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AFI Silver Theatre, Silver Springs, Md.

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  • hawaiiguy123155
    Jan. 14, 2004 Facility helps usher visitors into downtown area The American Film Institute s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is living up to its promise to
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 16, 2004
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      Jan. 14, 2004
      Facility helps usher visitors into
      downtown area

      The American Film Institute's Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is
      living up to its promise to reel visitors into downtown Silver Spring.

      The Silver Theatre has been the "catalytic agent for a lot of other
      change occurring here," said Peter Esker, chairman of the Silver
      Spring Citizens Advisory Board, at a Monday night meeting held at the
      theater, which he called the "stellar achievement of redevelopment of
      Silver Spring."

      The Silver Theatre, a 1938 art deco movie house designed by John
      Eberson, closed in 1985 but underwent a $20 million rehabilitation as
      part of Silver Spring's downtown redevelopment. Once a 1,100-seat
      movie house, the building now features one historic theater and two
      stadium-style theaters, as well as a café, office, meeting, reception
      and exhibition space. It is owned by Montgomery County and operated
      by the American Film Institute.

      In the nine months since the theater reopened, about 100,000 guests
      have entered the building to see a variety of films, said Ray Barry,
      deputy director of the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. "We've
      achieved much of what we wanted to."

      Financially, he said, the theater is "hitting targets," based on
      conservative goals set for the theater's first year. And although the
      guest number is "about exactly what we expected, we'd like more. We'd
      definitely like more," he said.

      Since the theater opened, 6,000 people have also become members,
      which was "wildly beyond any expectations," Barry said.

      Based on anecdotal evidence, Barry said he believes the theater has a
      regional draw, but plans to do a ZIP code survey this year to confirm
      that theory.

      The theater staff had several goals it wanted to achieve, including
      excellence in programming, educational initiatives and being a part
      of the Silver Spring community, Barry said, adding that, so far,
      those goals have been met.

      The programs the theater has shown have been diverse, ranging from
      classics to foreign films and current releases like "Lord of the
      Rings," he said.

      "We also launched Silverdocs, an international film festival, in
      partnership with Discovery [Communications]," Barry said.

      Silverdocs showed a variety of documentary films, including works by
      local filmmakers, and drew about 25,000 people for its community day
      that featured a skateboarding demo on Georgia Avenue by professional
      skateboarder Tony Hawk, as well as other skaters from his Boom Boom
      Huckjam tour.

      Silverdocs was so successful that AFI and Discovery plan to hold
      another major film festival like it this June in hopes of drawing
      more visitors from out of the area and possibly achieving an
      international status, Barry said.

      The theater also has had other modes of community outreach, including
      several open houses when the facility opened. And a Latino film
      program and a mid-Atlantic regional film showcase has spotlighted
      local filmmakers, as well as other smaller festivals, Barry said.

      "A friend of mine had a film festival here. It went off marvelously,"
      said Korey Hartwich, a member of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory

      The theater has also begun a number of educational initiatives, Barry
      said. AFI has been working with Montgomery College's Takoma Park
      campus to offer part of the college's introductory film course at the
      theater, and has also launched an educational program that currently
      targets ninth- and 10th-grade students, though it eventually may be
      offered to the kindergarten through 12th-grade.

      Within this program, youths can come to the theater and experience
      the cinema firsthand, and teachers can get assistance in selecting
      films for their classes, Barry said. The education program was
      launched in November 2003.

      The theater also has brought in several guest filmmakers--both
      celebrities and undiscovered artists--to speak in front of an
      audience about their works, Barry said, citing Clint Eastwood and Eli
      Wallach as two of the more prominent filmmakers to visit Silver

      "We're looking forward to redevelopment in the rest of the
      community," Barry said.
    • hawaiiguy123155
      AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center Launches Educational Screenings Program (ESP) for Montgomery County, MD Public Schools Monday January 12, 7:08 pm ET AFI
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 16, 2004
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        AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center Launches Educational
        Screenings Program (ESP) for Montgomery County, MD Public Schools
        Monday January 12, 7:08 pm ET
        AFI Silver Enhances Montgomery County Public Schools' (MCPS) Middle
        and High School Curricula With Screenings, Speakers, Teacher Guidance
        & Viewing Materials

        SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Film
        Institute's AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center today announced
        its first educational program for public school students, the 2004
        Educational Screenings Program (ESP), developed as a resource for
        Montgomery County Public Schools to enhance middle and high school
        curricula for both students and teachers.
        The newly created program is generously funded by the Homer and
        Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation.

        "We're thrilled to be able to offer AFI Silver's educational
        capabilities -- its theaters, its programming and its staff -- to the
        students of our own neighborhood," said Murray Horwitz, director of
        the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. "This program enables us
        to bring resources to students in the communities that have
        contributed to the AFI Silver and to compliment the ongoing work with
        Montgomery County teachers of AFI's National Screen Education Center."

        AFI Silver's Educational Screenings Program is designed to empower
        Montgomery County's public school teachers with new tools to inspire
        students in an active, broad-scale academic engagement, exciting them
        about what they're learning. Based on film and video screenings at
        the AFI Silver Theatre, the Educational Screenings Program provides
        the following services:

        * State-of-the-art screening facilities in all three of AFI
        Theatre and Cultural Center's theatres;

        * Films and videos directly related to Montgomery County Public
        middle and high school curricula;

        * Assistance by an experienced AFI educator and AFI programmers
        teachers' selection of appropriate films, and in pre-
        screening lesson

        * Providing speakers and teaching guides, including support
        such as readings and worksheets;

        * Student education in critical viewing skills.

        AFI Silver's Educational Screenings Program will be administered by
        AFI Silver Education Program Coordinator Matthew Boratenski,
        coordinator for AFI's East Coast K-12 screen education program since
        1996 and a thirty-year teaching veteran of the Montgomery County
        Public School system.

        Teachers can arrange a screening by contacting the program's
        administrator on-line at silvereducation@... or mailing a
        questionnaire to: AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, Educational
        Screenings Program, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20910.

        More About AFI

        AFI is the preeminent organization dedicated to advancing and
        preserving the art of film, television and other forms of the moving
        image. AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-
        renowned Conservatory, provides film preservation leadership and
        explores new digital technologies in moviemaking. AFI's New Media
        Ventures programs bring together the creative and digital
        communities, as the department seeks to develop a literacy program
        for the 21st century, helping young people learn to read and write
        screens of all sizes-cinema, television, computer and the Internet.
        With AFI ON SCREEN, the institute is the largest nonprofit exhibitor
        in the US, with programs at the AFI Los Angeles International Film
        Festival (AFI FEST); the AFI National Film Theater at the John F.
        Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; and the AFI
        Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. A
        49,000 square foot complex with three theatres -- one historic, two
        new state-of-the-art stadium-style theatres -- the AFI Silver
        exhibits film and video generally unavailable elsewhere in the
        region. AFI's annual almanac for the 21st century, AFI AWARDS, honors
        the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the
        year. AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Movies, 100 Stars, 100 Laughs, 100
        Thrills, 100 Passions and 100 Heroes & Villains have ignited
        extraordinary public interest in classic American movies. During the
        past 31 years, AFI's Life Achievement Award has become the highest
        honor for a career in film. More information about AFI can be found
        by visiting its Web site, located at www.AFI.com .

        Advancing Learning for the Next Generation Through the Moving Image

        For further information, please contact Joan Kirby of American Film
        Institute, +1-301-495-6747.
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