At SLFS, we have always been proud of exhibiting thought-provoking films to our Salt Lake City community. And as members of this community and local film fans ourselves, the staff of SLFS have always cherished the opportunity to join in on the audience viewing experience. We asked Max Kunz, Theater Manager at Broadway Centre Cinemas, to share his experience watching Dune at the Broadway during our reopening in 2021.
The SLFS Dune Experience at Broadway Centre Cinemas
“As a staff member at Salt Lake Film Society, one of the things I like most about it is the commitment to serving the film loving community in Utah in unexpected ways. At the Broadway, we have six screens that supply a wide selection of arthouse and blockbuster cinema. Each screen is equipped with high-quality digital projection and Dolby theater surround sound systems, providing a unique high-quality entertainment experience you’d expect from the larger commercial branded theaters.
To connect our audience with the large supply of new films released, we have all of our theaters on a constantly shifting show schedule. This means that if a film has completed its standard theatrical run, we have the option to return that feature for an additional run, provided it is cleared by the studio. This flexibility in our booking allows SLFS to customize our film exhibitions for the needs of its community when a film gains some attendance traction after its initial run, or earns accolades from a film institution. An example of this custom exhibition presented itself to me this year through Dune.
I had unfortunately missed the initial theater run for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and didn’t think I’d get another chance to see it in the theater setting, which was how I had heard it was meant to be enjoyed. Luckily, the Broadway brought back the film after it was nominated for several Academy Awards and I was able to catch it!
Dune is the story of the noble family Atreides who is given stewardship of the planet Dune by their Emperor, but Dune is a harsh planet covered in desert and a special drug called spice. The story of the film follows young Paul Atreides who is wrapped up in the war, chaos, prescience, and death that the coveted spice from Dune brings to his family.
I was captivated by the stunning visuals and stellar performances in what was an all around very entertaining movie. In a film that deals with gigantic spaceships and an original soundtrack that shakes with them, the state of the art theatrical systems that are used to present films at Salt Lake Film Society created an extremely overpowering experience. I appreciated what an entirely different experience it was, compared to watching it at home on a laptop screen like I had been planning on doing prior to the re-screening (especially after such a long shutdown due to COVID-19).
Seeing Dune in this way influenced me to research the world that Frank Herbert had created; looking at Google I saw how long the saga was and YouTube videos ensnared me into its lore. Fully nerding out, I bought the books on Audible and have since listened to the story of the first three books in the six book series. Now a bonafide Dune fan, and having some insight into the scale of the story and its contents, I can appreciate even more how seeing a film like Dune in a real theater like the Broadway Centre Cinemas makes the experience exceptional.”