Why Cinestudio is a must for Film Buffs in Hartford Ct

Some movie enthusiasts grew up in the mid-20th Century attending matinees at a local movie house. Others have heard the tales of such afternoons from their grandparents, aunts, uncles and older friends. Still others have seen and heard about this cinematic atmosphere from such venues as Turner Movie Classics and the American Movie Classics cable channels.

Now, residents of New England can experience this nostalgia firsthand at the Cinestudio in Hartford, Connecticut. Located on the campus of Trinity College, this theater is a re-creation of a single-screen venue and seats approximately 500. The Cinestudio was the brainchild of a group of Trinity College students in 1970. These students converted a large lecture hall on campus, formerly part of the Clement Chemistry Building, into a classic re-creation of a 1930’s movie house, complete with a gold lion insignia, gold screen curtain, and balcony seating. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a classic movie palace, but movie-goers will enjoy movies produced with 70 mm film projection capability and all of the accouterments of modern-day cinematographic technology.

Today, Cinestudio operates as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization, independent of Trinity College. However, the movie house is still located in the original space in the Chemistry Building on campus. The nightly projection, as well as all day-to-day operation, is handled by a volunteer staff of approximately 50 students and community volunteers. Movies are shown seven days a week and include first-run showings and a good mix of independent films and other genres. In the early days, Cinestudio was noted for its showing of controversial films, including a debut of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Cinestudio is wheelchair accessible on the lower level. The movie house is also equipped with Sound Associates Infrared Assistive Listening headsets for those who have hearing loss. Interested patrons can become a “Friend of Cinestudio” by downloading the online membership form at www.cinestudio.org

In 2008, “Connecticut Magazine” noted Cinestudio as the “Best Independent Cinema” and applauded its efforts to “deftly mix current commercial releases with silver-screen classics, art-house premieres, foreign films and the occasional dash of anime.” Cinestudio has also been noted by a “Connecticut Magazine” contributor as one of “thirty-three things to do in Hartford before you die.”

Movie buffs, or wannabes, will find Cinestudio to be nostalgic, entertaining, and mesmerizing… and a place to get lost in the magic of the silver screen time and again.