That icon of corporate movie theaters, the Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24, is about to get a lot more hip, as it has been designated as the replacement for the suddenly closed-down Angelika Film Center during November's Cinema Arts Festival.
"The plan is for us to have two screens there, and at some point we'll have our box office sales so that you can walk up into the lobby and buy tickets," the festival's executive director, Trish Rigdon, tells CultureMap.
The decision comes as a relief to festival enthusiasts, who were concerned about the potential loss of some of the festival's itinerary. Instead, the society has revealed five new films to be displayed on two screens at Edwards. Among the selections is Waste Land, a Sundance Audience Award-Winning documentary following artist Vik Muniz as he collaborates with catadores (pickers of recyclable material) in the world's largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro to create internationally recognized art.
Fans of Talking Heads lead singer and artist David Byrne will enjoy the screening of Ride, Rise, Roar, which documents his collaboration with choreographers and dancers during a recent tour. The New Rijksmuseum tracks the renovation of the Amsterdam museum through the eyes of a flamboyant museum director and a beleaguered Spanish architecture team.
After the closing of the Landmark Greenway Cinema, the arrival of high art in the area is a welcome breath of fresh air in what is typically the realm of blockbuster hits. And although Edwards is a schlep from one festival venue, FrenetiCore's Frenetic Theater on Navigation Boulevard, the movie theater is close to other venues at the MFAH and Rice Media Center.
"The upside is it's only $3 to park there, versus the cost in the Theater District and MFAH parking garages," Rigdon says.
Rigdon praised Regal Entertainment Group's embrace of the festival. The festival's artistic director, Richard Herskowitz, has also worked with Regal in programming the Virginia Film Festival.
"They do an exceptional job with festival screenings," Herskowitz said in a statement. "The festival projectionists and technicians they send are highly experienced and really know how to meet filmmakers' expectations. The films we're screening at Edwards Greenway represent the best of the best of films about art from around the world."
The Cinema Arts Festival will be held Nov. 10-14 at Houston Visitors Center, Discovery Green, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Rice Media Center and Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24. The event is the only United States festival devoted solely to films by and about visual, performing and literary artists.