Multiplexes cater to the majority because mega-budget superhero films are guaranteed to gross more than a social commentary funded on a few thousand bucks. Both genres have their place in the world of film, but the latter has traditionally had a tougher time finding its audience. Luckily for then, New York City’s Film Forum opened in 1970—with 50 chairs, one projector and a dedication to independent film.Thirty-six years later, the theater’s heart is still in the right place. “We run one of the only screens in the United States devoted exclusively to festivals of classic films, director retrospectives, long-run revivals and restorations,” says Bruce Goldstein, Director of Repertory Programming. “We are able to take risks that commercial movie houses would not” says Film Forum director Karen Cooper.

The Forum’s detailed attention to programming is apparent in their upcoming series of premieres. For instance, the Forum will play host to the Soros/Sundance Documentary Fund: A 10th Anniversary Film Series for three days beginning October 26th. Not to be upstaged, new prints of classic films run throughout the year.

When asked to sum up the importance of the Film Forum in today’s movie scene, Cooper says, “We stretch the definition of ‘entertainment’ to include films that are politically- and socially-relevant.” With almost 5,000 members contributing to the Forum’s initiative, the countless new and restored prints of independent classics and should-be classics have finally found their audience.

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