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Buying a Cinema

For those of you interested in following my Adventures in the Screen Trade, the SANTA FE REPORTER has uploaded a short clip from the press conference wherein I announced my purchase of "Santa Fe's most beloved movie theatre," the Jean Cocteau.

FYI, there was a lot more to the press conference than that. Most notably, I announced the hiring of Jon Bowman, the founder and former director of the Santa Fe Film Festival, who will be managing the Cocteau. Jon is already hard at work. We hope to reopen the theatre this summer. Besides an eclectic menu of films both old and new, we also plan to have midnight movies and children's matinees, and some very special events, including music, comedy, and author readings.


May. 7th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
GoT marathons?
How about Game of Thrones screenings? I'd love for my local theater to screen the show.
May. 7th, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
I like the time spent talking about Parmesan Cheese on popcorn. Please make it official here for your loyal fans and announce that you will be able to get Parmesan Cheese as a topping once more when the theater reopens.

May. 7th, 2013 08:56 pm (UTC)
I LOVE that you're doing this, George. There's nothing sadder than old, beloved movie theaters closing. <3 It makes me so happy when clever people snap them up and show a mix of old and new and creative programming. We have one in KC called the Tivoli and it's one of our city's jewels.

May. 7th, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
Congrats George!! I have a feeling that this theater will be in good hands, like when Treebeard takes over Isengard.
May. 8th, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
I will definitely take my family and visit the theater once it opens. Well unless it is GOT screenings. Have to leave the kids at home for that.
May. 8th, 2013 05:25 am (UTC)
Keep us posted! I will definitely sign up for the email list. I live in LA, but there's rapidly becoming several reasons to make a pilgrimage to New Mexico--the Cocteau, Breaking Bad sets...
Kyle Elzy
May. 8th, 2013 06:04 am (UTC)
Congrats! I really really love old movie theaters; wish there was something like that in Louisville (well there is, but they use it for concerts more than for screening old/lesser-known films). I'm gonna try to remember the Cocteau, in case I'm ever in Arizona.
May. 8th, 2013 05:28 pm (UTC)
Being in Arizona won't help. The theatre is in New Mexico.
Kyle Elzy
May. 14th, 2013 03:44 pm (UTC)
Doh! Brain fart. Isn't the southwest just all one big arid state out there anyway? Oh wait, that's Texas...
May. 8th, 2013 06:31 am (UTC)
I live on the other side of the planet and am fairly unlikely to ever make it to Santa Fe and yet this just keeps making me so happy! Yay!
May. 8th, 2013 09:13 am (UTC)
the Jean Cocteau
Glad to see your breathing new life into the Jean Cocteau. A beautiful local theater built in 1927 "The Poncan Theater" was saved by community efforts here. Having been placed on National Register of Historic Places may have helped save it from demise. It has been beautifully restored and now when I buy my tickets I recall that my mother's first job was a ticket taker when "Gone with the Wind" was in it's original 1939 run. They have a nice website including the history, pics and restoration efforts.
May. 8th, 2013 11:29 am (UTC)
Great news about the movie house! Of course, Santa Fe is even farther away than our "local" picture house in Campbeltown, so we won't benefit from this, but....what a wonderful thing to do!
Bernhard Vienna
May. 8th, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, Game of Thrones screenings!
Yes, all cinemas should do Game of Thrones screenings!

If they bring every new episodes to cinemas, they would have more money for big battles. Just saying ...
May. 8th, 2013 03:28 pm (UTC)
Love the Dylan Thomas reference.
Does your own book, The Skin Trade, derive inspiration from Adventures in the Skin Trade? Pretty sure there were no Werewolves in Dylan's... I have always wondered if there was a connection though.
May. 8th, 2013 05:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Love the Dylan Thomas reference.
Yes, certainly.

Edited at 2013-05-08 05:27 pm (UTC)
May. 8th, 2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
Great news!
I've been bummed out since the theater closed; watching it sit empty for so long has been quite a drag. Thanks for investing in one of Santa Fe's treasures -- I'll certainly do my part to make it worth your while!

(Esp. with the popcorn. I've missed the popcorn.)
May. 8th, 2013 05:54 pm (UTC)
Will the Jean Cocteau be set up for digital projection only, or will it be equipped for 35mm projection as well?
May. 8th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
We will do both. The old 35mm projectors are still in place and working fine, with years more life left in them... but fewer and fewer films are being released on actual film, so we need digital as well.
May. 9th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC)
Really glad to hear the Jean Cocteau will be equipped for both digital and 35mm - here's hoping Mr. Bowman cultivates some nice relationships with archives and collectors. In an ideal world all theatres would be equipped for both but the studios have been doing all they can to kill 35mm.

The Castro Theatre in San Francisco has made a number of great double features out of new digital packages of older films with 35mm prints of really offbeat partners. Last month a DCP of GHOSTBUSTERS ran with a 35mm print of THE ENTITY; this month, among other things, they'll have a DCP of STOKER with a 35mm print of SHADOW OF A DOUBT, which inspired it.

I wouldn't be surprised if The Jean Cocteau were to become Santa Fe's sole source of 35mm entertainment. Suspect I'll be making a trek over from CA to check it out. Godspeed!
May. 9th, 2013 04:47 pm (UTC)
We'll be one source, but not the sole source, I'd think. Santa Fe has two existing art houses, the CCA and the Screen, that still have 35mm projectors, as does the town's big chain, Regal. Their new Regal 14 cinema has both types of projectors, I believe, but the older DeVargas 6 has only 35mm.
Eric De Bruin
May. 8th, 2013 07:38 pm (UTC)
So this Parmesan cheese . . is it actual shredded cheese or the crumbly stuff that comes in a green bottle at the grocery store?
Michael Howell
May. 8th, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC)
Jonathan Sumption
Have you by chance read Jonathan Sumption's history of the Hundred Years War?
May. 8th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Jonathan Sumption
No. Should I?
Michael Howell
May. 9th, 2013 02:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Jonathan Sumption
I don't know. I've only just started it. It's good thus far. I'll let you know.
May. 8th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
It's a shame old theaters are no longer "cost effective" because they used to have the best ambiance and show the best movies. I remember taking a trip through seattle when I was a kid and watched TRON on the big screen in a famous theater up there. Can't remember the name, but the decor and tone it set for the movie has stuck with me these many years later (maybe more than the film!).

Just out of curiosity, GM. Is there any one particular actor/character in the TV series that perfectly embodies the character you envisioned while writing them? I think the casting is amazing, but does one stand out more than any other?
Bryon Blofstein
May. 9th, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
Going to Bubonicon in August! I Hope the theater is open that week.
I'm taking my first trip to Bubonicon in August. If the theater is open I would love to trek from Albuquerque to Santa Fe for a visit to the theater. It won't be out of the way since I also will be visiting Durango CO.
May. 9th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Going to Bubonicon in August! I Hope the theater is open that week.
I do hope to be open before Bubonicon, but nothing is certain yet. Still a lot of work to do. Watch this space.
Bryon Blofstein
May. 9th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Going to Bubonicon in August! I Hope the theater is open that week.
Will do and thank you for the reply!
May. 9th, 2013 08:51 pm (UTC)
thanks grrm
santa fe thanks you George, looking forward to years of viewing pleasure at the Cocteau!
May. 10th, 2013 01:13 am (UTC)
Nicely done!
It's wonderful that you've rescued this establishment. I've often dreamed of running an art-house theater... it's one of those "if I won the lottery" type of fantasies.

I do hope that you'll support your area's independent filmmakers and artists. We have oane locally-owned cinema (10 screens) in my hometown and they were kind enough to screen my first short film ahead of a much larger budgeted independent feature. It meant so much to me to feel supported by my community.

Either way, good luck with your new endeavor!
Nathaniel Patrick Kelly
May. 10th, 2013 02:42 am (UTC)
Hey George Congrats on the purchase! I'm a flooring contractor and even though I probably couldn't do anything as far as actually labor I could at least give you any knowledge I possess to help you keep the cost down or allow you to purchase the material at cost! Let me know if I can help! Good luck with the purchase!
May. 10th, 2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on fulfilling your dreams. I hope you enjoy operating a movie theater and do cool things with it.
Chad Wood
May. 10th, 2013 08:08 pm (UTC)
I'm driving across country this summer from West Virginia to Riverside County CA. If the Jean Cocteau is open by that time, I may have to make a detour. Congratulations George. Also, I loved that you said "my wife and my minions."
May. 10th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
Jean Cocteau
If I may interject here, with a comment about the theatre. Tear the puppy down and build a parking lot dedicated to Billy The Kid. A true homage: open space, a modern-day frontier catering to travellers and, perhaps, adventurers. Reserve three parking spaces where buskers are invited to reenact Billy's final moments at the hands of Pat Garrett. It's what Jean would've wanted.
May. 10th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
Horay!! It's so wonderful and exciting! I CAN NOT WAIT to go see a movie there! ..and especially have some parmesan on my popcorn - I have never had that before! ..yet another way GRRM enriches my life. xox
May. 11th, 2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
Are you going to rename the theater or leave it as it is?
Just wondering if you would like to keep the name for nostalgia or/and other things or rather change it to make it more fitting for the theater's new, expanded, purpose.
May. 11th, 2013 03:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Are you going to rename the theater or leave it as it is?
No, the name stays. That's the name the theatre has been known for since 1984, would not feel right to change it.
Matt Winberry
May. 12th, 2013 05:14 am (UTC)
This is the coolest thing ever!
Great work, sir! If I ever find myself in Santa Fe, I now know where I will be going.
Brittany Miller
May. 12th, 2013 09:01 am (UTC)
More praise
Thank you for your contributions, Mr Martin. It's uplifting to see iconic establishments/traditions from our past live on and enrich the community.
Eleanor Hutterer
May. 13th, 2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
Jean cocteau
Hi George,
I'm a big fan of Game of Thrones and also a Santa Fe native. I just want to toss you an idea - how about making the theater an over 21 beer and pizza theater? Portland Oregon is full of them and they are great! Just wanted to put that out there. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the space.
May. 13th, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Jean cocteau
That's our hope. Lots of hoops to jump through, though.
Eleanor Hutterer
May. 23rd, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Jean cocteau
Awesome!! Can't wait to check it out in whatever incarnation it takes!


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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