After a seven-year fundraising effort that yielded nearly $2,000,000, Red River Theatres in downtown Concord, New Hampshire began hosting movies in 2007. A local architectural firm designed and built what has been described as a“…three-screen, state-of-the-art theatre…recognized as a beautiful and intimate space, unrivaled in the region for its aesthetic appeal.” The theatres were named after the iconic Howard Hawks movie, “Red River,” starring John Wayne.
The art house cinema’s mission is “…to present film and the discussion of film as a way to entertain, broaden horizons and deepen appreciation of life for audiences of all ages.”
Events and Marketing Manager Katie Mosher describes Red River as an independent cinema that marches to the beat of a different drummer. A dedicated group of volunteers is the heartbeat of the non-profit in its efforts to support the local community and remain an important resource.
The theatres present an array of genres, including “…first-run independent films, cult favorites, classics…foreign films…,” as well as local film projects. Various festivals are featured throughout the year. The Snob Film Festival is a grassroots support of independent movies. There’s the New Hampshire Jewish Festival, and an annual New Hampshire High Schools Short Films Festival. They also host what is called “Movie Magic Events” in the form of “sing-alongs and quote-alongs.” The conversations among viewers foster a great deal of pride in the community locally, regionally and statewide.
Two of the three theatres are larger and have digital projection, Dolby Digital surround sound and rocker-style stadium seating. The smaller theatre was built with 48 removable seats for a flexible and accommodating space for workshops, receptions, and special screenings.
In 2013 the theatres began a fund-raising campaign to convert its 35 mm projectors to digital and Dolby Digital surround sound. Local businesses were very supportive and understood the importance of Red River’s contribution to the vitality of Concord’s downtown. Through the assistance of the Community Development Finance Authority, donors were able to claim a 75% tax credit against their contributions, allowing them to afford more robust donations. When their tax payments were made, the funds were released to the Red River construction effort.
Interestingly, at the time of this conversion to digital, 95% of theatres nationwide had not yet made the move.
Since then Red River has also become a rare resource of classic silent films once a month, featuring such artists as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, John Ford and more.
Finally, the management of Red River Theatres produced another gem – the acquisition of Art House Cinema Solutions POS software, the most comprehensive ticketing and concession tool in the industry. The program also partners with Diamond Ticketing Systems, a leader in the business of online access to the cinema world. The result is a dynamic and cutting-edge purveyor of a completely unique movie-going experience.
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