‘Sidewalk Cinema' begins tonight in Salt Lake


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So, where do you go to see a movie? Most people go to the theater, rent a DVD or catch one on a premium cable or satellite channel. Now there's a new option coming to downtown Salt Lake.

It's certainly a different approach to movie viewing. Starting this evening, three sites on Main Street will offer short films projected right onto the windows.

The movies will surely grab people's attention as they walk along Main Street or wait for the next TRAX train. Vacant storefronts have been transformed into mini-movie venues as part of what's called the Sidewalk Cinema.

"This is meant to be a showcase for local artists, and some international short films as well," said Sidewalk Cinema designer Topher Horman.

‘Sidewalk Cinema' begins tonight in Salt Lake

Starting tonight, 20 short films, along with still photos featuring local artists and other material, will play on the screens. There are two locations between 100 South and 300 South right now, with another location in the works.

The movies will certainly run the gamut on subject matter, from a Utah beekeeper telling about his business to a man who loves to build moving contraptions.

The Sidewalk Cinema is made possible by the Salt Lake Film Center, the Utah Arts Council and others. The screens will be active for about 18 hours each day.

‘Sidewalk Cinema' begins tonight in Salt Lake

Playlists for each of the screens are created on a computer. The video is then delivered by satellite to one of the rear-screen projectors, which makes the store front windows come to life.

The Sidewalk Cinema is free to watch and won't take up much of your time. "It seems to be best enjoyed in five- to 10-minute increments, so give yourself five or 10 minutes, come down and catch a couple of short films," Horman said.

The organizers of the Sidewalk Cinema are now looking for more films. They have about 20 now but would like several hundred. Anybody can submit a project, but they ask that you keep it short.

To submit your project, just send it to the Salt Lake City Film Center on a digital file: Flash drive, Quicktime or Windows Media Viewer.

It's all about featuring local artists in a whole new way.

E-mail: kmccord@ksl.com

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Keith McCord

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