Press release: Orange County's non-profit art house theater The Frida Cinema will be celebrating its 5th Anniversary on February 21st with a special screening of Casablanca, as well as a month of programming filled with audience favorites from its first five years!
Dedicated to "Enriching, connecting, and educating communities through the art of cinema," The Frida Cinema has served as Orange County's sole community-based, mission-driven not-for-profit art house cinema since opening its doors on February 21, 2014. Founded by Executive Director Logan Crow on a shoestring budget, the two-screen cinema has become a popular destination for Southern California cinephiles with a taste for eclectic and unique film programming. Showcasing dozens of films a month on just two screens, The Frida Cinema's programming offers a wide range of genres, complementing runs of contemporary independent award-winners such as Roma and If Beale Street Could Talk with an eclectic mix of foreign, cult, horror, LGBT, silent, and anime classics, as well as special events such as art shows, concerts, Q&A's, film festivals, drag shows, overnight marathons, and interactive film screenings. On January 25th of this year, The Frida Cinema served as the host venue for the Santa Ana Artists Registry Launch, a well-attended civic event where The Frida was honored with a Spirit of Collaboration Award by the City of Santa Ana.
To celebrate its 5th Anniversary, the cinema has programmed an exciting lineup of films that its audiences championed over its first five years. "From Day One we've made it a point to remind our audience that the more they tell us what they want to see, the more we can bring those films and genres to them," says Crow. "I consider art house theaters to be 'museums of cinema,' and it's always been important to me that we serve our community less as a simple place to see movies, but moreso as a musuem would - as a safe-space center for culture and the arts, with cinema as its primary medium. If such a venue isn't serving its community, and programming to its community's varied interests and passions, it hasn't done its job, and it's unlikely it will survive. We've been so fortunate to serve a audience of film lovers and Film Club members that communicate with us, tells us what they want to see, and reinforce with their attendance and feedback when we've programmed something they're excited to experience. As a way of saying thank you for our first five years, we've filled February with twenty-five films that helped to build and define us, such as Akira, a 1988 anime classic that's our fourth-highest grossing film; two films by David Lynch, our most requested filmmaker; two Studio Ghibli classics, in reflection of our highly successful 2016 Studio Ghibli summer film festival which introduced so many new faces to our cinema; and of course we're bringing back the film that defied our wildest expectations to become the highest-grossing film since we opened, Mandy." David Wangberg said Mandy is "destined to be a cult classic."
On Thursday, February 21st, The Frida will honor its anniversary date with a special screening of 1942 Best Picture winner Casablanca. The event will start at 6:30pm, when ticket holders will be welcome to a pre-screening mixer with hors d’oeuvres and drinks included with the $20 admission cost. The film will begin at 7:30pm, after a brief presentation highlighting some of the cinema's accomplishments over its first five years, as well as its visions for the future. Purchase tickets at their website and read Mat Brewster's thoughts on the film.
"I'm extremely proud and excited to celebrate our first five years, and as much as we've all worked hard to get to this point, so much of our success has happened quite organically, which makes the experience all the more magical to me," says Crow. "We've made friends along the way who walked through our doors and contributed something that made a game-changing impact, from a generous donation to a simple inspired idea or suggestion. I am so very grateful to everyone who has played a role in our growth, and I seriously can't wait to see what the next five years will bring."
View The Frida's February program calendar to learn all that is being screened.