Amidst speculation that Santa Fe resident and bestselling author George RR Martin recently purchased Santa Fe’s Jean Cocteau Theater, Martin himself called a press conference on Tuesday to confirm the news.
“I gave all of my friends the opportunity to talk me out of it,” Martin, who was accompanied by new theater manager and previous head of the Santa Fe Film Festival, Jon Bowman, joked.
“Somehow, the more I looked into it, the more I loved the idea,” Martin said.
He reminisced about patronizing the single-screen movie theater back when it was called Collective Fantasy and was “owned by four hippies.”
He also recalled the Cocteau’s famous popcorn.
“This is the theater where I became addicted to putting Parmesan cheese on my popcorn,” Martin said.
“Bound and determined” to replicate the movie house’s concession snacks, Martin also intends to have the theater serve as an interdisciplinary space, where along with art house movies, "live stuff"—like intimate musical performances and, of course, author readings take place.
“It really saddened me when this theater closed in April 2006,” Martin said. After its closure, the theater briefly operated as the New Mexico Film Museum.
“It seemed to be a museum that had no exhibits or no funding, and was never opened; so this museum seemed to exist only in theory,” Martin added.
The A Song of Ice and Fire penman also threw some love down SFR’s way.
“The Jean Cocteau—for seven years in a row—won Best of Santa Fe. I would like to start winning that award again,” Martin said.
The lauded author advances that Forbidden Planet could be the revamped screen’s first showing, though he does not discard screening 1946s Beauty and the Beast as an homage to the theater’s namesake.
He’s also considering playing episodes of the HBO's Game of Thrones on the big screen.
"Were looking at all possibilities,” he said on the matter. “That’s certainly something that we would be fun to do but there are some complications…hopefully within a few more weeks we’ll know more about things like that.”