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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


An inside look at the Cinema Arts Centre

Watching a movie is one thing, but watching one in an actual movie theater holds its own unique authenticity.

For that reason alone, many people enjoy going to the theater.

The bigger screen is attractive, and the audience that sits quietly and views what unfolds before them is what brings the viewer into an atmosphere unlike any other, one that cannot be reproduced in any other situation.

I often go to the Cinema Arts Centre (CAC) and experience similar feelings during each viewing, begging the question: Is this simply something you are bound to feel when you go to a theater?

Yes, but the CAC is more than that. It is a community of filmmakers and film enthusiasts, a showcase of film history and a society of its own.

At the Centre, the films are hand picked by the Board of Directors, which consists of Dylan Sklonick, whose father Vic founded the CAC, Rachel Hart and Charlotte Sky.

The films chosen can range in mood, from serious to comedic. The marriage of films and events make seeing films at the CAC such a unique viewing experience.

As previously mentioned, many films that are not given wide releases are screened. Older films are also often screened here, usually as one-day special events.

Occasionally, when a documentary is shown, the theater will have the director of the film to discuss it and answer questions.

One such film will be screened on Oct. 8. It is director Kirby Dick’s latest feature film, “The Hunting Ground.”
“The Hunting Ground” is a documentary on rape on college campuses. Members of the Cinema Arts Centre get a $5 discount to attend this film.

The events serve as a fun and engaging outlet for everyone, not just film enthusiasts.

In fact, they are capable of bringing out the secret enthusiasts within each of us.

Some events include “Sunday Schmooze,” during which professors discuss European educational films with an open and active audience.

On the night of the Oscars, the biggest film award ceremony in America, you can go to the CAC and watch it on the big screen in the Skyroom Café with friends and family.

Trivia Nights are for film buffs that know about film history, in which there are cash prizes. Music programs are available and are actively seeking performances by college bands.

The CAC also hosts a Summer Camp Cinema, where you can view old kinds of film reels, as well as watch obscure films in a marathon that goes on until midnight.

The Centre’s director of publicity and promotions, Raj Tawney, said he makes many attempts to publicize the theater, either through print or online.

An adept film enthusiast, he explained a personal goal of his is to accomplish attracting a wider audience, particularly younger age groups.

As a visitor of the theater, I always notice that the most common demographic is senior citizens.

The best way to obtain information regarding upcoming events is by becoming a member, thereby gaining access to a monthly newspaper. Becoming a member has the added perk of ticket discounts on every ticket that you buy.

The main goal of the Centre, according to Tawney, is to educate the public through cinema–a very powerful artistic field.

Film is capable of expressing written thoughts, cinematography, photography and raw human emotion. It observes important aspects of these arts that hopefully, the viewer too comes to observe.

The CAC is a place where film lovers and those wanting to learn more can come together to appreciate the artform.
The Cinema Arts Centre is more than just a theater; it is a community of its own. Finding a group of individuals with the same likes and interests  who enjoy talking about films, new and old, is a very rare and wonderful discovery. A discovery more people should experience.


Correction: Sept. 29, 2015

An earlier version of this article had the incorrect name for the founder of the Cinema Arts Centre. The previous version stated his name as Charles, instead of Vic. 

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  • R

    Rene BouchardOct 1, 2015 at 11:17 am

    The Programs are hand-picked by Co-Directors, Charlotte Sky, who co-founded the Cinema with Vic, and Dylan Skolnick. Rachel Hart supports programming as our Associate Director. Char and Dylan have positions on the Board of Directors, which has 14 voting members and is co-chaired by Mike Plumer and Ken Katz. 🙂