Have you ever looked at the show times at your local theater on a Saturday night and come to the depressing realization that there just isn’t anything good out? Maybe you’re just not in the mood for another bawdy guys-night-out “Hangover” imitation, or you can’t take another Rachel McAdams chick flick with a “surprise” twist you predicted within the first half hour. If this dilemma resonates with you, look no further than Film Streams Ruth Sokolof Theater for a solution.
Film Streams, located just a few minutes away on Mike Fahey Street, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the culture and preservation of the art of film in the Omaha community. The cinema hosts four principal programs including first-run films, repertory selections, arts in education and community development programs.
It also hosts various special programs throughout the year that have featured screenings with visiting filmmakers and guests and live musical performances to compliment silent films. Film Streams hosts an annual Local Filmmakers Showcase to celebrate the work of artists in the Omaha area.
Why should college kids care about preserving art and film? In the words of Brooke Masek, Film Streams’ Program and Outreach Coordinator, “As young people encounter an increasingly media-saturated climate, it is critical that students develop analytical skills enabling them to better understand and evaluate the media they encounter daily. Students who acquire these skills are empowered to become active, rather than passive, viewers.”
Film Streams presents motion pictures from over 65 different countries and continues to be a strong cultural presence in the Omaha community. As for the importance of preserving the art of film, Masek says, “As an art form, film is a catalyst for deeper community connections and important dialogues about issues impacting the Omaha community as well as the global community, and our programs have facilitated the presentation of thought-provoking art, broadened the cultural options available to our community, created opportunities for civic participation and provided tangible information for attendees.”
John Patrick Murray, a professor in Creighton’s philosophy department, is an ardent supporter of Film Streams and regularly advertises its programs in his classes. College students are a good audience for such a pitch, as the cinema offers free admission to students every first Monday of the month. When asked about Film Streams’ importance in the Omaha community, Murray said:
“Film Streams is one of the nation’s — if not the world’s — most outstanding film theaters, and it is just a couple of blocks to the eastern edge of the Creighton University campus.
Film Streams offers a remarkable choice of films throughout the year, as well as screening high definition broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera Company from New York City. There are always retrospectives going on, as well as single events and series in which Film Streams partners with community groups and universities, including Creighton. Film Streams is an outstanding Omaha institution at our fingertips.”
A unique theater with new events and diverse screenings showing all the time, many regard Film Streams as one of Omaha’s best-hidden gems. On the upcoming March 7 Student Night, viewers will have the opportunity to choose from three different documentaries.