"New love and an abiding presence" by Barb Wachtman


It was the fall of 1997 and I had just started dating “this new guy” who was sweeping me off my feet. I ran into then Cinema Center director Cathy Lee in a book store and told her about “this new guy.” Cathy immediately advised me to see Masayuki Suo’s new movie Shall We Dance. “It’s a great date movie,” she promises.

She wasn’t kidding! Sensuous, funny, hot, well-sculpted characters, a universal story told new and memorable. For many months after that Tom (this new guy) and I took sharp corners when walking, just like the protagonist’s up-tight boss in Dance. Even in public places. Isn’t it silly the things people do during new love? And we turned many sharp corners!

When I told my husband Tom – “this guy” and I married in 1998 – about remembering Shall We Dance, I walked in exaggerated sharp corners and we both laughed. Since Shall We Dance, we have seen countless movies at CC together, we have become patron members, attended fundraisers and bought memberships as Christmas gifts for Tom’s son.

Beyond giving us a great “date movie” early in our courtship, Cinema Center has given us the gamut of great art as film from thoughtful movies such as The Lives of Others to lifetime love stories such as Amour.

Cinema Center was there to launch our relationship and has remained an abiding presence. We still turn sharp corners occasionally and always share a smile after the turn. It’s what great art during special moments does: tattoo itself to your memory and, if you’re lucky, on your heart, too. 

Help Cinema Center go digital by donating to the Digital Projector Fund today.


Barb Wachtman is a passionate writer, communicator, community volunteer and Cubs fan. Like the cliche, she lives to laugh, learn and love. 

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"Worth our support" by Adie Baach

We have been fans and supporters of Cinema Center since its move to Clay Street. Recently, we saw "Renoir," a marvelous film to be seen nowhere else in Fort Wayne. That has always been Cinema Center's aim and place in our city: to show the finest independent films available, no matter their political correctness or their universal appeal. In our growing homogenous culture, this is a rare and noble aim. Surely worth our support!




Help Cinema Center go digital by donating to the Digital Projector Fund today.



Adie Baach is a past Cinema Center Board President and still a dedicated community volunteer.



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"The math is simple" by Norma Friedman




I just can’t think of one reason for anyone to contribute to the campaign to buy Cinema Center a digital projector. I can only describe thousands of reasons why the community must dig deep and give. Cinema Center has been the centerpiece of the Fort Wayne cultural experience for decades! Young, old, hip, conservative, student, and fine arts addicts have patronized this intimate, comfortable, versatile and clean arts venue. It has been providing movies, lectures, and performances for countless numbers of residents, friends, and visitors. It is a Fort Wayne arts destination.

Think of any city that does not have an independent non-profit movie theater in its art repertoire and you probably are looking at a dying, uninteresting, and economically depressed town, a place you just do not want to visit or live.

We simply cannot lose one of our most creative cultural attractions.

The math is simple. No digital projector, no Cinema Center.

Help Cinema Center go digital by donating to the Digital Projector Fund today.


Norma is a Professor Emeritus at Indiana Tech and a former Cinema Center board member. 






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"Come to the rescue" by Bruce Lehman

It is easy to wax nostalgically about the films we all love and find endearing. How many films can you conjure up right now? A few…many? Now I want to explain why I am also committed to wax futuristically as our Cinema Center reaches another terrific milestone. One all film lovers can embrace: Help keep the screen lit through the Cinema Center Digital Projector Fund!

True, we are fortunate to have the one 'n' only place in this region where you can see an impressive variety of independent, foreign and documentary films you will not find on any other area screen. (Who Killed the Electric Car? is one of my favorites.) Also true, it can all go away. 

Imagine that one new independent film you heard all the buzz about can't be shown. And none of the big cinemas have any interest. In fact, many film distributors are already stating that 35mm film is quickly going away. And horror of horrors, if the screen goes dark, you and I lose fresh popped corn with real butter.

All calories aside, the bottom line is no digital projector...no Cinema Center. 

It seems so cold, but that is the dilemma we find ourselves in and why this is our chance to come to the rescue. 

Think about your interest in film and our Cinema Center. Help me ensure its contribution to Fort Wayne and the region will be stronger than ever. Do it now! http://www.cinemacenter.org/projector/index.html

Help Cinema Center go digital by donating to the Digital Projector Fund today.


Bruce Lehman is a longtime supporter of Cinema Center and should not eat too much buttered popcorn.

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"A wonderful gift" by Beth Heironimus


In 1995 I was invited to join a friend for a movie at Cinema Center — Richard III, starring Ian McKellen. It was a retelling of the Shakespeare tale set in 1930s England. I'd not been to this particular theater before. It was small, I thought. Different than the theaters I'd been to before. I wasn't sure what to think. Shakespeare was a little dense for me, and my only exposure had been Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet," which I had seen in a high school literature class. Nevertheless, I settled down and watched the film. 

To my surprise, I liked it.

Over the years I've seen more films at Cinema Center than I can count. I've watched comedies, dramas, documentaries, science-fiction, biographies — some independently produced, some locally-produced and some released by major studios. Some have been better than others, some have been brilliant. All have one thing in common — they are stories told by artists in a thought-provoking way. That theater that I thought was small in 1995, I now consider intimate. I am comfortable seeing a film there alone because even if I know no one there, I know those I'm with share a fondness for excellence in film. 

As I've matured my appreciation for Cinema Center has grown beyond measure. We are so fortunate to have not only such a theater, but a committed group of people who oversee it. They understand their audience and the type of film worthy of them. Consequently, that audience is given a wonderful gift — at a bargain price.

I've lived in Fort Wayne almost all of my life and I've seen many things come and go here. Cinema Center cannot be one of those that we allow to leave. Once it's gone it would be almost impossible to get it back. And after its demise, we'd sit and grouse about why we ever let it get away. We're in a pinch, folks. Cinema Center needs a digital projector to continue to be operational. The cost for this projection system conversion is $50,000. That is a lot of money for a little non-profit theater to raise. But, we live in a generous community, and hopefully one that understands the value of cinema and how it enriches our lives.

Won't you consider a donation? Let Cinema Center remain the vital part of our growing community that it has been since it opened its doors in 1976. To give, please visit http://www.cinemacenter.org/projector/index.html. I, and the rest of our area's movie buffs, thank you.

Help Cinema Center go digital by donating to the Digital Projector Fund today.


Beth Heironimus is Creative Director at United Way of Allen County. She is also the creator of award-winning Cinema Center event invitations and has a special fondness for witty banter.



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