12th Ave indie film house and cinema community center the Northwest Film Forum is taking an intermission this month while the space gets a much needed facelift. Work is currently underway at the theater and facility is to expand the lobby and add a new concession counter and box office.
All four cinema doors are also getting swapped out for oak-core doors, which NWFF says will dramatically improve the theater’s soundproofing. Exterior renovations will setup work for a new awning to be installed in the fall. The renovations are being partially funded through the city’s Office of Arts & Culture.
Regular film programming will resume on August 17th with a screening of Til Madness Do Us Part from director Wang Bing. Workshops and summer camps are continuing through the renovations.
The past year has brought some major changes at the nonprofit. Longtime director Lyall Bush stepped down after helping to launch the organization in 1995. Courtney Sheehan, a one-time college intern with the forum, took over as executive director earlier this year.
The NWFF stands out among film organizations in that it not only screens a wide variety of independent film, but also offers filmmaking classes, rents equipment, and funds local projects. In addition to expanding those elements, Sheehan said she is excited to program more events that mix film with performances and speakers.
In 2015, the NWFF celebrated its 20th anniversary of gathering people on Capitol Hill around a common love of making, watching, and learning about independent film. NWFF traces its origin to the 1995 launch of WigglyWorld Studios, a post-production outfit that got its start in the neighborhood. The organization quickly grew into other aspects of film, including teaching and screening.