SIFF 2009: SIFF Cinema to go dark this summer…


Just saw this on the Seattle Times website:

SIFF Cinema plans a summer hiatus

SIFF Cinema — the year-round arm of the Seattle International Film Festival — will close its doors for most of July and August to cut costs, says managing director Deborah Person.

By Moira Macdonald
Seattle Times movie critic

As a cost-cutting measure, SIFF Cinema will interrupt its regular programming for July and August. The cinema is the year-round venue launched in 2007 at McCaw Hall by Seattle International Film Festival.

While it may present some as-yet-unspecified special events, SIFF Cinema will not resume regular screenings until the fall, beginning Labor Day weekend with Bumbershoot’s 1 Reel Film Festival.

SIFF managing director Deborah Person said the organization has been discussing for some time the possibility of limiting its programming for the summer.

“In these economic times, we’re figuring out how we can keep our programming strong and keep our core strong,” she said. “You know, summer is not great for alternative cinema and art-house films. It’s pretty much blockbuster season. So that was a place we could cut some expenses.”

She said two employees would be furloughed for the summer.

Person noted that while SIFF has seen a drop in corporate sponsorships, like other local arts organizations, it’s doing well in ticket sales, which are “on par with last year.”

SIFF is currently in the midst of a capital campaign to raise $3 million for the new SIFF Film Center, a permanent home at Seattle Center to include office space, an intimate cinema, lecture space and educational facilities. Person said SIFF is “a little over halfway” to the goal, and the current “35 Club” fund drive aimed at festivalgoers is doing well.

The 35th annual festival is underway and runs through June 14. SIFF Cinema will present a “Best of SIFF” selection over the weekend of June 19. For information:

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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