N. CHUCK CINEMA, R.I.P.
We remember a time when an evening of entertainment on the extra cheap meant stuffing a bag full of gummy bears, Raisinets, and Dr. Peppers and smuggling it into the North Charleston Cinema 10 for a $2.50 matineé of second-run flicks we missed when they were at the local cineplex (or even two, back-to-back, on a really wide-open, rainy Saturday). Those days ended a few weeks ago when the cinema was forced to close its doors for good due to a steady recent drop in ticket sales — another casualty of the Netflix era and the bottoming-out box offices of cinemas everywhere.
The space and its lot are now vacant. All that remains is a graffiti-covered building, its empty interior still suffused with the sweet fragrance of stale popcorn and better days. Movies on demand in the comfort of one's living room are fine, but sometimes a second-run viewed with a sticky floor and expensive cokes is a lot more fun. —Kelly Smith
THE FOLLY OF FILM
Way out at the Edge of America, far from the madding crowds of downtown's live theatre scene, the Actors' Theatre of S.C. has established a solid, steady presence. As part of an effort to raise bank for a new community center that'll include a theatre space, ATSC founders Clarence Felder and Chris Weatherhead are hosting a benefit costume party and silent auction this Saturday from 7:30-11 p.m. at the Folly Holiday Inn ballroom (see Calendar, page 24). They're also busily screening submissions for the third annual Folly Felder Film Festival, a Piccolo Spoleto event scheduled for June 4 and 5 at the Holiday Inn.
Organized by local filmmaker (and, in the spirit of full disclosure, regular City Paper contributor) Nick Smith, the film competition is open to shorts from anywhere and everywhere, a challenge to budding and professional local filmmakers to compete against international entries. Last year's festival had films from Japan and the U.K. Last year's top prize (one of three "Palmetto Awards") went to S.C. filmmaker Steve Daniel's horror short The Gibbering Horror of Howard Ghormley — "Weird and scary and atmospheric," says Smith. "A little like H.P. Lovecraft stuff." Second prize went to local professional filmmaker Brad Jayne, who used several area actors in his noirish French film Le Croisment.
The deadline for submissions to this year's Folly Felder Film Festival is May 10. Films running 15 minutes or less are eligible, and the most entertaining films win, with first prize garnering $500 — though all original films will be considered for screening, Smith says. For more information and submission instructions, visit www.actorstheatreofsc.org. —Patrick Sharbaugh