Movies on a Big Screen was born out of an afternoon. An afternoon in early 2006 consisting of DeeAnn Little and Robert McKeown drinking and talking on their patio. Conversation turned to the frustrations of how so many films play in other major metropolitan areas, but don't in Sacramento, the capital city of the state. Movies that often can not sustain a week-long run, often don't have "traditional distribution" but are still great. This then led to that light-bulb-moment of, "wait, we have contacts to book some initial titles and know how to do this! Why don't we just do it ourselves." Yep, it was really as simple as that. Well, not quite, but pretty much.
This then led to the first, and most daunting hurdle. Find a venue. And here's where things went a little astray. Our initial hunt for a venue took a number of months for a couple of reasons: one, there was the issue of simply finding one, not an easy undertaking in Sacramento; and two, other unrelated things would easily distract us, and we'd do the "ok, tomorrow. I'm on it tomorrow."
However, about seven months later, we finally spoke with Liz Donner, who was running the Fools Foundation gallery at the time. This discussion couldn't possibly have gone better. We knew a lot of the same people, and all involved were fairly passionate about the core ideals - bring these titles to Sacramento. And so, Movies on a Big Screen was truly about to launch the weekend after Labor Day in 2006 (so, Sept 8, 2006).
To back up a bitů that name. Movies on a Big Screen. This was a name that DeeAnn and Robert used when talking to each other about the series during those "formative" months. Once a venue was secured, and it appeared things were finally to take shape, discussion began of what to name the series "for real." We ended up getting a lot of feedback from people that Movies on a Big Screen really was a great name. So we pretty much went with that. Yep, again, simple as that. Where did the acronym MOBS come from? Why, that was local realtor Rob McQuade (aka, Central City Guy) who blogged about us on January 13, 2007 and used MOBS. Which we promptly appropriated, with his permission of course.
Our run at Fools Foundation was a great time. Acoustics there were initially, um, horrendous, but incremental improvements in the space made it progressively better. Sadly, Fools Foundation was closed rather suddenly at the start of August, 2007, leaving us without a venue.
What ensued was a desperate and ultimately, rather unsuccessful search for a new location. We had 3 months of downtime. During that period, we did a special screening in the spacious offices of LJ Urban as well as a night on Del Paso Blvd at The Artisan Theater. Ultimately, LJ Urban stepped up and talked to us about a property they owned just over the river in West Sacramento. As it turned out, it was an old union hall. And, with a little work (OK, a LOT of work), was just about perfect! We started up there on November 9, 2007, after a solid month of prepping the place for the public. It never could have happened without the help of our friends and helpers. Truly.
As of May, 2009, due to an ownership change with the West Sacramento location, we were no longer able to be there. And we only had three weeks' notice. Around the same time, a deal with the historic Guild Theater (at 35th & Broadway) came into place to allow us to do screenings there on Sunday evenings! At nearly the same time, the wonderful folks at Minnick Web Services offered a (then) unused space above their offices for a few weeks, to be able to continue through June, which we gratefully utilized.
From there, we then ended up at the Guild Theater on Friday nights as well, at least through most of the summer, 2009.
Where will we be on Friday nights after that? We don't really know. Yet. We will be somewhere, though. If you have ideas of a space that may work, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We've always had the philosophy that our demographic is the greater Sacramento area. Do you live in this area, or even beyond? Then you're our target. You should come see a movie! We don't target any specific group. Most everyone likes movies, and we show cool movies!
Finally, we really thank all of the supporters (and that's anyone who talks about us, comes to see movies, or even just thinks it's cool we exist), volunteers, filmmakers who have traveled here on their dime to be in attendance, local groups and people who have spoken at screenings, and those who have generally helped us out through both good and bad times!!
-- Robert McKeown
PS: If you made it this far, congratulations! And I'd like to add, I really hate writing about myself in the third personů