BUCKSPORT — Northeast Historic Film (NHF), which operates the Alamo Theatre in Bucksport is happy to announce the receipt of a $5,200 grant from the Art House Convergence. The Art-House America Campaign aims to provide financial relief to struggling independent cinemas across the country so they can pay staff and their essential bills and survive until it is safe to reopen their doors.

In response to the threat posed by COVID-19 the Alamo closed its doors on March 14. “No date for re-opening has been set,” said NHF Executive Director David Weiss, “We will open the doors when it is safe to do so. Our seating area is so small that social distancing will shrink our capacity well below the breakeven point, so it may be a while.”

The Alamo Theatre originally opened in 1916 and showed movies until 1956 when it closed and was turned into the local A&P grocery store. NHF reopened the Alamo in 1999 and has been running weekly movies year-round since then.

“We consider ourselves a community theatre,” said Manager Jane Donnell. “We try to show films that appeal to all parts of the community and that includes art house films.”  “When we looked at the list of the top five art house films in 2019, we were surprised to see we had shown them all!” The top five were “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” “JoJo Rabbit,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Downton Abbey” and “Parasite.”

In normal times the Alamo also hosts meetings, concerts, and a variety of private rental events.  Those other events are on hold at present as well.

The grant from the Art House Convergence has enabled NHF to make a small payment to laid off theatre staff, will pay for repair work on the projector, and provide a nest egg for restocking all the concessions. “The Coke all went flat and we gave most of the candy away to the food pantry before it passed its sell-by date.  When it is time to reopen we will be freshly restocked, steam-cleaned and ready to go.” added Donnell.