Best Hope for an Art Theater

James Parrish and Terry Rea are veterans of the local film scene. Rea used to manage the Biograph Theatre and Parrish was co-founder of the James River Film Society, two vital institutions for local film nuts.

So we were happy to learn they were joining forces to open the Bijou Theater, a community art theater and film education center that’s been diligently shopping for a 120-seat storefront theater either in the Broad Street Arts and Cultural District or the blossoming Scott’s Addition.

They’ve held some well-attended fundraisers already at the Byrd Theatre and Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, and the pair is offering a digital transfer service of old home movies to raise money and spread interest in the Bijou.

As Parrish, a noted Tarheel and eloquent spokesman, told Style last fall, “We need a place where we can see great little films, a place where we can eat, drink and talk about these films.” Amen. Lately, the rumor has it that they’ve been entertaining a possible housing alliance with Carol Piersol’s 5th Wall Theatre — though it’s just a nice idea at this point with no location determined.

Whatever happens, we agree with Parrish that, in the best sense, a local-run repertory art cinema inspires all artists to do what they do — and as such, should be a part of any thriving art scene. Plus we’re really sick of people talking during movies.


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