, Newburyport, MA

September 26, 2013

Let's preserve this gem!

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

When I was living in Angers, France, there was (and still is) a movie theatre called “Les 400 coups” or “The 400 Blows”. It was located on a tiny side street off a pedestrian shopping street. On the main street, Boulevard Foch, there were three, then two major theatres that would show the latest movies, which were French movies, and international ones dubbed in French.

I preferred going to “Les 400 Coups” because I liked to hear people’s real voices and also because it was a way to work on my English and Spanish skills.

I’m sure it hasn’t always been easy for “Les 400 Coups” to compete with the major cinemas, but the long lines indicated there was demand for an alternative theatre. Indeed, the theatre has always found ways to interest children, college kids, and adults. For example, they would show multiple movies with a common theme, such as the Woody Allen’s Collection.

My good friend Thomas and I would go there twice a week. It wasn’t cheap, but definitely less than the mainstream theatres.

I believe that in Angers, much like Newburyport, people understand that there are two different kinds of theatres and they like them both because they serve different purposes.

It would be very sad if the Screening Room had to close its doors. Newburyport is a very culturally diverse city, and the Screening Room has been a strong contributor.

We need to preserve the theatre that shows us so many cool movies; International movies in their original versions, Indie movies, documentaries, etc.. I think that we’ve been lucky to have this theatre here, so please let’s all preserve this gem!

Anne McCoy