Discussion The State of the Arts: Movie Theaters

Front entrance of two movie theaters, Coolidge Corner Theatre and Kino Lodderbast © Coolidge Corner Theatre/© Lodderbast

Wed, 05/05/2021

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Coolidge Corner Theatre and Kino Lodderbast

Please register here More than a year into the pandemic, there seems to be an end in sight. But many cultural organizations are still closed or operate at reduced capacity. In our ongoing series, The State of the Arts, we are checking in with arts organizations on both sides of the Atlantic to ask how they are doing and what the future looks like in their eyes. Next up: movie theaters. We are talking to our longtime partner, Mark E. Anastasio, Program Manager and Director of Special Programming at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline and Wiebke and Johannes Thomsen, owners of Kino Lodderbast in Hannover, Germany about the cultural and technological transformation that has helped them survive during the pandemic, new formats, new audiences and what the “new normal” will look like.

Owners Wiebke and Johannes Thomsen about Kino Lodderbast:
Germany’s smallest cinema, and possibly the smallest in the world, Kino Lodderbast features 400 square feet and 24 seats. This special movie theater was opened by Wiebke and Johannes Thomsen, an enthusiastic, cinema loving and entrepreneurial couple, in January 2018. The homey atmosphere and personal relationship with the audience is as important as the one of a kind film selection, ranging from bloody genre films and international, experimental independents to young and wild German films by up and coming directors. At least once a week, there are filmmakers visiting the Lodderbast, presenting their own or their favorite films, staying for beer and chats with the audience. During the Covid pandemic, Wiebke and Johannes started an online cinema, screening films with daily film talks for 100 days straight.

Coolidge/Lodderbast inside ©Coolidge Corner Theatre/©Lodderbast From the Coolidge Corner current theatre history:
The Coolidge Corner Theatre is New England's most successful independent, nonprofit cinema. Built as a church in 1906, it was redesigned as an Art Deco movie palace in 1933 and has never closed its doors to the public since then. Located in the heart of Brookline, Massachusetts, it was the community's first movie theater and now, a non-profit foundation since 1989, it celebrates the experience of cinema by presenting the finest international, documentary, animated, and independent film selections and series.
From the sponsoring of china giveaways during the Depression to the prestigious Coolidge Award events inaugurated in 2004 honoring groundbreaking international artists from the world of film, the Coolidge Corner Theatre has played a unique and indelible role in the development and social history of the town of Brookline.
The many changes at the Coolidge in recent years have greatly altered the perception of the Theatre in the eyes of the public. The Coolidge has, in fact, experienced nothing short of a renaissance, transforming itself from a down-at-heel but beloved experimental arts venue to a stable, prosperous, and highly valued institution in the community.
March 13 marked one year since the Coolidge announced its temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past year we’ve stayed together as a community in our Virtual Screening Room, gathering to experience the comfort, joy, and stimulation great films and great discussions can bring us, especially during difficult times. We dearly miss watching films with all of you - but hope to be back together again soon.