Downtown independent theater debuts with Churchill documentary

Capital City Cork and Provisions owner Jami Wade inside the new Capital City Cork and Cinema, which is located in the space adjacent to her popular wine shop and bistro. The property was previously occupied by Chez Monet.

Capital City Cork and Provisions owner Jami Wade inside the new Capital City Cork and Cinema, which is located in the space adjacent to her popular wine shop and bistro. The property was previously occupied by Chez Monet. Photo by Kris Wilson.

The first official screening event at Capitol City Cinema on Tuesday may have been a bit thrown together, but it served as a preview of the exciting potential for the permanent independent theater on High Street.

Some of the non-profit organization’s board members came out for the screening, which began with a reception at Capitol City Cork and Provisions, hosted by The National Winston Churchill Museum on the Westminster College campus in Fulton. Then guests walked through an adjoining doorway to watch a 30-minute documentary titled “Winston Churchill’s Epic ‘Iron Curtain Speech’: History Alive Today.” The documentary will also air on KMOS public television at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.

Both the St. Louis-based filmmaker John Stephens and Rob Havers, the executive director of the National Churchill Museum, were on hand for the event and stayed for questions.

“This is exactly the model for the way we would like other film screenings to go,” said Jami Wade, owner of Capitol City Cork and Provisions who serves as president of the Capitol City Cinema’s board of directors.

Admittedly, the space at 126 E. High St., the former site of Chez Monet, is still a work in progress, but it’s coming along. So far Wade’s husband, Shannon, a contractor, has overseen the renovations in the space, including exposing the brick wall and repairing and refinishing the hardwood floors.

“We’re currently in our capital campaign right now, and once we raise the money to purchase our digital projector, we’ll officially open,” Wade said.

The cost of the digital conversion projector and sound system is $75,000 ($65,000 for the equipment and $10,000 for professional sound proofing). A sizable investment, fundraising for the purchase is ongoing and there have been many cash and in-kind donations from the community. G2 Gallery donated the chairs for the screening Tuesday night, and a board member provided the home theater projector to show the documentary.

A chair auction fundraiser will be held Nov. 18 for the very cushy, contemporary theater chairs. They cost $200 each and so far 22 have been sold. Those purchasing one of the chairs will have their name engraved on a plaque affixed to the back of each chair. Those interested can contact Wade at Cork or via the Capitol City Cinema Facebook page.

The next screening fundraiser will be held Wednesday, Nov. 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the showing of “The Magic of Heineken,” a documentary about the family-owned beer dynasty. The event, sponsored by Heineken and Fechtel Beverage, had been scheduled for Wednesday, but was cancelled due to the first game of the World Series being held last night. Tickets can be purchased at Cork, and all proceeds go toward the digital projector purchase.

While Wilson’s Fitness yoga classes have been held in the space, other community events will be scheduled as well.

Colleen Lunn Scholer, founder of the Macaroni Kid in Jefferson City, is hosting two free events for children on Saturday, Nov. 9. A Christmas tree ornament-making workshop will be held at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. screening of the Disney movie “Planes,” before the DVD is released in stores. Parents need to RSVP for the movie screening and bring a chair or sleeping bag for their children to sit on during the screening. For more information, Scholer urges parents to check out her website www.jeffersoncity.macaronikid.com, or email her with questions at colleenls@macaronikid.com.

“We’ll have an ongoing children’s block of programming on Saturday morning, and we also plan to work with local high schools to develop a film club where the students can help in the box office,” Wade said.

When it’s open, Capitol City Cinema will also offer tableside dinner and drink service during movie screenings.

Until then, interest and curiosity in the new venue remain at a high level. “We have so many people walking along High Street that come in and ask for a tour, and that’s great because this type of art house theater will forever rely on the community to help sustain it,” she said.

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