The Grand Re-Opening of the Jean Cocteau Cinema came off as scheduled on Friday evening… something I scarcely would have believed a week ago. We made it with… ah… minutes to spare. Work was still going on when I arrive at the theatre an hour before opening.
All in all, it was a great weekend.
We had full houses for almost all our matinees and evening showings, and good crowds for the two midnight shows as well. Large, enthusiastic, diverse crowds — young and old, of every race and ethnicity, native Santa Feans and newcomers to town and tourists just here for the weekend, geeks and straights, boys and girls, old folks and children, hardcore SF fans and devotees of the French new wave… they all mixed and mingled in the Cocteau's gorgeously redesigned cafe area, enjoyed our first art exhibition, and then filed into the hall to enjoy the films… and meet our special guest.
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Yes, it's Robby himself, the star of FORBIDDEN PLANET, who was on hand to help introduce the show. . . and pose for pictures with visitors. If you missed the chance to attend our opening weekend, have no fear… Robby will be there all week.
Robby was a huge hit, I can safely say. FORBIDDEN PLANET, Jean Cocteau's ORPHEUS, and our midnight offering of DARK STAR also seemed to go over well. And, yes, the Cocteau's famous popcorn was back, with real butter, all the old toppings, and some new ones as well.
We did have a few glitches, as any new enterprise will. Our ice machine broke down even before we opened, requiring the staff to rush out for bags of ice. And the heating element on our brand new pizza warmer died. But everything else seems to work well. I hope all the folks who attended had a great time. I know that I certainly did.
There's been some great press about the reopening. Here's a sample:
My thanks to all those who made this possible:
— Meredith Haber and Karen Meredith, my realtors, who helped me acquire the Cocteau,
— Ty Franck, the "bad cop," who helped work out, well, almost everything,
— the amazing Jayne Franck, whose stunning redesign of the lobby and concession area wowed everyone who saw it,
— Marshall Thompson of Constructive Assets, who fixed all the stuff that needed fixing, and turned Jayne's designs into reality,
— my ace minions, Pat Rogers, Raya Golden, and Tyler Smith,
— my new minions, the staff of the Jean Cocteau, who acquitted themselves marvelously,
— and last but not least, Jon Bowman, my general manager, who booked the films, hired the staff, popped the corn, turned on the lights, and generally helped turn my rather insane dream into technicolor reality.
The Jean Cocteau first opened its doors in 1984, and closed them in 2006. A twenty-two year run is nothing to sneeze at, but here's hoping the new Jean Cocteau will help to entertain, enlighten, and delight the people of Santa Fe for at least twice as long.
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