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Indie films, classics coming to the Welder (w/video)

By Carolina Astrain
July 8, 2014 at 2:08 a.m.

Maddie Foxell, a technical assistant at the Leo J. Welder Center Cinema, watches as the cinema's new projector lights up the screen during a training session on the projector  Tuesday.

When Jeremy Gould started working for Victoria College nine years ago, he never expected to find himself behind a movie projector.

"This is new for me," said Gould as he waited for the college's new digital cinema projector to cool down.

Gould, a Victoria College senior audio visual/local area network technician, led an operations training session at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday afternoon.

"Whatever you do," said Gould as he gestured toward a light bulb the size of a watermelon, "don't drop the light bulb."

The Christie CP2220 DLP Digital Cinema Projector was approved for purchase by Victoria College trustees in May for $66,445 from Office Systems Center in Victoria - 90 percent of which was covered by the city's hotel occupancy tax funds.

The projector was installed at the end of June and will provide its first public screening July 17 with Disney's "Frozen" singalong.

"I wanted to show something that would be popular in our community," said Sue Prudhomme, Victoria College director of cultural affairs.

Prudhomme said she hopes to acquire a new, motorized screen that would allow for more frequent viewings and less time spent dismantling their current screen on loan from the Victoria TX Indie Film Fest.

Through the theater's recent hotel occupancy tax request, Prudhomme said she has requested $27,000 to pay for a new motorized screen, which she estimates would cost about $30,000.

"It takes about three days to prepare the theater for one screening right now," Prudhomme said. "We have to factor in the live performances that take place here, too."

The following week, the VTXIFF, in partnership with the Austin Film Society'sTexas Independent Film Network, will present four short Texas films July 26 using the new projector at the Welder center.

Lars Nilsen, a programmer with the Austin Film Society, said the Texas Independent Film Network was eager to work with Anthony Pedone, executive director of the Victoria film festival.

"The people of Victoria are extremely lucky to have Anthony Pedone as a cultural force," Nilsen said. "We hope to not only spread these films to new audiences but also to meet more people who are interested in filmmaking and film appreciation."

Other films scheduled for screenings at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts through August include "Stagecoach" (1939), "The Mark of Zorro" (1940), "Breaking Away" (1979) and a back-to-school, double-feature screening of 2014's "Godzilla" and a newly released restoration of 1954's "Godzilla."



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