Q&A with the Byrd Theatre

You have questions. We have answers. We’re breaking down the answers to some of your pressing questions. This installment is all about our programming. Let’s get to it!

Q: Are you becoming an art house theatre or a first run theatre? 

A: We’ve always tried to include a mix of films that you might not necessarily get to see in the more commercial movie theaters and we plan to continue to do that because we hear from our community that those opportunities are important. We program a mix of sub-run films and repertory films. The repertory films include our Big Screen Classics series, Marathon Mondays, Family Classics and other special events. 

Q: Seems like the films you showed in January and beginning of February feel different than your normal programming, are you sure you aren’t changing your programming?

A: January and February are tough times in the sub-run movie business. Sub-run is the majority of our screenings. Here’s a bit on how it works. The big distribution companies hold films in first run as long as they can if they have an Oscar nominee, which limits the number of available sub-run films. In addition, January tends to be a slower month in terms of releases in general. All this makes it incredibly difficult to get the big films or the Oscar nominees in this time period. Our strategy has always been look for other opportunities in this timeframe. We showed a documentary because it was getting some great reviews and had good attendance numbers and was an Oscar nominee. We chose the others based on what was available and what we thought would appeal to our community. This happens at this time every year as we struggle for good sub-run films. 

Q: I heard you hired a booker from Massachusetts to book the films. How is this person going to know this community? 

A: We did hire an experienced film booker who is based in Massachusetts. She works with many independent theaters all around the country. While she has excellent relationships with the studios and can help us score great films she’s not booking anything without working closely with us. All of our films are being thoughtfully chosen and curated for our audience by the programming committee. 

Q: What is this programming committee? 

A: The programming committee has been curating our repertory film programs for about 5 years. It is made up of board members, community representatives and theater staff. It originated  the family classics, big screen classics and the other repertory film series we do. More recently, the committee has been overseeing the selection of all of our films. The programming committee helps plan special events as well.

Q: What’s up with the big Capital One banner? 

A: Capital One has been a generous sponsor of our Family Classics Series for a couple of years now. We are so grateful to them and their support of our programming that we wanted to recognize them for their generosity as part of their sponsorship package. 

Have other questions? Email us at [email protected]