Share this project


Share this project

Photo original
New pledges are still welcome to help us optimize your filmgoing experience and spruce up our cozy theater!
Created by

Paul Van Ness

1,023 backers pledged $68,895 to help bring this project to life.

Two Free Upcoming Shows for our Awesome Backers

1 like

Dear loyal backers:

We've got a couple of cool free shows at CinemaSalem for you. This first is this Friday night at 10:30 pm when we'll be presenting The Birdcage, Mike Nichols' funny and poignant film adaptation of the French farce, La Cage aux Folles. Britain's Film4 calls it: "Colourful, camp, beautifully acted and brimming with gags." To enjoy this awesome film, just flash your CinemaSalem Backer keycard (or bring some other evidence of backer-hood) and we'll let you and a friend, or your entire immediate family in for free.

Then the next morning, Saturday, June 21 at 10 am, you're invited to a free screening of one of the sensations of this year's Salem Film Fest, The Human Scale, which examines a movement of architects and city planners around the world who are creating beautiful, intimate, and comfortable spaces inside urban centers. Their ideas are provocative and exciting, and it's a film that's not to be missed. 

This film is just, flat-out, free, so don't even bother bringing your keycard, unless you just want to look cool. Please feel free to bring all your friends.


Next Free Backer Show is Sunday!

1 like

Hi loyal Backers:

Our free Backer show this month is 2001: A Space Odyssey, screening this Sunday night, January 19 at 8:30 pm. With the Monday MLK Day Holiday the next day, this is another "stay up late" event.

The film originally premiered on January 1, 1968, and drew a rave from The New Yorker: "Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is some sort of great film, and an unforgettable endeavor. Technically and imaginatively, what he put into it is staggering." Emmauel Levy writes: "The most influential sci-fi film ever made, 2001 caused culture shock when released, forever changing the conventions, style, and prestige of the previously debased genre." The Chicago Tribune posits the final word: "It is an extraordinary, obsessive, beautiful work of art."

This special screening is offered free of charge to our Kickstarter Backers and to Friends of CinemaSalem. Just flash your Kickstarter Keycard or Friend Card at the box office for free admission for you and your immediate family or for you and a friend.

If you'd like to see this classic film and you're not a backer, tickets are available at our normal, reasonable prices.

Thanks again.

Paul V

Happy Anniversary - and the next free show!


Dear loyal Backers:

It's exactly one year ago today that our Save CinemaSalem Kickstarter campaign launched. In 12 days we reached our goal, thanks to your generous contributions, and now, consequently, we have wonderful digital projection and sound systems that look and sound awesome.

So thank you!

Our next Free Backer Screening is this Saturday, December 7 at 11 am, when we present the holiday classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas, about which the Los Angeles Times writes: "Part avant-garde art film, part amusing but morbid fairy tale, it is a delightfully ghoulish holiday musical that displays more inventiveness in its brief 75 minutes than some studios can manage in an entire year."

So bring your keycard and either your immediate family or a friend, and enjoy this wonderful movie for free.

Thanks again, and see you Saturday.

Paul V

Casablanca on Sunday Night! Free for Backers!

1 like

Hi Backers:

Thanks again for your awesome support in converting CinemaSalem to digital projection. Our next "free-to-Backers" event is this Sunday, November 10 at 8:30 pm, when we present a rare big-screen showing of Casablanca. The Hollywood Reporter concluded a survey of film history with this sentiment: "Across seven decades, the Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman starrer has emerged as Americans' default favorite movie."

Bring your keycard for free admission for you and either one friend, or your immediate family. Non-Backers can attend, paying our regular, reasonable admission price.

While we're on that subject, I've received many messages from Backers asking if it's possible for friends and neighbors to still become CinemaSalem Backers. Technically, it's not possible, but we do have a new program that allows people to support CinemaSalem and enjoy access to these free Backer specials. It's called "Friend of CinemaSalem", a yearly subscription that helps us improve the movie theater while providing individuals with access to all the ongoing Backer perks. You can find out more by stopping in at the box office. Already, several Backers have purchases "Friend of CinemaSalem" subscriptions as gifts for friends.

Thanks again for your support, and keep your eyes open for our free December screening of a film which is in everyone's Top Three Holiday Movies of All Time, The Nightmare Before Christmas. We'll send you the date and time shortly.

Thanks again.

Paul V

PS: If you like ballet, you might want to attend tomorrow night's 7 pm presentation of the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater's amazing production of Swan Lake 3D. While this is not a free event for Backers, it is a great example of the sort of scintillating alternative programming that your support of digital projection and sound has made possible. 

Two More Free Shows for Our Kickstarter Backers


Hi loyal backers:

Our Kickstarter-Backer free screenings are getting to be quite a hit, and we've got two more on tap! The first is tomorrow, Friday, October 18 at 8:00 pm, when we present James Cameron's awesome, seven-time Oscar-nominated, feminist, science-fiction classic, Aliens. The film sports a 96% positive rating on, including raves like "Absolutely smashing!" from, and this from the Los Angeles Times: "It's blaster action, not Gothic future-horror. Fortunately, director-screenwriter James Cameron has shaped his film around the defiant intelligence and sensual athleticism of Sigourney Weaver, and that's where Aliens works best."

So that's tomorrow night at 8 am (or tonight if you're reading this Friday morning).

The second upcoming free-to-Backers screening is universally hailed as one of the best movie of all time. Here are the first two paragraphs of the original New York Times review published in 1942: "Against the electric background of a sleek cafe in a North African port, through which swirls a backwash of connivers, crooks and fleeing European refugees, the Warner Brothers are telling a rich, suave, exciting and moving tale in their new film, Casablanca, which came to the Hollywood yesterday. They are telling it in the high tradition of their hard-boiled romantic-adventure style. And to make it all the more tempting they have given it a top-notch thriller cast of Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Conrad Veldt and even Claude Rains

"Yes, indeed, the Warners here have a picture which makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap. For once more, as in recent Bogart pictures, they have turned the incisive trick of draping a tender love story within the folds of a tight topical theme. They have used Mr. Bogart's personality, so well established in other brilliant films, to inject a cold point of tough resistance to evil forces afoot in Europe today. And they have so combined sentiment, humor and pathos with taut melodrama and bristling intrigue that the result is a highly entertaining and even inspiring film."

Yes, it's Casablanca, which we'll be screening on Sunday, November 10 at 8:30, a stay-up-late screening perfectly timed to enjoy on the night before Veterans Day.

We hope you'll enjoy these free screenings, perks you've earned for your generous support of CinemaSalem's successful Kickstarter campaign.

Thanks again.

Paul V