Our History

Cinema Center was founded in 1976 by a dedicated group of film enthusiasts after The Spectator Theater, Fort Wayne's last art and specialty movie house (located on The Landing), lost its lease. Our first film was "The Big Sleep," the great film noir classic directed by Howard Hawks, a Hoosier born just down the road in Goshen, Indiana. The film was shown in the Fort Wayne Art School auditorium in West Central on September 11, 1976.

During its first 15 years, Cinema Center was an itinerant organization, finding homes as needed. After the Art School, movies were shown at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, the Allen County Public Library, One Summit Square, and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

In 1991, with the generous support of Arts United, the Foellinger Foundation, the Lincoln Foundation and many other organizations and individuals, Cinema Center found a home of its own in the Hall Community Arts Center at 437 E. Berry St. A permanent home allowed us to grow and step up to 35mm presentation. Our theater seats 141 and boasts bright, crisp projection and Dolby digital sound.

Today, after more than 35 years of great films and community service, we are more passionate than ever about the joyous, transformative powers of film. Cinema Center is still community owned and locally programmed, and we remain the only theater in Fort Wayne dedicated to showcasing film as an art form. For more information, e-mail us at
movies@cinemacenter.org.
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