Rocky Horror Picture Show tickets are now on sale here. | Taylor Swift Eras Tour tickets here. | Tower Of Terror. Every weekend Friday and Saturdays. Get info here. | Support SLFS here or join the Red Carpet Club here.


SLFS: Our Impact Through Independent Film

We have all seen films that have changed us, whether by shifting our perspective or making us think about their themes and stories for days on end. But an important question remains; can film really make a positive difference in the world? As a non-profit that seeks to amplify diversity and support social progress in our community through film, Salt Lake Film Society would definitely say “yes” to that question. However, the reality is a bit more nuanced; films do not vote or pay taxes, nor do they determine policy, constitutional rights, or election results. But crucially, they have the power and potential to inspire those who do. 

“The purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people… the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. They let you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears.”

Roger Ebert

This quote from the famed movie critic Roger Ebert defines our philosophy at SLFS, and the impact of cinema that we believe in. Independent films that exhibit unique stories and amplify diverse voices help cultivate a more sympathetic community, full of people aware of the issues and inequalities in our society, and as curious as they are impassioned to do something about it. A group of inspired people can change the world, and that’s why our independent theaters strive to play independent films that educate, advocate, and inspire people everyday.

Independent Film – A Machine of Empathy and Accessibility

How exactly does film help though? What makes film a potential tool for social good? Well firstly, movies are accessible. The variability of human experiences that the film medium can present and represent makes it a highly approachable form of art for all types of people from all types of backgrounds. Watching a film on the big screen is also easier than ever, as most theaters offer a wide selection of showtimes, all day, everyday, at fairly affordable rates. There seems to be a visual story out there for just about everyone; almost every person has a favorite film, and rarely are they the same.

director guy nattiv doing a q and a with SLFS CEO tori baker

Oscar-winning director Guy Nattiv, at a Q&A with SLFS CEO, Tori Baker

But more importantly, the diversity of visual stories that film can tell leads to a nearly unavoidable exchange of ideas, culture, and human experiences. Film pares down these large, intricate concepts or issues into approachable encounters with your fellow human beings, giving audience members an emotional glimpse into the lives, aspirations, and suffering of other people. Every film is a machine capable of producing this empathetic epiphany that Ebert describes, and this effect is only intensified when we share a film in a theater with others. A thoughtful film can make us feel closer and more connected to the people in our society, and also more aware of the struggles and prejudices they may face.

Furthermore, this type of film can foster a vital introspection and advocacy regarding the disadvantages that many marginalized people experience and suffer from. Independent films are some of the most common contributors of diverse and galvanizing stories. The proper telling of an underrepresented story on the big screen can play a pivotal part in the educational fight against bigotry and systemic oppression; movies are made by people, for people, and the more we can expose everyone to the lives, decisions, and experiences of others, the more progress we can make towards constructing an aware and empathetic society.

Salt Lake Film Society – Independent Theaters

street-level photo of front of Broadway Centre Cinemas

The front of Broadway Centre Cinemas, showcasing our marquee for February 2021

At Salt Lake Film Society, our mission revolves around educating, advocating, and informing both about, and through cinema, especially independent film. Independent films consistently emphasize giving their audience this glimpse into the lives of others, and our goal is to show as many of these diverse and thought-provoking movies as possible. 

Through independent film and the independent theaters we operate, we help cultivate a local community filled with compassionate and curious people, who are willing to learn and listen and ultimately do something about the problems they are made aware of. There’s no better place in Salt Lake City to experience consistent access to independent film than Broadway Center Cinemas or the Tower Theater. Take a step towards understanding the life of another, and come see a movie that might just inspire you.

Welcome to Our Salt Lake Film Society Blog!

Hello and welcome to the first post of the Salt Lake Film Society blog! Whether you’re a long-time patron or a curious movie connoisseur looking for your fill of independent cinema, SLFS is proud to have provided the Salt Lake City community with reliable access to independent film for over two decades now. 

The undertaking of our organization is to offer the Utah public consistent access to thought-provoking and socially-engaging films. Furthermore, our mission revolves around the power of film as a universal language, and how these visual stories prompt discussion, inspiration, and introspection in our local community. We are proud to provide physical spaces for film access in Salt Lake City through the Tower Theater and Broadway Centre Cinemas, and with this blog, we also want to create a digital space to further the discourse and dissemination about independent cinema.

Salt Lake Film Society: Home to Independent Film in Salt Lake City

We want to foster a more consistent connection with our fellow movie-goers, and showcase the people working behind the scenes at SLFS to create the experiences that you love. Whether you’re reading about the impactful viewing experiences of our members, or learning more about the films that educate and energize our staff, this blog plans to offer a variety of avenues for patrons, donors and staff alike to engage with our mission, and the visual stories that define it.

The Importance of Independent Film

Why independent films though? What about the film medium and the survival of independent theaters is so important to our community here in Salt Lake City?

“Filmmaking is a chance to live many lifetimes”

Robert Altman

At SLFS, this quote from Robert Altman presents an ideology that exists at the core of why we do what we do. Movies are an indispensable form of entertainment; we love to be entertained. A thoughtful visual story on a big screen has the capacity to captivate our imagination like nothing else. Film lets us feel what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes, if only for a brief moment, and the ability to live these vicarious “lifetimes” through cinema gives our minds the opportunity to break out from the ordinariness of everyday life and dip our toes into the extraordinary. 

old black and white photo of Tower Theater
Tower Theatre, the oldest movie theater still operating in the Salt Lake Valley

We love to be entertained, but at the same time, we also like to be challenged, to be compelled to think, analyze, and learn. Film pairs human faces and feelings to the stories and experiences of our world. They are naturally inclusive, turning large, complex concepts into accessible, ubiquitous storylines that we can’t help but relate to. Film helps us open up our minds to an exchange of culture and ideas, especially when someone sees a film about a place or persons dissimilar to their own, 

At SLFS, we work hard to curate programming that promotes this cultural and ideological exchange, whether it’s Norwegian romantic dramas (Worst Person in the World), or Macedonian horror stories (You Won’t Be Alone). We strive to play our part in the cultivation of a more compassionate and thoughtful community, and our mission aims to do this one film at a time. 

Independent Theaters in Salt Lake City – Salt Lake Film Society

The independent theaters we operate seek to embody this diverse quality of independent film as well, a commitment we have established through our Never Zero pledge; we will never have an absence of programming that represents marginalized voices.

Broadway Centre Cinemas and the Tower Theater, as well as independent theaters around the world, have always made it their mission to exhibit as many of these captivating and trailblazing films as possible, and to get as many people to see them as possible. We don’t play the movies that will fill the most seats or make the most money. We want our Salt Lake City community to see films they’ve never heard of, engage with stories they’ve never experienced, and live a few lifetimes they’ve never even thought about. 

So help us support the amplification of diversity and the introspection of your community. Join us for some big-screen entertainment, and leave feeling inspired, at Salt Lake Film Society.

To see a list of our upcoming films and events, click here.
To join our Red Carpet Club, or to learn more about RCC levels, discounts, and benefits, click here.