Silver Screen Scene: These film screening sites leave traditional theaters behind

Rhode Island is no stranger to big film events. But if you do a little digging, there are several off-the-beaten-path options where local cinephiles can celebrate celluloid on a consistent basis. From Hollywood to Hope Street, mainstream movies and local films alike can be found screening around the state on the regular with these organizations and venues:

Cocktails & Screens Short Film Showcase: AS220, PVD; First Thursday of the month (with occasional exceptions);

“Cocktails & Screens is a monthly local film showcase where we screen local filmmakers’ short films, trailers or music videos,” says Briana Gonsalves, host and producer of C&S. “After screening each piece, we open up the floor for the audience to ask questions or provide feedback to the creators. Typically we will screen six short films, but sometimes we have more or less, depending on how long each film is. It’s a great night for people to network and market themselves. The event is free, there is free popcorn, there are no submission fees and AS220 has a full bar that adults may go to to purchase drinks.”


Courtland Club Cinema: Courtland Club, PVD; Every Monday night;

Courtland Club Cinema hosts a movie night every Monday, with mysterious event pages that offer hints at the planned movies without explicitly naming them. Throughout February they hosted double features for movies from directors Gus Van Sant and Todd Solondz. But on March 2, the “mystery” movie description was “Starring Pee-Wee Herman and Directed by Tim Burton.” Okay, maybe the listings aren’t ALL mysterious…

newportFILM Screenings: Various venues across Aquidneck Island;
Every Thursday night from Jun 18 to Sep 3;

Kathryn Sheehan, marketing director for newportFILM, tells us, “newportFILM is a year-round, non-profit documentary film series that features established and emerging filmmakers and their current films. Founders Andrea van Beuren and Nancy Donahoe wanted to keep film alive in Newport and felt documentaries specifically help drive meaningful dialogue and inspire, motivate and entertain people on issues that matter in our community.”
Bonus Event: newportFILM is hosting an intimate screening of The Booksellers at the Redwood Library and Athenæum on Thursday, March 26.

Dreadphile Cinema: The Columbus Theatre, Rustic Drive-In, Revival Brewing, Avon Cinema, and more!; check for screening dates

“Dreadphile Cinema is a film retrospective with focus on cult horror films,” Beau Ouellette, cult curator for Dreadphile says. “Some bad, some great, all good. We range from B-movie schlock like Brain Damage and Re-Animator to classics of the genre like Night of the Living Dead and The Thing. Dreadphile got started because I moved to Rhode Island and away from most of my friends who watched weird movies with me. These movies are better with friends and best with a crowd, so I figured I’d try and make some new friends. We grew from 60 people in attendance to nearly 400 for our last show at the Avon.”

Galactic Theatre: Nightly Screenings in Warren;

David Podsnap, owner of the Galactic Theatre is a straight-up weirdo. We were messaging at 3:30am after one of his nightly runs to Cumberland Farms for unhealthy snacks when he feverishly told me, “The selection of films we have on nightly (constantly) is an unorganized collection of silent films from the years 1896 to 1921, mostly. Many are from the amazing Georges Méliès from France, Segundo de Chomón from Spain, Edison, Fatty Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Chaplin and many other unknowns. We show them on constant loop. Galactic Theatre is a time machine where yesteryear is somewhat preserved with almost no trace of modern society. It’s just for you to spiritually escape when you feel the need to.”

Acoustic Java’s films also are worth checking out when you find yourself in PVD. Unfortunately, they weren’t available for an interview by press time.