Lights, Camera, Action! Boulder Art Cinema Opens Tonight

Over three decades have gone by without a movie theater in downtown Boulder.

With the rise of suburban megaplexes and large cinemas, the four independent theaters that once fared well downtown closed.

But after many years of searching for space and due to a fortunate confluence of circumstances, the big screen is back downtown. It’s the brainchild of Downtown Boulder Executive Director Sean Maher and Executive Director of the Boulder Public Library, David Farnan, who have a created a partnership between the two organizations to debut an independent cinema.

“There’s been a thirst from the community for a theater downtown. Everyone loves to come downtown and have dinner, enjoy great live music, visit the bars and breweries, and browse retail shops, but for years, if they wanted to see a movie, they needed to drive,” says Sean Maher.

Now people can hop over to the Boulder Art Cinema, which will be centrally located in the Boulder Public Library’s Canyon Theater. Outfitted with a state-of-the digital projection system, new screen, and top-notch sound system, the 200-seat theater will be showing first-run, independent, art house films every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

Patrons can enjoy a custom movie night menu of snacks and sweets with locally-sourced ingredients from Seeds Library Café as well as wine from Boulder-based Bookcliff Vineyards and local beer from Avery Brewing Company.

Seeds Library Cafe  Avery Brewing Co Logo  Bookcliff Vineyards

In tribute to the theater’s Oscar weekend opening, three Oscar-nominated films will be featured: “Trumbo”, “Amy”, and “The Danish Girl”. The first film is sold out, but tickets are available online for the other films this weekend.

Trumbo Amy The Danish Girl

Next weekend, the theater will be a venue for the Boulder International Film Festival, and will return back to its programming on March 10.

Tickets will be $11 for general admission and $9 for seniors (60+) and students (with ID).

As a partnership between Downtown Boulder and the Boulder Public Library, Downtown Boulder will sell tickets and manage the business side of the theater while the library will offer space, technical expertise, and security.

“This has been a fun venture! We’ve talked about it over and over for the past few years. There have been a lot of moving parts, but now it’s all coming together,” remarks Maher. “The community has been asking for a movie theater downtown for years and years. We finally found a way to make it happen. We hope you come out and see a film!”

The main public library is located at 1001 Arapahoe Avenue and free City of Boulder public parking is available outside the theater in the library parking lot.


Seeds Library Cafe menu:

Boulder Public Library:

Downtown Boulder:


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