A Message to Members of the Magic Lantern Theater

The year 2017 will be one of transition between the MLT and you, our members and supporters.  By the end of 2017, we plan to have phased out MLT memberships and to introduce a once-a-year support drive.  We believe that the new system will be simpler to administer while continuing to provide you the opportunity to financially back our film project.

Over the years since we began in 2001, the MLT has offered an annual membership – levels ranging from $25 to $100.  In the past this served you and us well.  Your subscriptions played a key part in our ability to offer the northern Shenandoah Valley community the best in quality and off-beat cinema in both indoor and open-air locales.  We have built a loyal cadre of you, our MLT supporters, that we value highly and wish to maintain.

However stagnating membership revenues in recent years have led us to question whether this model is still the best, given the time, labor and postage it requires.  Accordingly, we have decided to switch to a simpler sponsorship arrangement, similar to that used by many other non-profit organizations, particularly in the arts.

Here’s how the transition will work.  As of January 2017, we will no longer solicit or accept new or renewal memberships in Magic Lantern.  Memberships valid into and through the year of 2017 will be fully honored on the same terms as previously; however at expiration, they will not renew.

Instead, at the end of 2017, we will introduce a new MLT Film Buff Sponsorship Program.  Every December from 2017 on, we will ask our followers to consider making an annual contribution to our non-profit effort to bring new and different cinematic events to Winchester and the northern Shenandoah Valley as well as providing small grants to help support local filmmaking.  Suggested  contribution levels will be familiar: “Cameraman” at $25; “Director” at $45 and “Producer” at $100.

We will recognize your tax-deductible gift through an appropriate acknowledgement and by listing you as a sponsor on our web page (magiclanterntheater.org).  Sponsors will not receive a discount at paid screenings as have members in the past; however we believe that this should make little practical difference.  Most of our summer events are free and, for indoor screenings that they host, the same discounts will continue to be available from the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and the Barns of Rose Hill by virtue of membership in those organizations.

Please feel free to let me know via info@magiclanterntheater.org of any questions or concerns you may have with this future arrangement.  Let me stress that you remain as important to us as, I hope, our film programs are to you.
See you at the movies

Mark Lore


Magic Lantern Theater

Magic Lantern Supports Local PBS Documentary ‘Saving Place, Saving Grace’

Magic Lantern Supports Local PBS Documentary ‘Saving Place, Saving Grace’

We are very proud to announce that Magic Lantern recently made our first, modest grant of $2,000 to assist production of the forthcoming PBS documentary, Saving Place, Saving Grace, a film being shot here in the northern Valley which tells the story of the sustainability efforts of the Holy Cross Abbey in Clarke County.

“Saving Place, Saving Grace” is the story of a Trappist monastery’s struggle for reformation of their home by embracing an intense sustainability initiative. Witness the monks land stewardship, prayer, and work ethic as the core of the community at Holy Cross Abbey. It’s a race against time to retain their rural home along the iconic Shenandoah River in the shadow of The Blue Ridge Mountains.

Ecology meets theology. Saving Place, Saving Grace portrays an extraordinary place and grace in the spirit of contemplative prayer and lifestyle that is the soul of Cool Spring. And—without the active engagement of the internal and external communities—this 1,200 acre property and community could disappear.

Today, the Cistercian monks’ endeavors and the colorful array of people who support the community’s sustainability should be a shining example for all who share the planet. Their humility and recognition of the divine in nature call for a spiritual awakening that we all should deeply ponder. Ancestral residents and caretakers moved through the area with what we can imagine to be equal appreciation for the fertility and extraordinary landscapes. And the iconic Shenandoah River of the Chesapeake Bay watershed—we must take serious action to eliminate pollution and restore water quality in order to conserve our most valuable natural resource.

The Director and Producer each became acquainted with the monastery and its community over the last 10 years. We have been granted unprecedented access to the unique community and place. The film offers viewers an opportunity to explore and learn about this “sacred ground,” with the invitation to be swept away with the story. We hope a “call to action” will be the answer to its inspiration.

Part of the MLT’s mission has always been to encourage local filmmakers; we hope that this will be but the first of such grants — within our modest capabilities.

Find out more about “Saving Place, Saving Grace” at the Picture Farmer Films website HERE

Two Film Festivals Heading to Winchester

Two Film Festivals Heading to Winchester

Just to prove a point that the film scene in Winchester is thriving, there will be two film festivals running in September, both supported by the MLT.

The Skyline Indie Film Fest runs September 8-10 in downtown Winchester (http://www.skylineindiefilmfest.org/films/ ) with a three day program of World Premieres including, ARC, Crass, MÓR, No One Else, The Ego Death, The Sign and UNCLE VASSYA plus U.S. premieres for Abbiamo fatto bene, Globuline’s Game, Paradox, The Witching Hour and To The Stars plus local standout anthology short The Haunt Collection from Mirandum Pictures.

Lost Weekend VI at the Alamo Cinema runs September 22-25 — visit https://drafthouse.com/winchester/show/film-clubs-the-lost-weekend to find out more!

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