It was a family affair on Friday night, as Santa Fe’s movie watching community came out in droves to celebrate The Screen’s 15th anniversary.
Peter Grendle, theater manager, introduced a cast of special speakers including actress Ali MacGraw, Pasatiempo movie critic Jonathan Richards and experimental documentary director Godfrey Reggio, prior to a screening of Preston Sturges’ screwball, The Palm Beach Story.
An emotional Grendle recalled submitting an employment application at the Regal Stadium 14 four years ago, when The Screen faced an imminent shutdown and lauded supporters like MacGraw, who rallied the troops and ensured the single screen’s legacy continued.
“There is so much cold reality in all of our lives now, that I crave escape in the most enriching way—and that is to laugh, to cry, to be turned on, to be scared, to feel something, to see another other culture and to feel that I am visiting it for two hours,” MacGraw told the packed house, which included Jean Cocteau owner George RR Martin.
MacGraw praised the “smorgasbord” of films available at The Screen and offered the following call to action: “If ever you hear some bureaucratic peep about shutting this place, let me save you some time; line up, get ready and fight to make sure that this is here forever.”
Happy first 15, Screen. And, as Richards said, “15 times 15.”