The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s grand opening of the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center is this weekend, but their theaters received their first-ever, full-fledged test drive Tuesday night with a private screening of “Super 8.”
“We’d never seen anything in its entirety there,” said Scott Foundas, associate programmer for the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Prior to that, the theaters’ biggest workouts were a 40-minute loop of “Manhattan” for during a press tour and screening an extended sequence from “Page One” for board members.
The “Super 8” audience inside the 150-seat Francesca Beale and 90-seat Howard Gilman theaters was comprised of about 200 capital campaign donors. Paramount Pictures also invited a few guests, including Darren Aronofsky.
Earlier this spring, Paramount hosted a press junket at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater that featured trailers for their upcoming 2011 titles along with a 15-minute preview of “Super 8” footage.
“Ever since then we’ve been aggressively pursuing doing some kind of event with that film,” said Foundas. “We wanted to do something for our capital campaign donors and it was hard to think of a more anticipated movie.”
The FX-heavy film also served as a way to test drive the technical capacities of both theaters. “It was pushing pedal to the metal,” Foundas said. “When the engineer was there from Paramount in the afternoon testing the sound, there were people from some adjacent offices who came down to see what was causing this low-frequency vibration.”
The Film Society is best known for its support of art films, but as the “Super 8” screening suggests, the EBM’s state-of-the-art technology will likely make it in high demand for blockbusters as well as low-budget masterpieces.
“We’re getting a lot of requests,” says Foundas. “We’re figuring that out.”