The Belcourt Theatre announced today it will close effective Dec. 25 for previously disclosed renovation and preservation work on its 90-year-old building. The construction project is anticipated to take about five to six months.
Support for the project is being made possible through financial gifts and pledges to the nonprofit cinema’s ongoing Belcourt Campaign. The fundraising campaign has a goal of $4.5 million, with $3,216,000 received in gifts and pledges to date. Early leadership support has included gifts from the Cal Turner Family Foundation, The Frist Foundation and The HCA Foundation as well as support from longtime Belcourt champions Nina and H.G. Webb and Mimi and Scott Manzler along with gifts from members of the Belcourt’s board of directors and other individual donors.
The Belcourt continues to actively seek gifts to the campaign from individuals, foundations, and businesses. “We’re enormously grateful to the individuals, foundations and companies that have supported us with leadership gifts thus far,” says Stephanie Silverman, the Belcourt’s executive director. “As we continue to seek gifts and pledges to reach the Belcourt Campaign’s goal, it’s essential to undertake this very necessary work on our aging building. It’s the right timing, and it allows us to complete the construction as efficiently as possible, so we can reopen soon with a big celebration and a great slate of films.”
Tuck-Hinton is the architect for the renovation and preservation project, and R.C. Mathews Contractor will serve as the project’s builder. The last major restoration work on the Belcourt’s building occurred approximately 50 years ago.
The Belcourt will continue to screen films through Dec. 24 with a full schedule of repertory offerings and other highlights already booked into December. Programming includes “Wim Wenders: Portraits Along The Road,” six of the director’s classics screening Nov. 7-19, and a 12-film retrospective of the work of Japanese filmmaker Seijun Suzuki Nov. 27-Dec. 9. The 75th anniversary restoration of the Disney classic FANTASIA has a one-week run, Oct. 30-Nov. 5, and new digital restoration of Jacques Rivette’s 13-hour OUT 1 screens Dec. 12-13. New releases include the much-anticipated ROOM opening Nov. 6, starring Brie Larson and nine-year-old Jacob Tremblay and based on the Booker Prize-shortlisted bestselling novel. Also coming are the new feature from celebrated Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, THE ASSASSIN, and musician/performance artist Laurie Anderson’s HEART OF A DOG. The Belcourt also continues its long-standing December tradition of showing IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE on 35mm. More details on all films scheduled are on the Belcourt’s website.
While the theatre’s building is closed for construction, the Belcourt will continue a range of programmatic activities including a series of films of pop-up screenings with partnering groups around Nashville. Active Belcourt memberships will be extended to cover the closure period. The theatre’s education program will continue, teaching visual literacy through films and related activities via its Mobile Movie Theatre. The Belcourt’s annual fundraising event, A Red Carpet Evening, held on the night of the Academy Awards, continues as well (though at an off-site location). Further details on all these activities will be announced soon, according to today’s statement.
*Images courtesy the Belcourt Theatre.