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Jean Cocteau, George R R Martin and Me

New, Hat
It tickled me to no end to see today's LJ post from George RR Martin (he of "Game of Thrones" fame, and yes, I'm a fan) and find that he just bought an abandoned art house cinema in his home town of Santa Fe.  If I had his kind of money, I'd be doing the same sort of thing, but unlike him - I'd be there running it and booking the films.

I love that the place is called "The Cocteau".  If I had a theater I'd call it either "Sensei Kurasawa" or "The Oddyssey".


Here's Mr. Martin's post....



Originally posted by grrm at Jean Cocteau and Me
I had not intended to mention this until somewhat further down the line, when my plans were a bit more advanced, but the Santa Fe NEW MEXICAN got wind of a recent real estate transaction of mine and ran the story this morning, so the cat is now out of the bag. (The cat in this case perhaps being Jean Cocteau's original Beast? No, not really, but it's an amusing coincidence, considering my years on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST).


Anyway, I don't intend to say much here, since there is as yet not much to say... but I will fess up to basics, since I see the story is already out on the internet and I would rather not be bombarded with hundreds of "is it true?" emails.

Yes, it's true. I've bought a movie theatre.

Here it is:

cocteau1

The Jean Cocteau is a small Santa Fe art house, with a single screen and 127 seats. It was built in the early 70s as the Collective Fantasy, became the Cocteau later in that decade, went through several local owners who ran it well, and finally became part of the Trans-Lux chain. They closed it in April, 2006, when they shut down their entire chain of theaters. After that it supposedly became the site of the New Mexico Film Museum, but the museum was never funded and never had any exhibits, so that was more in theory than in practice. Aside from a few special showings for the state film commission, which used to have its offices upstairs, the theater has been dark since 2006.

Before that, however, it was one of the city's nicest film venues. It offered coffee and pastries, and had the best popcorn in town, fresh-popped with real butter and parmesan cheese. I saw a lot of movies at the Cocteau between 1979, when I moved to Santa Fe, and 2006, when it closed. I like the idea of bringing it back, better than ever.

I will not be doing it myself, of course. So please, readers, fans, don't get nuts. I am a novelist and a screenwriter, not a theatre manager, it won't be me standing at the concession stand asking if you want butter on your popcorn. My job remains the same as before: editing anthologies, creating and producing television and writing the occasional script, and... first, foremost, always... completing A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. This does not change that.

I love movies and old movie theatres, and it broke my heart to drive past the Jean Cocteau for these past seven years and see it sitting there, dark and decaying. Bringing this beloved theatre back to life is my small gesture at giving something back to Santa Fe, the community that has been my home since 1979. Might be that I will lose my shirt... but, hey, I've been very lucky, I have other shirts.

For those of you who want to read the story that broke the news, the link is here:

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/article_11f41778-724e-5d42-9fbe-40e5b56ae400.html

We're having a press conference on Tuesday to detail our plans for the Cocteau to the local media, FYI. If anyone reading this is local media, you're welcome to attend.

More than that, I cannot say at this time.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
mallorys_camera
Apr. 20th, 2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. You know my sister owns a drive-in theater in Las Vegas, New Mexico, which is approximately 50 miles north of Santa Fe in the Sangre Cristo foothills. She's constantly upsetting the locals by booking arthouse movies. :-)

She's not a science fiction readerso she doesn't have a clue who George R.R. Martin is. I'll have to tell her though in case some sort of synergy is possible.
chezsci
Apr. 20th, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)
That is so cool. We used to have a drive-in about 2 miles from us - we went nearly every weekend during the season no matter what was showing. Place finally gave up the ghost about ten years ago - a sad day. Here's another little squib about Martin that showed up on the Yahoo feed today:

http://tv.yahoo.com/news/-game-of-thrones--author-george-r-r--martin-isn-t-living-the-high-life-234752660.html


People seem surprised that his lifestyle is so mundane, but longtime sf/f fans (myself included)don't give it a second thought. The genre has always had a blue collar, down to earth tinge about it. I always liked that you could go to a con and find the stars mixing it up with the fans like some sort of nerd cocktail party. Which is what cons are, essentially.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )