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Tower Theatre Update


The Tower Theatre won't be open in 2023 but read below for our planning update.

Our deep gratitude goes out to all who have inquired about and have continued to love the Tower. We know how important the Tower is to cinematic preservation and consequently to the 9th and 9th community. Throughout 2022, and into this year, your continued support in attending SLFS films and events at our Broadway location, and your donations in support of our mission to exhibit, create, and preserve the art of cinema, has been a key success factor in building a future for the Tower. We know that many of you feared the Tower might close permanently. We’re happy to say that SLFS is 100% committed to the preservation of this unique and wonderful gem of a venue. 


Tori signing resized smaller
Tori Baker, CEO/President, signs for ownership of The Tower Theatre in December 2022.

SLFS has been operating the Tower Theatre since we formed our nonprofit 23 years ago. As a donor-supported cinema, we continued with relatively short leases which renewed repeatedly. There were restrictions on what we could do with the building since we did not own it. We are happy to announce that in December of 2022, and thanks to a generous grant from Alternative Visions Fund, SLFS has purchased the Tower Theatre location. 


This is monumental to the preservation mission goals of SLFS. We intend to ensure cinematic adventures continue at the Tower for generations to come. The Tower has always been part of our founding story, and our mission. By securing the building ownership, SLFS and our allies can now look towards neighborhood collaboration to build a vision that preserves the unique character of the Tower, supports the 9th & 9th economic viability, and harnesses the archive video/DVD collection for film preservation and education. 


This purchase allows for the Tower to have a fresh start. Therefore, we are happily turning away from previously-reported cosmetic improvement plans to begin serious long-term visioning for the Tower. We’ve named our new initiative “Tower Theatre: The Next 100 years.”


Our inspiration is to repair and renovate the 1928 Tower Theatre as an environmentally responsible hub for cultural, nostalgic, modern, and uncensored cinematic experiences. As an economic and cultural anchor in 9th and 9th , the Tower will remain a safe haven for underrepresented voices and individuals who love to explore new ideas and tastes through the cinematic lens. 


This treasured movie theater, the oldest single-screen in Utah dedicated solely to film, represents a cultural cinematic landmark that demands to be preserved for future generations. SLFS intends to trailblaze environmental responsibility in theatrical exhibition and serve community through historic, contemporary, unique technological film screenings, plus offer and grow our world-class and highly rare archive. Additionally, we plan to provide museum-like exhibits that access nostalgia for our past and celebrate the future of the medium of film. 


Embarking on this adventure will take time, stakeholder support, and fundraising.  We do not anticipate the Tower opening in 2023 for this reason.  However, you may see us making some essential repairs throughout the process. We will keep the public posted. Through this visioning process we are committed to protecting the Tower’s legacy and remaining true to the spirit of the Tower.  SLFS has always had the Tower at the heart of our cinematic mission and will continue to honor its texture, personality, and purpose throughout the visioning process. After all, the first cinema in Utah to have air-conditioning, and talkies, deserves to see the light of the projector lamp never go dark.  


SLFS has formed an advisory committee of stakeholders and local business leaders to help envision the future of the Tower and what is possible regarding environmental and neighborhood sustainability.  SLFS plans to make the Tower renovations a community project that includes engaging local business at 9th and 9th, checking in with neighbors (you may be hearing from us soon), stakeholders, and patrons, and igniting the passion of cinema-lovers from far and wide.  We will update the public with current news periodically on this web page and through our social media channels.


Taking on the Tower project in a  post-pandemic arts recovery climate is ambitious. Still, SLFS firmly commits to visioning for the Tower’s next 100 years. Our goal is for the Tower to be Salt Lake Film Society’s premiere film venue for director/actor Q&A’s, cultural and environmental films, panel discussions, archival film access, and various SLFS film programs that support the appreciation for the motion picture arts. We are home to the largest video/DVD archive collection in Utah. The Tower is made by community for community, and will remain accessible to all, a movie house and visiting center where people can learn about and talk about their love of cinema.  


  1. Tower Marquee: 

The Tower Marquee was retrofitted to repair the rain leaks, protect new electrical installations, and to improve the rain/weathering.  This repair can only be seen from the top of the marquee, but was essential. 

  1. Rain Gutters: 

New rain gutters were installed, allowing for more efficient drainage from the rooftop, assisting with water collection and leaking issues.  

  1. Roofing repairs

Along with rain gutter repairs, roofing repairs have taken place that have sealed the exterior. 

  1. Interior sealing: 

Interior sealing of brick, concrete and water entry points has been completed 

  1. Lobby: 

Demolition of the lobby has been completed, allowing access to plumbing and electrical that will be needed for a new lobby layout as well as planning steps towards an ADA accessible bathroom. 


At this time, we are reaching out to foundational donors. If you, your business or estate would like to be involved in the Tower Theatre: Next 100 Years project, please contact Marcie Collett at 

We can arrange a tour, answer your questions and introduce you to the community team working on the project.

Our sincere gratitude to all who have donated, who have engaged with us, and who continue to love the mission work at SLFS to exhibit, create, and preserve the cinematic experience. 

With love, 

SLFS staff, board, advisory committees, and volunteers at SLFS

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Guest Blog: José talks SLFS and Queer Cinema

José (he/they/them) identifies as a queer, Mexican, immigrant, educator, and film-buff. They currently serve as the Assistant Director for Community Engagement at the Thayne Center, Salt Lake Community College, where they help connect students to the many opportunities for service and engagement through community partners, and also oversee basic needs programs like the Bruin Pantry. In their free time, José can be found ingesting copious amounts of television, throwing a dinner party for their family and friends, traveling, camping, and of course catching the latest indie flick at the Broadway. 

“Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue”

“Growing up as an undocumented, queer, brown kid in Utah has not always been rainbows and butterflies. Media representations, especially in movies, of my life experiences have been hard to come by especially when I was coming out of the closet as an undergrad at the University of Utah. I would fill the evenings in my dorm room watching queer movies I had inconspicuously rented from the Tower Theater—ok, now I’m dating myself!

This is why Salt Lake Film Society has always had such a special place in my heart; it unlocked stories of what it meant to be queer, plus it gave me a community where I could feel safe to be myself and talk about the films I love. But it would be hard to list all the impactful queer films I’ve seen with SLFS, so I’ll just choose “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”.

a still from the queer cinema film played at SLFS, Brokeback Mountain
Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in the queer cinema classic, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

In terms of something old, in January 2006 after having wrapped up my first semester of college, I started hearing about a “controversial” film that some theaters in Salt Lake City were refusing to show. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005, dir. Ang Lee) was a pre-marriage equality film with two Hollywood stars (Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal) really going at it rough and raw—all puns intended. This immediately piqued my interest, not to mention that SLFS was proudly showing the film in their theaters.

Although I was horrified by the brutal ending which depicted a violent hate crime ultimately leading to the protagonist’s death, this was one of the first times I had seen same-sex love and sex on a big screen.  From then on, I wanted more stories that depicted something closer to my lived experiences.

A new film I look forward to experiencing again on the big screen is ROTTING IN THE SUN (2023, dir. Sebastian Silva). During its Sundance premiere which I saw at the Broadway, this film’s penis and gay sex filled scenes were all the buzz. Well, it did not disappoint! Be ready to see every kind of penis under the sun in the first 30 minutes, before making a sharp left and being delivered into a thrilling story about the cover up of an accidental murder.

Playing a frenzied domestic worker, Catalina Saavedra thrusts this film forward— I could not help but to think of my mom who has worked various housekeeping jobs in the city— and provides the perfect foil to the nihilistic, suicidal protagonist. Queer or hetero, young and old, everyone who has seen the film has been captured by its whacky charm (and hopefully SLFS is able to pick it up when it comes out in September!).

For something borrowed (again from Sundance) and something blue, I want to celebrate how far the diversity of lived experiences has come in queer cinema. TANGERINE (2015, dir. Sean Baker) and MOONLIGHT (2016, dir. Barry Jenkins) each touched my heart in different ways. TANGERINE tells a story of true friendship through the eyes of two transgendered Black and Brown sex workers in the streets of L.A. Not only was this movie completely filmed on the streets with iPhones, but Sean Baker has gone on to make extraordinary, award-nominated, indie films about people living on the edge, including THE FLORIDA PROJECT and RED ROCKET.

a still from the queer cinema movie Moonlight
Trevante Rhodes and André Holland in the Oscar-winning MOONLIGHT

With melodic, blue delivery, MOONLIGHT takes us through different stages of the protagonist’s life as he is met with violence for being his authentic self. The liberation he experiences through vulnerability against a hyper-masculine, homophobic society is a lesson that I continue to enact in different ways in my own life.

Queer cinema has come a very long way from the cliché coming of age stories with cisgender, white, male protagonists having oh so many will-they-won’t-they moments. Salt Lake Film Society creates a space and community for folx like me to feel seen and heard. The exploration of gender, sexuality, and identity through film is one with growing voices and perspectives, and I’m excited to keep coming back to the big screen as we continue to celebrate queer, trans, BiPoC independent stories for queers to come!”

Supporting and Showcasing Queer Cinema – SLFS

At Salt Lake Film Society, we are proud to exhibit a wide variety of queer cinema and stories to our Salt Lake City community, both during Pride month, and during all the other months too.

If you value these kinds of stories, and your community’s access to them, please consider supporting us! All donations received before July 15th will be matched through a generous offer from a local family foundation. Donate or join the Red Carpet Club during this matching period and see your support of SLFS and queer cinema doubled during this matching period!

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.

SLFS: Putting Classic Movies Back In Theaters

Like any engaging form of art, film is a medium that is often defined and disseminated through its most classic works. Whether defining the genre of the time and influencing works of the future, or achieving renown only in hindsight after being popularized by the next generation, “classic” movies have always existed as vital storytelling pieces for everything from entire countries, to entire generations.

At Salt Lake Film Society, repertory films and classic movies are a crucial part of our programming repertoire. While there are incredible independent films being released all the time (many of which we are lucky enough to show at the Broadway), for many people, classic movies are the driving force behind their love of film and the impactful connection they have with it. And what better way to re-experience the magic of these classics than how they were intended: on the big screen?

Keep reading to learn why seeing a classic movie on the big screen matters (or click here to view our Summer Showdown schedule of classic movies at the Broadway this summer!). And don’t forget; until July 15th, all donations will be matched through a generous offer from a local family foundation. So if you value access to independent film and things like seeing classic movies on the big screen, this is the perfect time to show us your support! Click here to see our progress so far, and make your own contribution!

What Exactly is a Classic Movie?

While there is no official definition, it’s not exactly easy to qualify what is considered a classic. It could be an Oscar-laden adventure trilogy integral to pop-culture, or a dated love story full of big-name stars during their younger years, or even a low-budget horror flick that achieves “cult” status in the modern Internet age. 

a picture of Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, and John Goodman in the classic movie The Big Lebowski
Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, and John Goodman in the The Big Lebowski, part of the 2023 Summer Showdown lineup

The definition of a “classic” movie is often defined less by its content or fame and more by its staying power through the years, both in our minds and our culture. It’s the iconic stories, whose themes and outcomes still feel relevant even upwards of 70 years after a film’s release. It’s the iconic performances from Hollywood legends or unknown actors announcing their skill to the world. It’s the extremes, both the extremely good and the extremely bad, that still get parodied on sketch shows and quoted between colleagues.

There is no reliable formula for making a classic movie, especially when it comes to cult classics, as they seem to become popular despite themselves, which makes their nostalgic success even more unpredictable. Even the very nature of a classic means that people won’t definitively know if it qualifies as a classic until years later, and like with any art form, ambiguity and personal taste play a big part. Similarly to how the Supreme Court defined pornography in 1964, it’s hard to describe and specifically define, but many people know it when they see it.

Capturing the Magic of Classic Movies, In Theaters

However, like any classic in any other artistic medium, watching a classic movie nowand trying to “recapture” the authentic magic and the power it brought to both initial and later audiences isn’t so easy. For example, while many of us know works of art from the Renaissance era, most of us have only seen a photo of the Mona Lisa painting or the Michaelangelo statue of David, and only in a digital era long past the widespread fame of painting and sculptures. 

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey doing the iconic lift in the classic movie Dirty Dancing
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey doing the iconic lift in Dirty Dancing, another classic entry in our 2023 Summer Showdown lineup

While the era of film fame is alive and well today, the power of the big screen and a packed audience in a dark theater is unfortunately much easier to miss out on. And trying to experience the authenticity of a classic film when it’s streamed to your TV in your living room is akin to appreciating the Mona Lisa through a small image on your phone.

Getting to watch (or more likely, re-watch) these cinematic milestones on the big screen, sharing in a nostalgia trip with total strangers, and for many, re-living the magic of watching a classic when it first came out (and when it wasn’t even a classic yet) can be a powerful, and even emotional experience for many people. Classic movies have always been something that we have shared with both those close to us, and with those we don’t even know. Their staying power in our society and our communicative culture has always had the capacity to bring us closer together. And SLFS is proud to offer these classic movies in theaters to our Salt Lake City community.

See Classic Movies at SLFS Summer Showdown!

If classic movies are as important to you as they are to us, come down to the Broadway on a Friday or Saturday this summer, and see a film on the big screen that will take you on a little trip down memory lane. Or if you haven’t seen some of these classics before, there is truly no better way to experience them than on the big screen! Vote for your favorite film of our summer selections with your ticket purchase to the film, or any film-specific donations you want to provide by finding the poster in the Broadway lobby, scan the QR code of your favorite film, and donate if you want to see that film win! 

And don’t forget; until July 15th, all donations will be matched through a generous offer from a local family foundation. So if you value access to independent film and things like seeing classic movies on the big screen, this is the perfect time to show us your support! Click here to see our progress so far, and make your own contribution!

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.

What Non-Profit Volunteering With SLFS Means

As the home of independent film in Utah, Salt Lake Film Society has been proudly offering access to unique visual stories on the big screen for over two decades. Being a non-profit organization, SLFS relies on community members and film-fans alike to volunteer and support our front of house staff in providing a welcoming art-house cinema experience. Our volunteers come from all across the Salt Lake valley and beyond, and everything they do helps to fulfill our mission and provide you with a great experience at our theaters. 

Why Volunteers Are Important to SLFS

a photo of non-profit SLFS volunteer Celeste Blodgett
SLFS volunteer, Celeste Blodgett

From helping people purchase tickets at the door, to supporting  our Red Carpet Club events and special screenings, our volunteers play a pivotal part in helping us show the films that you know and love. We make sure to recognize the effort and involvement of every volunteer, from free movie tickets to special access to certain events and screenings. But for many SLFS volunteers, it’s not just the perks that encourage them to support our theater and mission. For some, like frequent and more-recent volunteer, Celeste Blodgett, their dedication stems from the contributions they are making to independent film in Utah as a whole.

“I love being a part of something bigger than myself, and cinema is a perfect example of that. There is a real effort on the part of SLFS to highlight voices from communities often forgotten by the box office. By putting films like these on the big screen, SLFS is providing the greater Salt Lake City community an opportunity to learn new things, feel extraordinary emotions, and cherish all sorts of stories.” Blodgett commented.

“It takes so many people to make a movie, and it takes so many people to run a theater that showcases independent film, especially in our current age of streaming and constant recycling of IP (intellectual property). Volunteering at SLFS makes me feel like I am contributing in my own small way to keeping cinema alive,” continued Blodgett.

a photo of non-profit volunteer Taylor Kelley holding her dog
SLFS volunteer, Taylor Kelley

For others, like long-time volunteer and even longer-time patron Taylor Kelley, their engagement is fueled by the cherished memories and experiences they’ve had at Broadway Centre Cinemas, and the important part they play in creating those experiences for others. 

“I enjoyed seeing movies and going to events at the Broadway even before becoming a volunteer 5 years ago. I really love being a part of the people who create the Broadway “experience”, where you can see art-house films, as well as go to special events that actually feature the actors, directors and writers [who made these films],” Kelley remarked. 

Why YOU Should Volunteer at SLFS

SLFS volunteers are key contributors to the personal experience you receive each time you come to our theater. It fills us with pride to hear volunteers talk about what their involvement means to them, because SLFS feels the same way. “As a non-profit, we are lucky to be able to utilize community volunteers,” said Amy-Beth Aste, Director of Theater Operations at SLFS.

“We’ve worked with many dedicated volunteers over the past 20 years. Volunteers have almost always been the first point of contact [at the theater], helping patrons, supporting front of house staff, and of course sharing our non-profit story everyday. Event volunteers have always been a great support for galas, opening nights, and special events, not to mention they usually get to go to fun events too!” Aste continued. 

“Where else can you receive free movie tickets doing something you love?”

Taylor Kelley, SLFS Volunteer

As much as our volunteers help us, Salt Lake Film Society takes some pride in being a good place to volunteer and offering some sweet perks. “We are a pretty fun organization to be involved with!” Aste exclaimed. “[The Broadway] is a great place to volunteer. You get to see lots of films, and if you’re someone who loves movies, you will quickly meet other people to talk to about the ones you like. Over the years, SLFS volunteers have become friends with each other, and even formed groups that go to movies together, so it’s also a great place to meet like minded people.” 

Become a Non-Profit Volunteer with SLFS Today

We are always looking for new people to join our non-profit team. But don’t just take it from us; here’s what current volunteers have to say about why YOU should consider volunteering with SLFS:

“Where else can you receive free movie tickets doing something you love? I would encourage anyone who enjoys movies and people to join our team of volunteers.” – Taylor Kelley

“You should volunteer with SLFS if you love movies and people who love movies! Volunteer to give to an outstanding organization, to get to know incredible employees and patrons, and access remarkable films of course. Volunteering connects you to your community like nothing else- get to know the cinephiles in the city and help out SLFS while you’re at it!” – Celeste Blodgett.

If you value your access to independent film, and you value the unique and underrepresented stories we offer at SLFS, consider joining our volunteer team, and playing a starring role in supporting  independent film in Salt Lake City. Click here to apply for our volunteer program today, or send an email to for any questions about volunteering.

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.

SLFS Staff on Valentine’s Day: Romantic (And Potentially Comedic) Picks

Love and romantic relationships have always held a special place in the world of visual storytelling, from the earliest on-stage stories of Shakespeare, to the romantic (and romantic-comedy) films that populate the world of cinema. With Valentine’s Day, the holiday of courtship and romance, right around the corner, what better way for Salt Lake Film Society to celebrate the power of love and film (and honor Saint Valentine) than discussing our favorite romantic/romantic-comedy films? 

While these films are often more entertaining and absurd than they are true to the real-life relationships we celebrate on Valentine’s Day, the drama of romance and the often-happy endings they portray always seem to inject us with a bit of hope and optimism about our own lives, romantic or otherwise.

As Jason Sudeikis’s character remarks in the hit Apple TV series Ted Lasso, he believes in “rom-communism”. “If all those attractive people can go through some light-hearted struggles and still end up happy, then so can we! Believing in rom-communism is all about believing that everything’s gonna work out in the end.” So take a look at what the SLFS Staff picked for their favorite romantic films, and see what stories make us believe that everything will (or won’t) work out in the end.  

Our Staff Picks for This Valentine’s Day

CITY LIGHTS (1931) – Tori Baker, President/CEO

A still of Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill in City Lights, the perfect film for Valentine's Day
Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill in City Lights
  • “The last shot of City Lights is simply one of the most heartbreaking film shots of any love story. The last line “Yes, I can see now?” and its complex meaning makes the shot a masterpiece. The hilarious journey of the Tramp falling in love with a blind flower girl — who believes he’s a wealthy patron — is a “must” in the staple of unusual romance stories. This one takes us on a journey that both affirms the best of humanity, and also slaps us with the complexities of our social strata in America.”

ADDICTED TO LOVE (1997)Stephen Simmons, Associate Director of Production

  • “‘90’s Roms Coms are my guilty pleasure (my runner up was HIGH FIDELITY). The one that stands out most is ADDICTED TO LOVE. Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick are the perfect anti-heroes in this neurotic love story. Have you ever had your heart broken? Have you ever wanted to get revenge? This playful and hilarious black comedy pushes the boundaries of what one might do for love (or lack of). This is one of those films that is a comfort if you are down in the dumps. or just got dumped. If you have any symptoms of a broken heart, this might be your Valentine’s cure.”

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) – Rachel Getts, Associate Director of Digital Content

  • “IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT has everything: Enemies to lovers? Check. Rich vs. poor? Check. Witty sexy banter? Check. This ’30s classic has just the right mixture of humor and romance.  Gable and Colbert are such a killer pairing.  From their first meeting it is without a doubt that these two are made for each other-if they could just get out of their own way.  A must-watch every year.” 

DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) – Marcie Collett, Associate Director of Development

  • “I actually love watching romances fail more than succeed, especially if a woman is mostly in charge, as Barbara Stanwyck is in DOUBLE INDEMNITY, or Joan Crawford in MILDRED PIERCE, or Bette Davis in THE LITTLE FOXES. I do enjoy the romantic success of Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis in SOME LIKE IT HOT, but really I’m happy for Jack Lemmon as he finds the most understanding lover who in the end tells him, “Nobody’s perfect.” Also Cher and Nicholas Cage in MOONSTRUCK have the most iconic romantic slap and line, “Snap out of it!” Finally, I just love Kyle in TERMINATOR when he says “I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you. I always have.”

HITCH (2005) – Jesse Sindelar, Development Manager

A still of Will Smith and Kevin James in the movie Hitch, a film perfect for Valentine's Day
Will Smith and Kevin James in Hitch
  • “For many film fans, the “rom-com” is a guilty pleasure, a bit of corny junk food to supplement the larger film palette. When it comes to HITCH though, for me there’s no guilt involved. It has all the rom-com tropes executed to stylish perfection: beautiful and charming people who struggle to make it work as they learn more about each other, slight miscommunications that hold the entire plot together, quality physical comedy between Will Smith and Kevin James, and a happy, heartfelt ending that makes all the corn and self-sabotaging failures worth it. This film makes you actually believe that love is right around the corner if you just try hard enough, or if you give a well-timed and passionate monologue full of emotional truths and clever metaphors. Plus, seeing Will Smith drunk on Benadryl is a wish I never knew I had.”

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004) – Susan Tive, Head of Philanthropy 

  • “Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry teamed up to create one of my favorite romantic comedies. Released in 2004, Eternal Sunshine stars Jim Carey and Kate Winslet playing Joel and Clementine, lovers who break up and attempt to make that final by erasing each other from their memories through a new scientific procedure. While they hope that a spotless mind will eliminate the past and thus the painful moments of their relationship, the film shows us that love, and its associated moments and memories become essential parts of who we are and that what connects us to one another remains indelible whether we choose to pay attention to it or not.”

Art House Films in Salt Lake City – SLFS

At Salt Lake Film Society, we love a good story on the big screen, whether it’s a love story or not. The emotion that films make us feel sits at the heart of what makes us human, and love is one of the most powerful emotions of them all. While these staff selections might not all have the happy endings or light-hearted, positive emotions you want out of a love story, we hope they offer some interesting insight into the wide variety of romantic (and romantically-comedic) films out there, and maybe even provide a good movie to watch for your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Find some Valentine’s Day cards for your favorite movie-goer from SLFS here.

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.

Valentine’s at SLFS

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon (or some us just consider it any other day, which is cool) so here’s some SLFS offerings available to all.

Need a film to watch? You can find staff recommendations in our latest blog entry here:

Marquee which says SLFS STAFF RECOMMENDS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY" in black and red text with paper hearts flowing up the right side.

Also you can find the films mentioned in this blog on our Letterboxd here:

SLFS is on Letterboxd! Follow us there for more movie recommendations.

And finally here’s some SLFS themed Valentine’s Day cards that you can give to your favorite movie-goer:

SLFS Staff: The Crowd, The Audience, and White Noise

At Salt Lake Film Society, we take a lot of pride in providing access to the movie theater experience. For many films and visual stories, the very nature of their production and exhibition is designed to be watched on the big screen, shared in a movie theater with others. In our blog this week, we hear from Landon Adams, Theater Manager at Broadway Centre Cinemas, and how his experience watching White Noise was enhanced through the movie theater experience.

“Watching a film in a theater is a profound sensory experience. We become entranced by both the screen in front of us, and the audience surrounding us. In Noah Baumbach’s White Noise, characters speak of the supermarket as a spiritual haven, a temple broadcasting soothing psychic data composed of words, images, colors and sounds. The cinema’s function is the very same. 

Adams, standing in front of the White Noise poster and posing somewhat similarly to Jack Gladney (Adam Driver)

The plot of the film concerns the exploits of the blended Gladney family. The main protagonist, J.A.K. Gladney (played by Adam Driver), is a professor of Hitler studies, who in an early scene waxes poetically to a group of wide-eyed college students about the allure of the crowd. They hang onto his every word on topics ranging from “deathward” plots, to mob mentality and the power of the collective. Their awe feeds into Jack’s sense of immortality in an unwitting ritual that summons the dark cloud of Jack’s tentative demise and sets the wheels of our story in motion.

It’s in the aforementioned lecture that Jack, pointing out into the lecture hall, singles out a terrified student as a member of the future dead. We see this moment in a POV shot, from the viewpoint of the student. Jack Gladney points directly into the camera, pointing at both the student, and projected overhead on a 45 foot screen, pointing into the theater at us. If we were watching this on TV, we might miss that throughout the film Jack is aware of us, speaks to us, asking us in states between wakefulness and dreaming, “Who are you?” So attuned to the crowd, he senses us even when alone in his room in the dead of night.

For the duration of the movie we are invited into various crowded scenes: An overstuffed home, a bustling campus, evacuation camps, supermarkets, even roadways; traffic stretching out past the horizon toward infinity. The characters’ relation to these crowds is ever-shifting. Sometimes they are leaders, sometimes members. They often look to these crowds to measure themselves and source how they should feel, or how they should act. They find comfort in crowds, a sense of subconscious immortality borne out of an esoteric reinforcement, the comfort from “the collective”.

The film opens with a monologue over a montage of car crash stunts. The monologue asserts that these crashes are a highlight reel, representing innovation and optimism. This opening contextualizes what happens later in the film while Jack is driving down the highway. In the midst of a crisis our cast witnesses an accident, or at least the children do. When it happens, Jack is looking away.

Again we see the action as a POV shot, this time inhabiting the viewpoint of Jack’s children. A car rushes into the frame, overturning in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, and when it occurs, Jack is looking away, into the camera, as if watching for  our reaction, to determine from us, the audience, how he should feel.

A still from the film White Noise, a movie shown at the Broadway theater in SLC
A variety of shots in White Noise achieve their true visual and communicative power only when seen on a 45-foot screen in a dark room with strangers.

The movie theater provides a communal experience, often complex and of multi-dimensions. We gather under the flashing lights of the big screen and allow ourselves to sink into the story, letting our  worries fall away across a paltry runtime. Sharing this with an audience makes the spell all the more potent. The people surrounding us help transform the experience by virtue of their presence and individual experiences.

It’s these fellow movie-goers, these crowds of eager enthusiasts, who  breathe life into a film, and ground us in the experience. It’s our physical presence with others that creates and completes this unwitting ritual, just as in the film. Acting as kindred travelers on the cinematic highway, we escape down reality’s off-ramp toward the open-road comfort of the surreal, where together we are immortal beneath the silver screen of the theater.”

Thank You And a Happy New Year From SLFS

2022 Is Nearly Gone, But The Memories Live On

Hello independent film fanatics, and congratulations on making it through another year! As we all worked our hardest to make it through the days, months, and year of 2022 whole, many of us found support and solace in film, and the incredible visual stories that we are engaged in. Whether exploring the multiverse to appreciate the true value of life and kindness in Everything Everywhere All at Once, or enjoying a quirky couple’s love for volcanoes and each other in Fire of Love, or learning more about those who are hearing-impaired and the beautiful burden of family in CODA, we have screened many beautiful and breathtaking stories at the Broadway in 2022.

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Perhaps you got one of the last tickets to a Rocky Horror Picture Show accompanied by live performers, or maybe you were the only one in the theater to see a captivating, foreign independent film on a Tuesday afternoon; Salt Lake Film Society is proud and privileged to exhibit all kinds of incredible stories for the Salt Lake City community, all supported by dedicated patrons like you.

Supporting Independent Film in 2023 With SLFS

If you’ve enjoyed your experiences at the Broadway, and if you value the type and quality of films you see with SLFS, please consider supporting us! Join the Red Carpet Club, or make a donation online right now at, or at the theater the next time you see a film; even better, make a donation before Sunday and reduce your taxable income for the coming year! Every dollar supports our mission to exhibit, engage, and educate the Salt Lake City community through independent film. We couldn’t do it without you.

a photo of some the SLFS staff and board in their office in downtown Salt Lake City


Some the SLFS staff and board members at the SLFS office

From our Salt Lake Film Society family to yours, thank you for engaging with diverse stories and supporting independent cinema in Salt Lake City, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2023!

Holiday Hours 2022

It’s the holiday season! We have some changes in our hours at the Broadway:

  • Christmas Eve 12/24 & New Year’s Eve 12/31 the Broadway will close early at 8 pm.
  • We will have regular hours on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
  • Tickets are on sale for all films at

Happy Holidays to Everyone from SLFS!

SLFS Staff: Holiday Picks 2022

In Salt Lake City, the holiday season is a time of joy, compassion, and nostalgia. Whether you are spending time with family and friends, or  enjoying the snowy slopes and warm drinks, this time of year is about loving traditions and memories as well as making new ones. Whether it’s the holiday movie you watched every year as a family, or going out to your local theater on Christmas Day, film has a special place in many of our hearts during this festive period. 

At Salt Lake Film Society, our staff also have a special place for movies in their hearts during the holiday season. From all-time holiday classics, to obscure independent films, to the never-ending debate on whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, our love of film and cinema doesn’t take time off for the holidays. Check out the wide variety of picks and preferences that SLFS  staff enjoy during this time of year and who knows, maybe you will find a new title to add to your family holiday movie tradition!

TOKYO GODFATHERS (2003)Tori Baker, President/CEO

    • “Consider starting a tradition of viewing the masterwork Tokyo Godfathers, a tale that will take you on a sentimental journey that might just also break your heart in the best way possible—the way that makes you want to pursue more understanding of humanity and it’s complexities.”

AUNTIE MAME (1958) – Marcie Collett, Associate Director of Development

    • “During holidays – or whenever I’m in need of inspiration on abundance and fabulousness – I treat myself to Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame. Mame’s memoir is Live, Live, Live!, and her motto is: “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving.”

a still of gremlins caroling from the holiday movie Gremlins
GREMLINS (1984) is actually a Christmas movie, complete with Gremlin carolers!

GREMLINS (1984) – Rachel Getts, Associate Director of Digital Content 

    • “A classic funny alternative holiday movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  The gremlin bar scene alone is a bizarre surreal hilarious mess. Wouldn’t change a thing.”

SCROOGED (1988) – Stephen Simmons, Associate Director of Production

    • “I watch this film every year. It never gets old. It’s got everything. The cast is a 90’s comedy dream team. It’s spooky, sarcastic and filled with Christmas spirit(s). The speech Frank Cross (Murray) gives at the end makes me tear up…..every damn time.”

CAROL (2015) – Ally Lantz, Theater Operations Manager

    • “One of my favorite films that is altogether beautiful and heartbreaking (and also happens to have a Christmas road trip involved). In other words, be sad, do gay, and Merry Christmas.”

A PISTOL FOR RINGO (1965) – Landon Adams, Theater Operations Manager

    • “Have you ever watched a spaghetti western and thought “This would be improved with a Christmas theme?” Well A PISTOL FOR RINGO exists anyway. It opens with two men meeting in the center of town at high noon, hands near their gun belts. One moves fast, offering his hand: “Merry Christmas, Jack”.”

RECKLESS (1995) – Brandon Suisse,  Associate Director of Development

    • “A bizarre and largely forgotten dark comedy for anyone who has ever been overwhelmed by the relentless giddiness of the holiday season. While the satire may not feel scalding (or coherent) enough for some, it ultimately arrives somewhere that’s unexpectedly un-pessimistic. This unpolished gem of a movie is a must-see for Grinches everywhere–if you can find a copy.”

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) – Jesse Sindelar, Development Manager

    • “An established holiday tradition for many, it’s also the blueprint for most holiday movie storylines: not appreciating what you have until it’s gone. I’ve cried at the end of every watch, and I’ll keep on crying in the future. Merry Christmas you wonderful old Building and Loan!”

SLEEPER (1973) – Susan Tive, Head of Development

    • “As a child, my Jewish family’s Christmas tradition was dinner at a Chinese restaurant followed by a movie. In 1973, it was SLEEPER, Woody Allen’s dystopian comedy which became for me one of those cinematic treasures I summon again and again and when I do, I’m still a kid too young to get the punchlines but not yet too old to delight in the memories of my parents’ laughter.” 

THE FAMILY STONE (2005) – Amy Beth Aste, Head of Theater Operations

    • “The actors alone make me nostalgic, Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, Claire Danes, Craig T. Nelson, Paul Schneider, all actors I loved in the 90’s! They come together in one story of a family that deserves your suspension of disbelief and will make you laugh, cry, and want to learn sign language.”

TANGERINE (2015) – Daniel de Santiago,  Front of House Staff

    • “My love for this holiday film goes not just towards its hilarious dialogue, but how the film was captured. Sean Baker is amazing in how he documents his scenes, they feel more like a documentary then a scripted film, it’s excellent directing. Plus, the first line in this film is “Merry Christmas B***H”.”

POLAR EXPRESS (2014) – Sophie Nielsen,  Front of House Staff

    • “All aboard, and hold on TIGHTLY! I make my family watch POLAR EXPRESS every Christmas. Everything about it is magical: the scenery, the music, the friendship, the actual magic, and the fact that they only had to hire one voice actor (Tom Hanks).”

a still of Olivia Hussey in Black Christmas, a holiday slasher from 1974
Olivia Hussey in Black Christmas (1974)


BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) – Patrick Charles, Theater Operations Manager

    • “An amazing proto-slasher movie directed by Bob Clark that mixes tons of laughs with extremely dark Christmas-themed mayhem. Clark would go on to direct, A CHRISTMAS STORY, which is quite similar to BLACK CHRISTMAS, minus the obscene phone calls and murders.” 


A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984) – Guy Wheatley, Head Projectionist

    • “When it comes to epitomizing the character, George C. Scott *is* Ebenezer Scrooge. You believe his every caustic remark about Christmas, and his redemption is the most poignantly reminiscent of Scott’s own career. This Christmas Carol is the only Dickens you need.”

JUST FRIENDS (2005) – Abby Derrick,  Front of House Staff

    • “Reminds me of long winter nights spent with my sisters. Every Christmas Eve, we’d stay up all night watching this over and over, the jokes getting funnier with every watch. It’s the perfectly funny movie to ring in the new year.”

MIXED NUTS (1994) – Zoey Wiltsey, Event Manager

    • “For me, the holiday season doesn’t really start until I’ve watched Mixed Nuts. It’s been a tradition since early adolescence. I love Nora Ephron’s dark sense of humor and I find the 90’s sensibilities very comforting around this time of year.”

Holiday Films at SLFS

We hope the variety of seasonal movies and personal experiences shared by our staff add some cinematic perspective to your holiday season (and maybe even some inspiration for the next holiday movie night!).

At Salt Lake Film Society, we can’t think of a better present for the people you love then the gift of cinema. Consider sharing and supporting access to quality independent film this holiday season, with a gift membership to our Red Carpet Club!

Find this holiday list on Letterboxd! We have curated lists from SLFS Staff there, including the films mentioned in this post, here.