After Hurricane Ida’s damages prompted a six-month closure, the Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St., reopened last week. The theater has returned to its daily showings of current and classic films.
Hurricane Ida took out “a big chunk” of the roof, so the building had significant water damage, Prytania owner Robert Brunet said. “We had to do a lot of demo and cleaning,” he said.?
Brunet restored the theater to its pre-storm condition and added updates with a few special touches. However, he said, he kept the classic, familiar feel of the theater that fans have come to appreciate. “The theater is 110 years old, and we wanted it to still feel that way,” he said.
Audubon Charter School’s very first film festival was scheduled for March 14, 2020. That was five days after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Louisiana, and it would be over a year before the middle school students — who wrote, acted in and helped to shoot the movies —? would be able to show off the products of their hard work. Out of the glare of the May morning sun, in the cool Prytania Theatre, Stephanie Knapp, an Audubon parent and teacher who led Audubon Charter students through the process of making movies together, took the stage. The students and their supporters — parents, family and friends — were masked and spread out in the theater, with alternating rows taped off to allow for sufficient social distancing. “It’s interesting to see how everything is changed, how everything is different … and everything is still kinda the same,” Knapp said.
The Prytania Theatre may be a single-screen movie house in a multiplex world, but there is one movie-house trend it does want to join: serving alcohol. The treasured Uptown institution got one step closer to that goal this week with approval from the City Planning Commission of a zoning change that could allow the theater to add adult beverages to its menu of drinks and snacks. “The Prytania is a single-screen movie theater, which is practically non-existent in the United States,” theater operator Robert Brunet told the commission on Tuesday. “It’s one of the only in Louisiana and the only New Orleans. We are looking to serve alcohol so that we can be competitive with every other theater in the metropolitan area.”
During the last weekend before parades take over Uptown streets, there’s still plenty to do without leaving the neighborhood. To name a few: You can take in a French movie at the Prytania or a play at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. French Film Festival
The 22nd New Orleans French Film Festival, one of the longest running foreign language festivals in the country, showcases contemporary and classic francophone Cinema for audiences of about 4,000 at the Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St., the oldest single-screen movie house operating in Louisiana. Live music and lectures will accompany a curated selection of French, French language films and a program of short films.
Je ne parle pas Fran?aise, you say? Don’t worry; all films are screened with English subtitles.
The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) announced that the 22nd annual New Orleans French Film Festival will be held from February 15 to 21, 2019, at the historical Prytania Theatre. Last year, the festival reached a record audience of about 4000 attendees, and NOFS expects the festival to grow even more next year. The 22nd French Film Festival will showcase excellence in contemporary and classic French-language cinema from France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and other French-speaking countries and regions. Live music and lectures will accompany a curated selection of French and French language feature films and a program of short films. Prior to the opening night film, there will be a champagne toast for a dedicated audience of Francophiles, cinephiles, sponsors, and patrons at a private residence near Prytania Theatre. The 22nd French Film Festival passes are on Holiday Sale with a discounted price now until January 2.
Tired of that boring old election? Prefer time-traveling dinosaurs? You’re in luck — the annual Hell Yes Fest opens Tuesday (Nov. 6) with the world premiere of “The Time-Raptor” at Prytania Theatre. For details, see the press release from the festival:
HELL YES FEST ADDS FILM:
THE TIME-RAPTOR WORLD PREMIERE & STUDIO 8 RETROSPECTIVE
10:00p @ Prytania Theater
In 2013 Hell Yes Fest expands to include New Orleans’ first film festival devoted to comedy.
Rene Brunet and Jack Stewart will release their book “There’s One In Your Neighborhood: The Lost Movie Theaters of New Orleans” at a party showcasing old film reels on the Prytania Theatre’s screen (Nov. 1, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.). For more information see the following description from the event’s Facebook page:
Book Release and New Orleans Nostalgia Movie Night
THERE’S ONE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD—
THE LOST MOVIE THEATERS OF NEW ORLEANS
by Rene Brunet & Jack Stewart
Autographed copies available for purchase at the Prytania
Prytania Theater owner Rene Brunet, at age 91, has teamed up with urbanologist Jack Stewart and New Orleans book publisher Arthur Hardy to produce a 160-page coffee table book that chronicles more than 100 lost movie theaters in metro New Orleans. The evening will include book signings, Q&A with the authors, 1940s newsreels, New Orleans travelogues, 1950s cartoons, and a special showing of The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus (1962).
The Prytania Theatre and the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center and the Ashe Cultural Arts Center on O.C. Haley Boulevard are once again among the venues in the New Orleans Film Festival, which opens Thursday night and continues for the following week. More than 200 films will screen throughout the week around New Orleans, according to the festival website. Below, find some highlights at Uptown venues selected by the festival organizers:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12
Friday Spotlight Film – 1:30 p.m. Trash Dance (Dir. Andrew Garrison) Sometimes inspiration can be found in unexpected places. Choreographer Allison Orr finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and in the men and women who pick up our trash.
The director and cast of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” — the film shot in the marshes of Terrebonne Parish that won over judges at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals — will appear for a question-and-answer session following a screening of the movie Friday evening at the Prytania Theatre. Details of the event, via email from the New Orleans Film Society:
The New Orleans Film Society co-presents a special screening of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” this Friday at the Prytania Theatre, with director Benh Zeitlin and cast members in attendance for a post-screening Q+A. And bring your NOFS membership card for a discount! About the film: Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in “the Bathtub,” a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her.
Featuring New Orleans debuts, interviews with directors and “films you won’t see anywhere else,” the New Orleans Film Society’s week-long “filmOrama” celebration of independent and foreign films begins Friday at the Prytania Theatre. More information, via the event news release:
New Orleans Film Society and the Prytania Theatre present “filmOrama”
– – 7 Days of Films You Won’t See Anywhere Else – –
filmOrama, the annual showcase of new independent and foreign film, returns to the Prytania Theatre on April 20th for a week-long residence marking its third edition. “filmOrama has grown exponentially in the last three years. We have more films than ever and directors in attendance,” says New Orleans Film Society Executive Director Jolene Pinder. “Our goal is to screen movies that might not make it into other venues in the city.”
This year’s line-up mixes documentary and narrative films by internationally-known veterans like Abel Ferrara and Terence Davies with debuts by new filmmakers.