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Tuesday September 30th 2014

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The Oscar After-Party

By Jennifer Leigh

Sad that the Oscar buzz has worn off? Movie buffs unite—there’s still the Pensacola Film Festival at Movies 4 Gulf Breeze.

Every year, the theater’s film buyer and founder, Jim Norton, searches for movies to show at the festival by researching film reviews and taking notes from customers. Since the theater was refurbished in 2004, Norton made the decision to showcase independent films that either receive limited or no screen time in local theaters.

“We’re too close to the Breeze [cinema] to be showing movies like ‘RoboCop’ or ‘The Monuments Men,’” he explained. “So I made the decision to show movies that viewers would otherwise go to New Orleans to see.”

While Movies 4 has spent the past 10 years distancing itself from the big guys, it has no choice in the matter of going digital. Film reels will soon be a thing of the past.

“I realize we have to convert to the digital projectors,” Norton said. “We get movies after the Breeze and other theaters. A film like ‘American Hustle’ only has 2,500 copies for theaters in the whole country. And only 40 of those are made in film.”

But going the extra lengths to bring limited release movies to Gulf Breeze pays off. When Movies 4 started showing “American Hustle” after it left bigger theaters, Norton said he sold hundreds of tickets.

Going digital is a costly venture, but one Movies 4 has seen coming. Last April, Norton spoke with the IN about raising funds.

“It costs about $40,000 to $50,000 for one projector,” Norton said. “We’re trying to get two by this summer. There are ways to lease the projectors too, but you still have to have some cash saved.”

This weekend, you can support the theater by purchasing a movie ticket to the Pensacola Film Festival.

“Rather than our normal $5 price, tickets are $10 per film, which includes a small popcorn and small soda. It’s still a great deal,” Norton said.

If you plan to watch movies all weekend long, you have the option of a $50 weekend pass. And like years before, wine will be available free of charge.

Adding a new twist to the festival, Movies 4 will be hosting a screening of the Oscar nominated short films (live action and animated) at The Bodacious Olive, Saturday, March 8 with two show times at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $5.

As Movies 4 prepares for its shift into the digital world, the theater’s mission to bring independent movies to locals and visitors alike will never change.

“We’re never going to show the same movies as everyone else,” Norton said. “If the big guys don’t show it, we’ll show it.”

PENSACOLA FILM FESTIVAL

WHEN: March 7-9

WHERE: Movies 4 Gulf Breeze, 1175 Gulf Breeze Pkwy.

COST: $10 per movie (includes small popcorn and soda) or $50 for weekend pass

DETAILS: movies4gulfbreeze.webs.com

 

SPECIAL SCREENING: OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS

WHEN: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, March 8

WHERE: The Bodacious Olive, 407 S. Palafox

COST: $5

 

WHAT’S PLAYING

1 p.m.—Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Screen 1 Last Vegas (Comedy, Starring Robert De Niro and Michael Douglass)

Screen 2 American Hustle (Drama, Starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence)

Screen 3 Much Ado About Nothing (Comedy, Starring Nathan Fillion and Amy Acker)

Screen 4 Chasing Ice (Documentary)

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4 p.m.—Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Screen 1 Oscar Nominated Short Films (All Five Films, Animated)

Screen 2 American Hustle (Drama, Starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence)

Screen 3 Love Is All You Need (Romantic Drama, Starring Trine Dyrholm and Pierce Brosnan)

Screen 4 What Maise Knew (Drama, Starring Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan)

 

7 p.m.—Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Screen 1 Dallas Buyer’s Club (Drama, Starring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto)

Screen 2 American Hustle (Drama, Starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence)

Screen 3 Nebraska (Comedy/Drama, Starring Will Forte and Bruce Dern)

Screen 4 Kings of Summer (Comedy/Drama, Starring Nick Robinson and Gabriel Basso)

 

9:30 p.m.—Friday and Saturday

Screen 1 Oscar Nominated Short Films (All Five Films, Live Action)

Screen 2 American Hustle (Drama, Starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence)

Screen 3 Muscle Shoals (Documentary)

Screen 4 20 Feet from Stardom (Documentary)