Summer films to be shown at Welder Center

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

May 19, 2014 at 12:19 a.m.

Summer movies are coming to downtown Victoria.

The Victoria College Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a digital cinema projector for the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts on Monday.

The city's hotel occupancy tax funds will cover 90 percent of the $66,445 purchase. Additional money from the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival, Theatre Victoria and the Welder's operating budget will cover the remaining cost.

The projector should be in place by the end of June, said Sue Prudhomme, Victoria College director of Cultural Affairs.

The Welder Center is owned and operated by Victoria College.

The projector is being purchased through Office Systems Center in Victoria, which had the lowest of three bids.

Office Systems Center is owned by Dan Pedone, father of Anthony Pedone, the film festival's director.

"We'll be showing films this summer," Prudhomme said. "We're working on a program committee made up of interested members."

Anthony Pedone worked with the college to find the right projector for the theater. The projector will be able to play films in digital cinema package, also known as DCP format.

DCP was created by the film industry to enhance high-quality definition on the screen and in efforts to control piracy, he said.

Pedone, who is also the director of FilmExchange, a screening network comprised of seven film festivals across the world, said he has an agreement in place with the college to show films at the theater throughout the year.

"We'll have programming there throughout the year, not just during the festival," Pedone said. "We'll have our own art house theater."

As far as film screenings go, Victoria College President Tom Butler said the college is also open to suggestions from the community.

The college has not determined how much additional revenue the projector may produce for the theater.

"Prices have not been discussed," Butler said. "The first step is to get it installed."

Pedone said he has been pushing for a projector at the Welder Center since he first joined the Theatre Victoria Board of Governors seven years ago. He has since left the board.

"It's important to the building to have a projector there," Pedone said. "Just think now, with the film festival and other organizations we have in town, the theater will be able to feed the beast."



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