We educate, advocate, and inform about – and through – cinema. We promote diversity through film exhibition and creation. We foster film talent and cultivate film appreciation and participation. Our programs and venues ensure that the potent ideas and voices of film are accessible to everyone in our community.
SLFS recognizes and honors the fact that our Broadway, Tower, and Studio Backlot Motor Cinema venues are located on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Tribes. The state of Utah is home to eight distinct tribal nations.
We celebrate empathy and strive to illuminate our common humanity through how we work together and how we engage with our community.
We ask questions. We strive to learn about the needs, values and backgrounds of the communities we serve in order to grow personally and professionally.
We embrace the ever-changing art form of film and continually try new ways to share the art form while at the same time preserving and protecting the traditional big screen cinematic experience.
We encourage our staff to feed their souls, to rest and to pursue their personal goals. This approach nurtures creativity and curiosity and ensures all SLFS staff are successful in fulfilling our mission.
We watch movies obsessively and believe the world would be a better place if we all sat in a darkened theater together to share the power of the communal big screen experience.
We hold each other accountable by promoting an environment of vulnerability that can support both the lessons of our failures and the satisfaction of our successes.
SLFS creates film events that provide moments which are essential and foundational to the well-being of our community.
Most of us don’t ordinarily think about going to the movies as a life-affirming or life-changing event. But ask around; people will quickly tell you about the film moments that changed them in meaningful ways. Whether by identifying with a character on the big screen, gaining access to a different culture or point of view, or simply sharing physical space with other humans who are laughing at the same joke or crying because of the same sadness, communal cinema is powerful.
In the face of growing isolation, rampant depression, and rising mental illness, not only is film important to a vibrant arts and cultural community – it is increasingly a necessary way of strengthening tolerance, nurturing compassion, and sustaining baseline human decency through the arts.
At SLFS, we select each film exhibited with the awareness that it holds within it the possibility of changing, healing, enriching, and positively altering someone’s life in ways we may never know about and could not possibly imagine.
SLFS is absolutely dedicated to the magic of the communal, big screen experience. We know that the full power of cinema can truly occur only when people are present with each other, in the same physical space, watching the same film, and sharing common physical, mental, and emotional experiences.
Creating and nurturing the venues and programming that allow these profound connections to take place – whether between friends, neighbors, or strangers – is the passion, mission, and impact of SLFS.
For over 20 years, SLFS has served as Utah’s largest, mission-driven, non-profit, venue-based film organization, serving residents in the greater Wasatch Front and beyond.
For ALL current SLFS films and events visit
Reopened October 21, 2021 SLC's home for independent, international, and documentary cinema
Undergoing renovations in 2021 SLC's beloved 94-year-old theater in the 9th & 9th neighborhood offering contemporary and historic works of cinema
Available 365 days in 2021
Seasonally on SLC’s westside at Redman Movies & Stories Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays during April 30 - June 26, 2021 and August 27 - October 16, 2021
Every day of the year, SLFS is accessible and affordable to audiences of all cultures, languages, interests, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. SLFS programs are diverse, high-quality, inexpensive, and offered in safe, comfortable, and community-based venues that serve as neighborhood anchors and gathering places.
One of the greatest strengths of SLFS mission programs is their ability to help people examine and understand their biases, experiences, and emotions and then come to terms with truths and perspectives different from their own.
At its best, film illuminates human emotions, ideas, and commonalities. In a thoughtful and respectful way, it peels back the layers of our assumptions and biases, empowers each one of us to grasp both the beauty and the complexity of our existence, and invites us to live more fully within it.
Of the 299 SLFS films presented in 2021:
For over 10 years, SLFS cultural tour programs have been empowering arts engagement for underserved communities in our city. Each year these programs mature and new film tours are added to reach more minority populations.
In 2021, SLFS worked directly with individuals from the Mexican, Jewish, Israeli, and Pacific Island communities. Each film tour came to life through the hard work of the SLFS cultural committee. Meaningful working relationships were forged as volunteer committee members from within these diverse and historically underserved populations participated directly in the planning, curation, implementation, outreach, evaluation, and follow-up of each program. This highly collaborative model of engagement ensures that the films and events presented are relevant and meaningful to the people they serve because they are co-created by the people they serve.
Despite the pandemic, 2021 cultural tour programs continued strong and attracted 11 diverse partner organizations and 28 volunteers. SLFS increased the number of films presented, hosted six virtual and in-person opening and closing night festivities, and produced 19 filmmaker panel discussion videos, including four that were presented as part of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
Topics which were covered by these panels include Afro-Mexican identity, Pacific Islander inherited trauma, the experience of loss of land and identity, the complexities of the health of our planet and how individual action makes a difference. Virtual film tours L’Chaim and Māsima had over 100 views, while Filméxico, which was offered as a hybrid program shortly after the Broadway reopened in October of 2021, had a sold-out opening night.
SLFS reaches economically underserved populations by offering: free, affordable, and discounted ticket prices to individuals, partner organizations, and charities; daily matinee, student, and senior discount prices; a robust volunteer program with movie vouchers for cinephile seniors, students, and those on a fixed income who give their extra time to SLFS.
All auditoriums comply with ADA seating and accessibility requirements. Assistive listening, closed caption, and audio narration devices are available, and on Wednesdays, every screening is featured with open captions.
SLFS was extremely pleased to re-open the Broadway in October 2021. SLFS instituted Cinemasafe national safety protocols, requiring proof of vaccination, masking, and going above and beyond with high cleaning standards and security personnel in venues.
SLFS adhered to the guidelines and standards set by World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local and state health authorities, and the voluntary CinemaSafe (Cinemasafe.org) guidelines developed by the National Association of Theatre Owners. Current SLFS safety policies and procedures can be found https://slfs.org/about-us/safety/
SLFS board, leadership, and staff in 2021 proactively chose to face COVID challenges and catalyze innovation by reinventing programs, services, venues, and operations. The results of this mindset can be seen in the many improvements that took place, including:
Established in 2019, Marcie’s Movie Club serves older audiences in the community as a mutually beneficial collaboration with University of Utah’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Movie Club brings high quality, interactive film and discussions to Osher students. Members connect with each other not only as neighbors; they also empathize with their fellow world citizens through the extraordinary films offered on our virtual platform https://slfsathome.org/ and in-person at the Broadway.
The video on the left features Stephen K. Simmons – long time SLFS staff member and the wizard behind the curtain of our trailers, panels, and other in-house productions. On the right is a particularly touching video of SLFS staff as they bid a fond farewell to Barbara Mellen, our executive assistant, who retired after 14 years of service.
|Grants and public funding (15 grants/foundations)||$2,142,426|
|Management and general||$398,951|
We appreciate you and your continued investment in the future of SLFS. The community spirit we’ve received from patrons, donors, sponsors, board members, volunteers, and staff has been the guiding force behind keeping SLFS strong and its programs meaningful. Your concern for our organizational good health is felt by each of us everyday.
We are excited about our future. Please stay in touch through social media, check out our brand new website, and read our new blog. Be on the lookout for numerous facility enhancements, and, most importantly, keep watching movies.