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The Arthouse Experience Film Series

The Champaign Park District has announced a new film series at the historic Virginia Theatre, 203 West Park Avenue, Champaign, IL, 61820. The Arthouse Experience will showcase the best of recent art films once a month on the Virginia’s 52-foot-wide movie screen throughout the theatre’s 2021-2022 season. Conceived as a way to bring limited-release, high-quality films to a larger audience, The Arthouse Experience will combine favorites from past Roger Ebert Film Festivals with new releases, popular favorites, and titles chosen by the audience. Screenings will include introductory remarks and post-show talkbacks with guest curator Sanford Hess. $6 tickets to each of the films (additional per-ticket processing fees apply) are available at the Virginia Box Office, at thevirginia.org, or charge by phone at 217/356-9063.

The Arthouse Experience film series was made possible by a collaboration with guest curator and former operator of the Art Theater (126 West Church Street, Champaign), Sanford Hess. A movie-lover since early childhood, Mr. Hess realized his dream of operating a theater when he took over the management of Champaign’s popular Art Theater in 2010. After running the Art for three years, Sanford Hess helped transition the facility to a community Co-Operative, the first of its kind in the nation. Since that time, Sanford has continued to watch and comment on films at a prodigious pace, including in broadcasts on his Urbana Public Television program “Reel Reviews” with co-host Chike Coleman and his cinephile son.

In describing his reasons for curating the Virginia’s new Arthouse Experience series, Mr. Hess stated, “Movies are a communal experience, something we appreciate in a new way with the pandemic. Watching a movie with other film lovers in a gorgeous theater like the Virginia—it’s the kind of thing we really need right now”.

10/6/21 Emma (2020)
11/3/21 Moonlight (2016)
12/6/21 Cold War (2018)
1/19/22 Wild Tales (2014)
2/9/22 The Artist (2011) – rescheduled from original 2021 screening date
2/23/22 Adaptation (2002)
3/23/22 The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
4/6/22 Big Night (1996)
5/25/22 Eighth Grade (2018)
6/1/22 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
7/27/22 Viewer’s Choice