Nov 072012

By Dave Cooper

The 2012 Wild and Scenic Film Festival rolls into Lexington’s Kentucky Theater on Tuesday, December 4 with a great lineup of 13 inspiring short films.

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival, which began in 2003, combines stellar film-making, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation.  Selections from the 3-day festival in Nevada City, California, go on tour and are hosted by local environmental organizations. In this way, the festival reaches over 100 cities annually, the largest environmental film festival in North America. And thanks to the folks at Kentucky Heartwood, it’s coming to Lexington.

Highlights of this year’s film festival include: Continue reading »

Oct 032012

By Michael Dean Benton

The Kentucky Theater, one of Lexington’s most beloved cultural centers, will celebrate its 90thanniversary this October. Originally opening in 1922, the theater is one of the oldest cinemas still in operation, surpassing even the world famous Los Angeles Grauman’s Theater (also built in 1922 but not actually opened until 1927).

The Kentucky marquee. Photo by Danny Mayer.

Situated on the southern side of the Main Street artery running through town, the theater continues to serve the Lexington community by hosting a wide range of cultural events. It is not hyperbole to say that this region would be a cinematic wasteland if it wasn’t for the recent releases the Kentucky brings to town. Not only has it operated as the primary Lexington venue for international, experimental and independent cinema, it also hosts a number of film revivals, festivals and special screenings throughout the year. In the summer its Classic Film series hosts capacity crowds of enthusiastic audiences either revisiting old cinematic favorites or encountering them for the first time on the big screen. Fall brings the Rosa Goddard International Film Festival, which this year re-introduced viewers to world cinema classics Band of Outsiders (France 1964), Diva (France 1981), Knife in the Water (Poland 1962), and which premiered in Lexington the critically acclaimed Weekend (United Kingdom 2011). Continue reading »

Oct 032012

Current and former residents sound off on the Kentucky Theater.

“If something cool was coming out and I knew it would never screen anywhere else in our neck of the woods, odds were good that the Kentucky would have it.” Carl Root, Tampa, Florida, teacher/student at University of South Florida

“[I]t was an excuse for my friends and I to dress crazily and go to Rocky Horror at midnight and then go to Tolly-Ho afterward. Those midnight showings were, like, the social occasion to be at as a teen.” Leah Dick, Pulaski, Virginia, studying Communications at Virginia Tech University

“It’s my preferred first stop for a quick getaway from work or for a romantic date night—it’s something about that grand theater hall that makes it feel like you’re out on the town.” Martin Mudd, Lexington, KY, teacher at Montessori High School

“I’ve often thought there are some things I would take drastic action to preserve in my community, if ever they were in trouble. I’ve imagined a couple things I would chain myself to in order to save them, channeling Julia Butterfly Hill. The UK Arboretum is one. The Kentucky Theater is another.  While a student at EKU I would drive to Lexington on the weekends to catch films unavailable anywhere else. The KY is community- from the lovely folks who greet you at the ticket booth to Fred always quick to smile and the counter staff who seem to actually enjoy working there. It is a place of music and art and activism.”  Lisa Conley, Sociology graduate student and instructor, University of Kentucky