinematheque. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.

Long Beach Cinematheque is dedicated to fostering the Long Beach film scene by providing opportunities for audiences to experience film classics in Long Beach, by curating special events that incorporate film with live music and multimedia art, by collaborating with independent organizations and theatres in shared community events, by supporting with collaborative events the efforts and dreams of student filmmakers, and by welcoming guest speakers such as filmmakers and film historians to speak to audiences as part of their cinematic experience. Our programs have included the CineMOLAA series (in collaboration with MOLAA); Downtown Drive In, movies on the beach (in partnership with Alfredo’s Beach Club); the “Sounds of Silence” series (classic silent films “live-scored” by local musical talent); over one hundred film screenings at the Art Theatre of Long Beach (including two “Sound of Music Sing-alongs” and the popular “Mondo Midnight” series), and the Long Beach Zombie Walk events. It has long been our goal to provide a variety of programming options to the community, from all-ages entertainment to horror to classics, and always while ensuring that our events are low-cost or free.

How is Long Beach Cinematheque different from similar nonprofits?

We are the only non-profit organization in Long Beach exclusively dedicated to the exhibition and celebration of cinema. We are also one of very few non-profits arts organizations that, while programming dozens of events a year, have no theatre or venue of our own – we use cinema to activate spaces (such as the Press Telegram building with our “Downtown Drive In”), or form relationships with community organizational (such as MOLAA), to actualize our goal of peppering Long Beach with cinema.

How is Long Beach Cinematheque involved with the community?

We are very active within our community, having worked with over a dozen Long Beach organizations and institutions including Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), YMCA Youth Institute, AMP Organization, International City Theater (ICT), Alive Theatre, Q Film Festival, Phone Booth Gallery, Food Finders, Long Beach Roller Derby, Team Spirit Breast and Ovarian Cancer 10K Walk, and The MADhouse Foundation. At present, I (Logan Crow) am a student of Leadership Long Beach. Finally, our Zombie Walk events are large-scale, free community events intended to provide a memorable community experience while supporting businesses and further injecting our city with culture, noise and excitement.

What are some of the biggest successes Long Beach Cinematheque has had?

Our “Sounds of Silence” screening of 1946’s “La Belle et la Bete (Beauty and the Beast”), which was scored by a live orchestra consisting of twelve Long Beach talents, was held at the historic Samoan Church and saw an audience of over 200, including many of the church’s congregation. It was a wonderful event and a considerable high point in our organization’s history, as we felt it was the ultimate in community symbiosis and collaboration. As far as attendance, most certainly our largest event was Long Beach Zombie Walk 2011, held October of last year. The event saw an audience of over 10,000 people – by most accounts, the attendance was somewhere between 12,000 and 14,000.

What is the most rewarding part of running Long Beach Cinematheque?

By far, the opportunity to continually meet other individuals and organizations who are also dedicated to make our city a finer, more vibrant, and more exciting place to live.

What are the challenges you face — as a nonprofit, as an advocacy group, or in your industry?

Whereas I am very glad to report that we have been blessed with many open doors and encouraging individuals as we’ve grown, we nevertheless struggle with ensuring adequate funds to see many of our dream projects come to life. As such, we have had to say No to many ideas and invitations that would have been wonderful for Long Beach, as well as occasionally scale back on grander projects. We are currently projected to program less events that we did in 2011, but we are steadfast in our aim to raise the funds necessary to ensure our events continue to be rewarding and enriching, and hopefully, plentiful as well.

What are the future plans for Long Beach Cinematheque?

We are currently working on relaunching the Long Beach Film Festival in Spring of 2013, a dream project that we are very glad to see start taking form. Of course, work is already underway on both our “movies on the beach” program, and Zombie Walk 5.

Do you have any special events or fundraisers you’d like to tell us about?

We are working on an Oscar Viewing Party, to be held at the Art Theatre on Sunday, February 26. This event will be a Members Only event, and free to our card-carrying members – the support of our members is invaluable, and our hope is to build our Membership base with this fun and exciting event.

How can people get involved with Long Beach Cinematheque? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?

MEMBERS! DONATIONS!! Most definitely! Individuals can sign up and/or donate at this link: http://lbcinema.org/donatejoin/.

We are also always very excited to partner with community businesses and organizations who wish to sponsor our organization, either in general or for a specific event. We work hard to ensure visibility for our partner sponsors, both on our website and on-screen before our shows.

What is the most inspiring advice that you received and who did it come from?

“To thine own self be true” – Shakespeare.

(Well technically it was Polonius, who said it to Laertes. Things didn’t work out too well for either of them, but I still think it’s a good peace of advice).

I think of that quote because it’s been paraphrased to me over the last few years by a variety of people – everyone from local artists I might share a cup of coffee with, or from an individual I consider a mentor, Craig Watson. It comes up a lot, the idea of keeping true to my vision, as my vision is extremely personal and not typical. But it’s important, and I’m glad to say, its longevity is constantly being encouraged by countless happy audiences. Thanks Long Beach!

One Last Thing:

To thine own self, be true!

…also, thanks so much for the opportunity and consideration!

Long Beach Cinematheque Details:

Address: 737 Pine Ave. #203

Phone Number: 323-428-7411

Website: lbcinema.org

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