If Ciné is on your radar, you know that our arthouse cinema has got to put up or shut up. The refurbished tire recapping plant that has been Ciné’s downtown home for the past decade is up for sale. Either the nonprofit that runs the theater—The Athens Film Arts Institute—can buy the building and keep Ciné going, or somebody else will buy it and build, say, a luxury student highrise there. This is a no-brainer. Ciné’s films, by and large, grab ahold of you and open your eyes to what’s going on around you and in the human heart. Ciné helps Athens people see the bigger picture and quickens their conscience to do something about the problems our community faces.
Here’s the way Ciné Executive Director Pam Kohn puts it: “We are currently raising funds for a down payment for a $1.5 million mortgage. We have been awarded a Georgia Cities Foundation loan that will go towards this effort. We need to raise another $150,000 in cash reserves to qualify for the down payment on the mortgage. In addition to this, we are seeking 150 people to pledge $50 per month for the next three years to cover the estimated mortgage payment, a total commitment of $1,800 over three years. Reaching these goals will give Ciné the long-term stability it needs to focus on fulfilling its mission to provide film and arts programming that inspire, educate, and build community.”
Meanwhile, all you have to do is show up and have some fun in order to support Ciné. This Sunday, Apr. 8, at 7 p.m. at The Foundry for $10 advance or $15 at the door, you can sit back and be entertained by the benefit show “From Broadway to Hollywood,” with local performers singing show tunes and movie theme songs. Performers include Elite tha Showstoppa, Mike Mantione, Jamon Holt, Stella Groove, Reverend Connor Tribble, Chereese Dunn, SJ Ursrey, Dave Marr, Eric Johnson, Neal Priest and Reggie Willis. Michael Wegner heads up the house band that includes Andrew Hanmer, Mindy Towe and Dave Domizi; the emcees are Lisa Mende and Breezy Goings.
But wait, that’s not all. There’s another benefit show, “Stars in Their Eyes,” Saturday, Apr. 14 at 7 p.m. in Seney-Stovall Chapel. Tickets are $10 general, $8 youth/senior at the door.
This will be a lively, family-friendly evening of music and dance from stage and screen by Athens’ young performing artists, including students from Athens Academy, Clarke Central High School, DanceFX, Oconee School of Performance, Georgia Elite Gymnastics, Georgia Children’s Chorus, Brightstone Productions, East Athens Dance and the University of Georgia. Mac Cooper and Angela Pendley are hosts.
And, hey: To chill out after all this entertainment, you can also buy a rug. That’s right, Saturday, Apr. 14 and Sunday, Apr. 15, you can grab your fat tax refund and hurry down to Ciné for Hasan Rugs’ Turkish Rug Sale, which will tell you all about rugs and serve you some light Turkish refreshments. That’s Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Ciné gets a percentage, so you can feel righteous every time you walk across your new rug barefooted.
A Correction, Dammit!
Last week, this column used one of the late Gamble Rogers’ routines to drive home a description of Prince Avenue motorists who ignore flashing crosswalk lights and come the wrong way on Newton Street. Trying to be a good journalist, I found Gamble’s album and listened to his story again. Sure enough, there’s Gamble’s beloved, reedy, Nacoochee Valley voice, quoting his friend Still Bill assuring him, “Gamble, this dog ain’t blind; she just don’t care.”
But, from Hanoi, our old friend and colleague Chuck Searcy accused me of trying to sanitize Gamble. As I was preparing to defend myself by reference to the record, I remembered that Gamble cleaned up a lot of his club routines when he began trying to sell them on albums. I think Chuck’s barroom recollections are correct, and fact-checking is a lot trickier than it looks. I am therefore happy to say of drivers who disregard Do Not Enter signs and especially those who ignore the flashing lights meant to protect pedestrians: They ain’t blind; they just flat don’t give a damn.
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