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New Carmike theatre & AEC film series

by aec

In late September, the RiverCity Company, a downtown non-profit redevelopment group, announced that a new Carmike movie theatre, featuring 12 screens, will be built on the parking lot at Broad and Third streets, replacing the current Bijou Theatre. This new facility will feature five more screens than the current Bijou Theatre and include 30,000 sq. feet of new commercial space for mixed-use development. The locally based Lyndhurst Foundation and Benwood Foundation are earmarking $1.5 million toward the project, according to RiverCity officials.

The Arts & Education Council (AEC) currently features the area's only independent film series through the Bijou Theatre in the spring and fall seasons.

"It would be such a valuable asset for Chattanooga if Carmike would commit to a year-round screen for independent and art films," says AEC Executive Director, Susan Robinson. "The benefit for Chattanooga to feature independent films would be attracting new industry and visitors to our community... It is vital in marketing Chattanooga as a progressive arts and culture community," Ms. Robinson stated.

The current AEC independent film series attracts approximately 11,000 moviegoers to the Bijou Theatre and is completely sustained through the AEC's efforts. Volunteers and staff at the AEC handle the selection and marketing of the films.

"We would love to know if local residents would support year-round independent films at the new facility," suggests Ms. Robinson.

Please let us know what you think by posting on our blog or facebook page, or by calling 423-267-1218.

You may contact Susan Robinson at the Arts & Education Council or by email at srobinson@ArtsEdCouncil.org

Film | By aec | 2:54 PM


>"We would love to know if local residents
> would support year-round independent
> films at the new facility,"

One word: Definitely.

A year round, dedicated theater is good for everyone. This would allow the AEC more flexibility in when they show various independent films and it allows Carmike to market it as a special theater promoting independent films drawing an even larger and more varied demographic.

Posted by: Andy Montgomery at November 7, 2021 4:04 PM

How can I show my support?

When I heard of the Bijou's closing, my first thought was concern about the status of the independent film series. I live in Collegedale, and I only go to the Bijou for the IFS.

Posted by: David Benton at November 11, 2021 12:28 PM

And in case I wasn't clear. I want to be sure that the IFS continues in the new theater. If the program could be expanded to a year-round dedicated screen, that would be a boon for Chattanooga.

Posted by: David Benton at November 11, 2021 12:45 PM

This is a GREAT idea. The AEC indie film series consistently brings the most interesting films to our town, and to have even more films available all year would certainly be welcome.

Posted by: Ernie Paik at November 11, 2021 1:22 PM

I saw Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter (one of my favorite directors and a powerful film) at the Bijou in the IFS. If Carmike is unwilling to dedicate a screen to the series it will certainly be sorely missed.

Posted by: Glenn Stegall at November 13, 2021 11:36 AM

Yes, it's critical to have independent films showing downtown. Even just now I found this thread by searching for a title hoping it will make it to our humble town. Thank you AEC for your ongoing efforts!

Posted by: mark cooley at December 10, 2021 11:13 AM

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