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Five minutes with the Cinematheque

John Benson • Jul 29, 2011 at 2:10 PM

For those unfamiliar with the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque — which is sponsoring Nostalgia Night at the Norwalk Theatre — Director John Ewing took a few minutes from his busy schedule to chat with us. Here, he explains the mission statement and purpose behind the Cleveland venue.

FC: First of all, what is the Cinematheque?

John Ewing: Cinematheque is an ongoing film program based at the Cleveland

Institute of Art. We run 50 weekends of the year here at the art institute in our own theater where we show a mix of classic films, first-run films that don’t play anywhere else in the region, some second-run movies and visiting filmmakers and touring retrospectives of directors or genres. So we’re essentially a year-around film festival. We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, so we’ve been around for a long time.


FC: Is the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque somewhat unknown in the area?

JE: It does go under the radar. We’re not as high profile as the Cleveland Film Festival, for instance. On the other hand, we continue to attract thousands of people every year. We show about 250 different feature films every year and it’s usually four to five different films a weekend.


FC: What’s the mission statement behind the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque?

JE: It’s really just to show the great films of the past, the present and the future. And we really do show the best movies in Cleveland, I think, on a consistent basis. I can say that because we’re not just showing acclaimed new films, we are showing the great movies from the past. And we’re also committed to showing 35mm films. We don’t run things from videotape or DVD. We view ourselves as kind of an art museum. And an art museum would not show a reproduction of a painting. They’re going to show the original painting and by the same token we regard DVDs and videotapes as like reproductions and not originals. So we really show great stuff.

Want to visit?

WHAT: Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque

WHERE: 11141 East Blvd., Cleveland

INFO: 216-421-7450 or visit cia.edu/cinematheque

Lead art from cia.edu/cinematheque.

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