As it happens, April 1st is an anniversary for one of Central New York's movie-house landmarks. The Manlius Art Cinema has often been the only place to see indie and foreign films without driving to Rochester or Ithaca or Hamilton. Every week, owner-operator Nat Tobin posts an email bulletin about upcoming films. Today he elaborated on this annivesary and sent the following message, which he graciously agreed to let us share:
It was April Fools Day, 1992 that I took over the management of the Manlius Art Cinema. The film on the screen was 'Life is Sweet,' a film by Mike Leigh (who has since become one of my favorite directors). There were two 1940 vintage projectors upstairs and the staff consisted mainly of my ex-wife and my two daughters (a just Bat Mitvahed Jennifer and my then nine year old Melissa).
I want to thank you all for the past 18 years. It has had its ups and downs like everything else but I would not trade this ride for anything.
Some of my milestones on the way to 2010:
First film that enthralled me: 'The Double Life of Veronique' (I remember thinking that I didn't understand the film at all but what a visual and aural experience it was for 90 minutes.)
First film that I chose: 'Mediterraneo' (Still my all-time favorite foreign film.)
First disaster in the theatre: 'Raise the Red Lantern' (The film broke three times the last night of the showing and I had to refund about 60 tickets. The frustration came out when I threw 2 hours and 20 minutes worth of film on the floor and it took until morning to piece the film back together with the help of my kids. That print could not be used again!)
Most embarassing review: Bill DeLapp's review of 'The Crying Game.' (He noted that the screen was not big enough for the title and it looked like people were there to see 'He Crying Gam').