A poetic partnership between Loft Cinema and UA

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Rebecca Noble | The Daily Wildcat

The Loft Cinema, a long-time Tucson favorite, is located at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. This non-profit movie theater specializes in providing special movie events to the public, such as their free screenings of films outdoors.

What better way to beat the heat and build your cinematic repertoire than to attend a summer poetry film screening, courtesy of the Loft Cinema and UA Poetry Center.

These two organizations have united once again to create a fun experience for all different kinds of Tucsonans. 

The Loft will use their inflatable screen at the Poetry Center for the first couple of screenings, and after their renovations are completed, the Loft will be hosting the remaining screenings at their newly-remodeled theater.

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The UA Poetry Center holds summer socials every year. This year, they wanted to do something fun and budget-friendly for those who wanted to participate. Sarah Gzemski, the Poetry Center’s publicity and publications coordinator, believes this is a great summer activity for people who want to familiarize themselves with the center.

“We’re excited to be able to offer these four screenings that we are partnering with the Loft on ... we have worked with the Loft in the past so we thought it would be a wonderful fit to work together again,” said Gzemski.

The screenings are free of charge and open to the general public and include complimentary water and popcorn. The first screening begins on Wednesday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. with the film “Paterson.” This movie centers around the mundane life of an average bus driver who happens to loves poetry. 

The last screening will take place two days after the UA’s fall semester begins on Wednesday, August 23, at the brand new Loft Cinema.

Anthony Ruggiero | The Daily Wildcat

The UA Poetry Center and The Loft Cinema have partnered together to bring outdoor movies to the public for free. The first screening of this series will be "Patterson," starting at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14.

Jeff Yanc, the Loft’s program director, said that he and Gzemski chose to show Paterson first because they wanted to show a narrative film about poetry. This film is supposed to tell a great story about poetry in real life.

Gzemski said that she is very proud of the recurring summer partnership.

 “I love that this series’ events are free,” Gzemski said. “So, we can have any number of people show up, because movies as you know, are not always free so it’s great to be able to give people access to something that they might not otherwise see.”

Yanc said that this collaboration with the Poetry Center gives their business an opportunity to show off their solar-powered cinema set up. This mobile cinema is used for summer outdoor screenings and saves a significant amount of energy.

“We take the unit around to various venues, and it’s a solar-powered van that has solar panels, solar-powered batteries and it charges during the day,” Yanc said. “We use it to run the projector and the inflatable screen and the sound equipment we have.”

The second screening will take place on Wednesday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. with a family-friendly screening of “Head Over Heels,” which was nominated for best animated short at the Oscars. This stop-motion feature delves into the lives of a husband and wife in their later years of marriage.

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The third installment in the summer screening series is “Welcome to this House,” which will be held at the Loft auditorium at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9. This film directed by Barbara Hammer is a documentary that focuses on the work and life of poet Elizabeth Bishop.

The final film in the series is “A Late Style of Fire.” This documentary captures the life of California poet Larry Levis through his relationships, friendships and childhood. In addition to this film featuring multiple interviews, it also has an original score. The screening of this film, directed by Michele Poulos, will take place at the Loft on Wednesday, August 23 at 5:30 p.m. 

This summer film series is a great opportunity for both the Loft and the Poetry Center to branch out to new members of the community and offer a fresh approach for individuals to explore poetry and enjoy a cinematic experience.

“I think in general working with the Poetry Center is great,” said Yanc. “When you can combine different forms of art it’s wonderful, and there are these really interesting connections between cinema and poetry, and you can create cinema that is very poetic, and poetry can really enrich our lives even if we don’t think it can.”


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