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Posted: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008

Park Terrace's conversion gives art-house films a new home

By Lawrence Toppman
Published in: Eye

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Thirteen's an especially lucky number for the city recently: That's the number of screens devoted to foreign and independent cinema, now that Regal Entertainment Group has converted Park Terrace to an art house.

Five films had their Charlotte premieres there recently: “ Bigger, Stronger, Faster,” “ Bottle Shock,” “ Brick Lane,” “ Encounters at the End of the World” and “ Henry Poole Is Here.”

Future titles are likely to include “ Hamlet 2,” “ Tell No One,” “ Vicky Christina Barcelona,” “ Baghead,” “ Man on Wire,” “ Towelhead,” “ Frozen River,” “ Burn After Reading,” and “ Religulous.

The five screens at Ballantyne Village and two at the Manor still handle art-house material, so few significant releases should fall through the cracks. The extra screens may also give little-known films better chances to build word-of-mouth, instead of leaving after one weak week.

If there's a loser in this deal, it's the Charlotte Film Society, which had a strong lineup for its spring Second Weekend series at Park Terrace but is now reduced to suggesting titles. (Alas, the theater isn't likely to book older classics, as the CFS often did.)

Yet there's a silver lining: Anyone who pays the annual $5 membership fee will get $1 off on any show at the Manor or Park Terrace.

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