Sunday, July 30, 2006

"Preserve Me A Seat" screening

Went out tonight (Thursday 07/27) and caught Jim Field's most recent documentary "Preserve Me A Seat" at the Dundee Theatre. First off I want to say how much I like the Dundee and its atmosphere and that I'm ashamed of myself for not going there more often since it's literally less than a mile from my house. Now that I've unburdened my conscience, I'll talk about the film.

The main focus of this documentary was initially spawned by the process of saving the glorious Indian Hills Theater right in the middle of Omaha. Remembering the theater well and the great times I had going to see movies there, it brought back a lot of memories for me, seeing the committee that was formed go through the motions of trying to save this theater from its inevitable destruction, thus making way for some beautiful parking stalls. The documentary also included a lot of history on the architecture of the theater and I learned a lot about how its design was conceived and even the fact that this type of theater was only one of three in the world, and according to the architect, the culmination and perfection of his original dream after building the first two. I also remember the last several times I saw movies at the Indian Hills and how terrible the staff and service was and that made me sad to think of as well, knowing that I didn't go back to the theater after two movies in a row where there were technical difficulties with the films and the fact that the management staff at the time didn't really seem to care. A great idea, a great theater, run into the ground, figuratively, then literally. Such a tragedy.

The documentary also highlighted other theaters around the country that had similar fates decided for them through various other bureaucratic reasons and raised the question of preservation of historic buildings or landmarks and whether or not a building less than 30 years old could ever be considered "historic" or if a building's uniqueness or design could warrant preservation.

All in all an interesting and well done film that brought back a lot of memories for me. It's too bad it wasn't completed in time for this year's Omaha Film Festival, we would have loved to have premiered it there.

Check out Jim's work Apartment 101 Films.

Good job Jim.


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