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The Long Weekend

The Grand Re-Opening of the Jean Cocteau Cinema came off as scheduled on Friday evening... something I scarcely would have believed a week ago.  We made it with... ah... minutes to spare.  Work was still going on when I arrive at the theatre an hour before opening.

All in all, it was a great weekend.

We had full houses for almost all our matinees and evening showings, and good crowds for the two midnight shows as well.  Large, enthusiastic, diverse crowds -- young and old, of every race and ethnicity, native Santa Feans and newcomers to town and tourists just here for the weekend, geeks and straights, boys and girls, old folks and children, hardcore SF fans and devotees of the French new wave... they all mixed and mingled in the Cocteau's gorgeously redesigned cafe area, enjoyed our first art exhibition, and then filed into the hall to enjoy the films... and meet our special guest.

Yes, it's Robby himself, the star of FORBIDDEN PLANET, who was on hand to help introduce the show. . . and pose for pictures with visitors.  If you missed the chance to attend our opening weekend, have no fear... Robby will be there all week.

Robby was a huge hit, I can safely say.  FORBIDDEN PLANET, Jean Cocteau's ORPHEUS, and our midnight offering of DARK STAR also seemed to go over well.  And, yes, the Cocteau's famous popcorn was back, with real butter, all the old toppings, and some new ones as well.

We did have a few glitches, as any new enterprise will.  Our ice machine broke down even before we opened, requiring the staff to rush out for bags of ice.  And the heating element on our brand new pizza warmer died.  But everything else seems to work well.  I hope all the folks who attended had a great time.  I know that I certainly did.

There's been some great press about the reopening.  Here's a sample:


My thanks to all those who made this possible:
            -- Meredith Haber and Karen Meredith, my realtors, who helped me acquire the Cocteau,
            -- Ty Franck, the "bad cop," who helped work out, well, almost everything,
            -- the amazing Jayne Franck, whose stunning redesign of the lobby and concession area wowed everyone who saw it,
            -- Marshall Thompson of Constructive Assets, who fixed all the stuff that needed fixing, and turned Jayne's designs into reality,
            -- my ace minions, Pat Rogers, Raya Golden, and Tyler Smith,
            -- my new minions, the staff of the Jean Cocteau, who acquitted themselves marvelously,
            -- and last but not least, Jon Bowman, my general manager, who booked the films, hired the staff, popped the corn, turned on the lights, and generally helped turn my rather insane dream into technicolor reality.

The Jean Cocteau first opened its doors in 1984, and closed them in 2006.  A twenty-two year run is nothing to sneeze at, but here's hoping the new Jean Cocteau will help to entertain, enlighten, and delight the people of Santa Fe for at least twice as long.


Aug. 12th, 2013 05:55 am (UTC)
Congratters to all the wonderful workers and staffers! These type of movie houses are our treasures--thanks to you and all those involved, this one is going strong again. :)
Aug. 12th, 2013 06:56 am (UTC)
Oh, congratulations and hooray! *beams happily for you and Santa Fe*!
Fernando Pezo Fonseca
Aug. 12th, 2013 07:58 am (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2013 09:22 am (UTC)
Congratulations, George!

As a big movie fan myself, I only wish I lived closer to that theater; I would be a regular.

You've done that community a very real service. In this world where everyone is so busy burying their faces into tiny electronic devices, it's good to remind the younger set that things used to be simpler, more elegant and a little magical. Bringing some of that feeling back can't happen often enough!

Shaina Joseph
Aug. 12th, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
Wow. Congratulations! This is the most awesome theatre I've heard of. Wish I could be there! And Robby the Robot is just brilliant.
Aug. 12th, 2013 02:10 pm (UTC)

Edited at 2013-08-12 02:12 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2013 04:36 pm (UTC)
Are you allowed to have that much fun?
Aug. 12th, 2013 07:10 pm (UTC)
Beyond allowed, I think he earned it, a long time ago.
Aug. 12th, 2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
Hope you had time to relax and catch a flick yourself,George. I imagine loads of people are already bugging you to host a film festival there in the future. I would so go to it!

Good work and enjoy your dream!

Kerie Anisimova
Aug. 12th, 2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
Dreams come true somehow (c) somebody happy
Aug. 13th, 2013 12:17 am (UTC)
Congratulations on the grand re-opening! Here's wishing you all many years of success and hoping that you find some time to enjoy all that work you (and so many others) are doing!
Sean Hall
Aug. 13th, 2013 03:18 am (UTC)
Loved both movies I saw.
Stopped by on opening night with my wife to see Orpheus and brought my visiting family along with me tonight to see Forbidden Planet. Loved them both even though both times I had no clue what I was about to see. Impressed with how good the sound system is for such a small theater. Looking forward to seeing many future movies there.
Aug. 13th, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
I'm excited someone like you bought the place. I went to college at UNM and worked at the Southwest Film Center the whole 4.5 years I was there. We were a student-run theater with a budget from the university to basically screen any movies we wanted so long as we could afford it. My shining moment was getting a distributor to accept $200 to screen a documentary throughout the weekend when they initially asked for $5000.

What I learned is that making money on a movie theater that isn't a multiplex or second run dollar theater is very difficult to do. I bless you George and thank you for investing in something people love. You're a philanthropist
Aug. 14th, 2013 03:25 am (UTC)
Figures I would move to Germany from New Mexico two weeks before this happens. Congrats George. This looks like it was one classy event.


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

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