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Overwhelming Support From the Concord Community Lets Red River Theatres Come Alive

By Elisha Neubauer

The 1948 John Wayne Western film Red River details an epic, seemingly impossible journey which was successfully completed by the film's main characters. As an independent blockbuster film, the name seemed befitting of the Concord community's beloved project, to create an art-house cinema in the state capital.

After the closure of the community's cinema, a group of varied citizens banded together with one goal in mind- to bring independent film back to the downtown area. After a 7-year community effort and a $1.8 million capital campaign, Red River Theatres opened its doors on October 19, 2007. The state of the art theater boasted three screens and was built and designed by the notable Sheerr McCrystal Palson Architects of New London.

"It is recognized as a beautiful and intimate space, unrivaled in the region for its aesthetic appeal," states Katie A. Mosher, Events and Marketing Manager for Red River Theatres.

Located in the lower level of the Capital Commons on Main Street, right in the heart of downtown Concord, the theater itself is a self-contained 8,500 square feet. It is equipped with Dolby digital sound and Christie digital projection systems. The two larger cinemas are completed with stadium seating, while the smaller cinema is flexibly designed with 48 removable seats.

"This allows us to host workshops, special showings, receptions and other art-related functions," Mosher details. "It is a comfortable, inviting, and eclectic space, but we always encourage people to see the space for yourselves and come on down for a movie! For being an art house theater, Red River has an unpretentious and very accepting environment, and our staff members pride themselves on being film fans who are caring and hard-working, too!"

The theater is unlike the big box theaters that dot the state's cities and towns. "As a non-profit, all our revenue goes back to enhancing the theater experience and advancing our mission," Mosher explains. "The theater's mission is 'to present film and the discussion of film as a way to entertain, broaden horizons and deepen appreciation of life for audiences of all ages.'"

Because of this mission, Red River offers a diverse program of first-run independent films, cult favorites, classics, local and regional film projects, foreign films and lots of discussion. "Conversation and civic engagement are at the heart of what makes Red River so popular in the community and so important to the New Hampshire cultural scene," she says.

In addition to the state of the art cinema set up, the theater hosts a unique concession stand called The Indie Cafe, which offers beer, wine, sandwiches by The Works, Mitchell's Salsa and Chips, coffee and locally-made chocolates in addition to great popcorn and soda offerings. Also within the walls of the space is a small art gallery that offers local artists the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work to theater patrons, members, and donors monthly.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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