Together we can ENJOY THE FILM

$1,315 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 21 people in 2 months
For the past 10 years I have had a dream of someday opening a film screening space/museum/educational venue.  Nothing delights me more than exposing people to the "hidden world" of film projection that I re-discovered when I took a part-time job at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta way back in 2007.  Back then film was dying... digital cinema was taking over.  That's when I fell deeply in love with film.
Thankfully the art of motion picture projection has experienced a resurgence in the eyes of movie goers and these days I find myself in Chicago, a city rich with film history and culture.
My work at the University of Chicago and relationships with film friends and entities around the city have filled my days and nights with thousands of wonderful hours of films and great experiences.

I have been considering a return to programming in 2018 and during a conversation with Mike Phillips of South Side Projections he summed up his biggest challenge by saying "I wish I could just open a storefront"  I said, "Let me work on that..." and a projection bulb turned on in my head.

Fast forwarding a few months to today....  in short, I have negotiated a lease with my landlord to rent an 1100sq. ft. storefront below my residence.  The goal is to use the space as what I can best describe as a film gallery.  I'm choosing to call this space Enjoy the Film.  

In the space I will present 16mm films that I curate, both as traditional screenings and constant presentations, along with guest programming by some of Chicago area favorites including  South Side Projections and the South Side Home Movie Project .  I will also include hands on workshops and demos of 8mm and 16mm projection. Artwork, film ephemera, and film technology will also be on display.

A number of other options are possible for the space, but the primary goals are to give the public easy access to films and film history, serve as an intimate location for the discussion of the topics presented by the programming partners, and to provide the Woodlawn neighborhood an arts venue outside of the University of Chicago.

The storefront is located at 6431 S. Cottage Grove (64th/Cottage Grove) and will have incoming neighbors Laine's Bake Shop later this year. The building is 1.5 blocks south of the Cottage Grove Green line (soon to be upgraded ) , the new retail/housing development Woodlawn Station , 3 blocks from a new Jewel-Osco grocery store , as well as close proximity to the University of Chicago campus, and down the Midway from the future home of the Obama Presidential Center .  Hopefully the Obamas can stop by sometime.

Funds will be used to ensure that business related expenses can be covered as well as assist with technology and space improvements as we adapt the storefront . This will include any build-outs, signage, promotional costs etc. The lease begins on June 1st, 2018 with an opening date hopefully sometime later that month.

What I am looking for is a show of financial support by friends, family, and beyond who wish to assist me in my dream of bringing this unique space to life.  This startup will be a challenge, but one that we think can grow from this modest beginning in a basic storefront.  Think of it as a one-year experiment to see if the growing Woodlawn area is ready to bring film back to Cottage Grove after 55 years (just one block south of the site of the former Tivoli Theatre ).

By contributing to this cause you'll be part of the revitalization of the neighborhood and proving to me that this crazy idea isn't so crazy.  

I hope that you can assist in some way.  Please visit enjoythefilm.org for updates and more information as this project moves along. Y ou can also help spread the word by social media, and by following my social media feeds.  Feel free to email me if you have other ideas!

Many thanks,
Benjamin Ruder
Enjoy the Film
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Now the work on the space begins...
from the inside
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It has been a little over a month since the announcement and launch of this campaign. So far we have raised over $1000 to support the costs of this new enterprise! I am eternally grateful for all who have made a donation and reached out in support of this project. At this point I am 3 weeks from getting into the space and I will then be able to do some planning with the available floor space and fixtures and move a multitude of items out of my packed apartment and other storage spaces. :)
As always, I welcome your feedback , ideas, and leads to assist with the details to make this new space great.
I'll share more photos soon, but thought I'd share this one as taken from the train the other day. We're so close to CTA! Hope you can hop on down this summer and join us.

Benjamin Ruder
Enjoy the Film

Enjoy the Film is 1 block to Green Line
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Hi everybody! I have been busy with the day job and working on the business end of this project lately so I haven't had an opportunity to post an update. Thanks to the generosity of 10 donors, we are well on the way to ensuring this project is a success!
This week I will be working with the landlord on our grant proposal to the city of Chicago for street beautification. Our idea is to create a uniformed series of planters for the storefronts along our 2 buildings and partner with the buildings across the street. We think this will be an encouraging sign to welcome people to explore Woodlawn businesses.

Unfortunately I found out that due to some construction delays Laine's Bakery (located two shops South) is opening later than anticipated and they won't be ready this summer, but a few months after that.

That's all the storefront updates that I can share for now.... I hope to be able to tell you more soon!

Please don't forget to share the message about Enjoy the Film and the storefront. The campaign does not expire and I will keep it open until 2019.

Many thanks!
Benjamin Ruder
Curator - Enjoy the Film
The location....
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$1,315 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 21 people in 2 months
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