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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Lincoln Center Opens Film Center

The Lincoln Center in New York City is celebrating the grand opening of a brand new and extensive film center. The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center is the latest addition to the landmark cultural center with a multi-screen theater located in the heart of the Lincoln Center campus. And the Film Society is offering one lucky film fan the opportunity to leave a lasting mark upon the state-of-the-art facility.

Here’s how it works: just tell Lincoln Center your ultimate film fan story in one hundred words or less, or in a You Tube video entry (up to two minutes). If your submission is selected you’ll win the opportunity to name one seat in the Film Center after a friend or loved one. The staff of the Film Society of Lincoln Center will decide the winning entry. Judges will be looking for creativity, a unique story and something that truly shows your passion for film. Use this link to enter and review all of the details.

I’ve already made my submission, talking about the influence of a beloved film professor from my undergraduate days. I’m happy to share it with you here: My love of classic cinema began as a child sitting in front of a small black and white TV watching “Singin’ in the Rain”. Years later as an undergraduate student at San Francisco State I met the most extraordinary professor; Jim Kitses. He absolutely adored the classics and taught a passionate appreciation for the films from the golden age of Hollywood. One couldn’t help but share the enthusiasm this man expressed with every class and every screening. Thanks to Jim Kitses I too have enjoyed a life long love of classic films and endeavor to share that love with others. I guess you can tell I’ve submitted this professor’s name for the honor should my submission be the lucky winner.

The new Film Center, named after FSLC board member, and award-winning filmmaker and designer Elinor Bunin Munroe, is part of the 16-acre Lincoln Center campus redevelopment. The 17,500 square foot venue houses 2 theaters, an amphitheater and a café. Hard to believe the space was available in the middle of an already well-developed part of town. The inventive forces at work used existing office space and a parking garage to develop the underutilized areas into a series of street-level spaces that will catch the eye of visitors with cinema-inspired design and the comforts of modern theaters. That’s pretty damn smart and very cool.

Now, the 150-seat Francesca Beale Theater will show specialty film releases, and the intimate 90-seat Howard Gilman Theater will screen a combination of new film releases and special programs. The amphitheater, with a 152” Panasonic Plasma screen (the largest of its kind on public display in the country) will house lectures, panels and educational programs.

If this is the kind of civic development you’d like to support you can become a permanent part of the Lincoln Center by entering the above-mentioned competition, or by making a donation to The Film Society of Lincoln Center today. Either way, you’ll get to name your own seat. I can think of a better way to honor someone who’s had a profound influence upon my life.

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