The Center for Contemporary Arts has kept its theaters on Old Pecos Trail closed since March of last year, but with health mandates still fairly loose across the state, Cinema Director Peter Grendle tells SFR the only nonprofit film screen in town is gearing up for a soft reopening on Friday, July 30, followed by a full-on reopening come Friday, Aug. 6.
“We’re excited, and I truly mean that,” Grendle says. “We have a lot of film that caters toward our classic members and the people who have supported the CCA this whole time, and a lot of film that is hopefully going to reach out to a different crowd that maybe hasn’t heard of or visited CCA.”
The first films slated to screen include David Lowery’s The Green Knight, Leos Carax’s Annette (written by Ron and Russell Mael of celebrated indie band Sparks) and documentary The Truffle Hunters. In all cases, Grendle says, “it’s our job to make sure we’re presenting transformative cinema for people—it’s not OK to just sit on our couches anymore.”
As for whether CCA’s satellite theater The Screen will reopen in Midtown, Grendle explains the nonprofit is still in talks with the city regarding the future of the Midtown Campus on which the theater sits, though he promises he’ll “die trying” to get it running once more. For now, though, he explains, the main goal is to have everything ready at the original location for successful screenings.
“We’re getting systems in place, and training new staff—just know it’s going to be our first weekend back with a literally brand new crew,” he says. “We know we’ll need a couple trial runs.”
Additionally, Grendle says, all screenings will follow up-to-the-minute CDC guidelines. Currently, Santa Fe has no capacity limits for movie theaters, nor are there mask mandates—though things can change at any moment. In other words, maybe just keep a mask in your car or bag if you’re planning on catching a movie soon.
Grendle took over as cinema director in late May following the exit of longtime director Jason Silverman. Previously, Grendle was the general manager for Violet Crown Cinema and cut his teeth at The Screen back in the College of Santa Fe days.
“Santa Fe went from millions of movie options to really only three,” he concludes. “I’m happy to join the other theaters that have reopened.”