CHICAGOFACETS has announced it will return to presenting in-person programming on Friday, September 17 while simultaneously screening virtual cinema. At an invitation-only Industry / Press Open House on Tuesday, August 24, the 46-year-old organization will unveil physical changes and upgrades to its venue, enhancing its gathering spaces for film lovers.
Since FACETS suspended its in-person screenings in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and transitioned to online film programming, select areas within the venue have changed their function and/or have been upgraded to reintroduce it as a dynamic space where communities can come together for transformative and inspiring cinematic experiences.
FACETS' Advisory Board member Chaz Ebert, Executive Director Karen Cardarelli, and Cinema Program Director Charles Coleman will welcome press and industry to the August 24 event to preview the changes and release the schedule of films to be shown in-person that will resume on Friday, September 17. Presented in FACETS' 125-seat theater will be standard art house offerings as well as new programming initiatives. FACETS will continue to present virtual cinema to accommodate audiences unable to attend screenings in its physical venue.
In order to engage and enhance the livelihood of Chicago's wide pool of creatives, FACETS will offer microgrants and discounted theater rental rates for independent filmmakers. More details will be shared at the August 24 event.
FACETS' Executive Director Karen Cardarelli said: "I am honored to help FACETS reopen, carrying on the legacy of founder Milos Stehlik, who formed the organization 46 years ago. I am especially proud of the support from donors who have made our physical transformation possible and allowed us to offer FACETS resources to the burgeoning filmmaker population in Chicago. Our collective vision is for FACETS, physically and virtually, to be a film lovers' hub and to help reunite communities."
Modified, upgraded, and new offerings include:
= The Café: The old FACETS Vidéothèque has been converted into a café where FACETS members and patrons can connect, hang out, and dive deeper into FACETS' offerings and wider film culture while enjoying free Wi-Fi, café items, and free screenings of rare films from the FACETS Catalog.
= While the physical vidéothèque no longer exists, FACETS members will still be able to rent from organization's vast holdings of video rental libraries containing rare and classic films enjoyed by cinephiles.
= The lobby area has been renovated to give members and patrons a more comfortable environment to spend time and talk about film, and to view more visually driven, installation-based film and video art on a newly added lobby projection system.
= Cinema 2, formerly a 50-seat theater, has been converted into a studio that is black box flex-space to be used for workshops, non-traditional screenings, receptions.
= New roof and increased ventilation: Building repairs have been made to the roof and ceiling in the cinema. Enhancements have been made to ensure there is increased air circulation throughout the facility.
= Food and beverage will be available at both the concessions counter and in the above-mentioned café. With the recent renovations to the first floor, FACETS is introducing new, healthy food and beverage options. While favorite movie concessions will still be offered, new on the menu will be custom-flavored popcorn made with coconut oil, Dark Matter cold brew cans and gourmet hot coffee, Guayaki Yerba Mate, Topo Chico sparkling water, Milk Bar Cookies, and vegan-friendly Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs.
= FACETS will also be BYOB as members and patrons who are 21+ can bring their own beer and wine to be consumed responsibly in the café and throughout the first floor during screenings and other events.
= Retail items will be available for purchase in the café, including FACETS-branded merchandise, DVDs, VHS tapes, and vinyl records of film scores and soundtracks.
= Monthly, themed warehouse sales will run simultaneously in FACETS online webstore and in the café.
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Following the City of Chicago's indoor mask advisory and to ensure the health and safety of anyone in the building, FACETS has updated the guidelines which are also outlined on the organization's website at facets.org/faqs/ .
Masks: It is requested that all staff and guests wear a mask even if vaccinated
Distancing: All guests and staff are encouraged to maintain physical distance
Air and Cleanliness: Hand sanitizer stations are readily available in all public spaces, all surfaces are cleaned regularly and thoroughly, and ventilation systems are being examined and maximized
Food and Beverage: It is requested masks are replaced after consumption of food and beverage
Cinema Seating: Upon reopening in September, Cinema seating will be reserved, maximized for distancing, and at 40% capacity
Purchasing: Online ticket purchasing is encouraged to reduce crowds and there will be credit card purchases only
Health: If a patron is feeling unwell or has a fever, it is requested to enjoy FACETS' Virtual Cinema from the comfort of one's home.
FACETS connects people to independent ideas through transformative film experiences. Founded by the late Milos Stehlik in 1975, FACETS inspires audiences to engage with film not simply as entertainment, but as an exciting tool to bridge cultural divides, promote digital literacy, and expand perspectives through empathy-driven storytelling. www.facets.org .
FACETS presents the Chicago International Children's Film Festival (CICFF), one of only two Academy Award-qualifying international children's film festivals in the world. www.facets.org/cicff