Austin Film Society's new art house movie theater premieres soon. On Friday, May 26, AFS Cinema will begin screening a variety of new releases, premieres, classic flicks, documentaries, curated series, and more at 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd.
"Opening the AFS Cinema is an enormous accomplishment involving a large, committed team of professionals and volunteers. This move allows AFS to vastly increase our signature film programming, add a much-needed program of new releases, and claim total control over our space, including a lobby that will become Austin's living room for cinema lovers," says AFS CEO Rebecca Campbell in a release.
The property, formerly the Marchesa Hall and Theater, officially transformed into the AFS Cinema in spring 2016 but closed last fall for a major overhaul. Updates include a new lounge area; full-service bar; marquee sign; updated event hall; and an additional cinema, bringing the total to two screens. Designtrait and Michael Hsu Office of Architecture teamed up with AFS founder and acclaimed director Richard Linklater to redesign the space.
New food and beverage options are on the horizon too. Chef Peter Klein, along with WHM Hospitality consultants Bill Mann and Jorge Hernandez, crafted a menu of easy-to-eat items, including sausages from Smokey Denmark, cheese plates from Antonelli's, and specialty popcorn. The bar will feature craft beer, signature cocktails, and fresh coffee.
"I'm thrilled to join the team at the AFS Cinema, which will be a community hub and gathering place for film lovers. We've crafted a menu to complement that, with offerings focused on local and regional products and ingredients, nourishing comfort foods, and a twist on the classics," says Klien.
The first movie series, dubbed Texas Film Christening, will feature five classic Lone Star flicks: Rio Bravo, Tender Mercies, August Evening, Sugarland Express, and The Last Picture Show (which includes an introduction from Linklater). Other upcoming series include Comedy, Italian Style; The Noir Canon; Cinema of Resistance; and the family-friendly Sunday School. The latter two will be monthly offerings.
Tickets are now on sale for May and June screenings.