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Independent movie venues 

click to enlarge Rene Broussard opened Zeitgeist Multidisciplinary Arts Center in 1986 in part to provide a venue for screening independent films.

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Rene Broussard opened Zeitgeist Multidisciplinary Arts Center in 1986 in part to provide a venue for screening independent films.

Chalmette Movies
8700 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, (504) 304-9992; www.chalmettemovies.com   Located in a strip mall 6 miles downriver from the French Quarter, Chalmette Movies feels like a small-town theatre with big-city programming, booking one- or two-week runs of art house and independent films often unavailable anywhere else in town. From productions with local ties (Bury the Hatchet, Aaron Walker's documentary portrait of three Mardi Gras Indian chiefs) to festival darlings (2012 Cannes favorite Holy Motors), Chalmette's devotion to providing space for idiosyncratic movies despite the financial sacrifice makes it well worth the drive.

Now Showing: The New Orleans premiere of director David Gordon Green's critically acclaimed Joe, starring Nicolas Cage as an ex-con, currently running.

Tickets: $8.50 adults, $6.50 seniors 60 and older and children 12 and under, $6.50 before 5:30 p.m.


New Orleans Film Society
Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., (504) 309-6633; www.neworleansfilmsociety.org
  Founded in 1989, the film society maintains a year-round calendar of special events and screenings at venues around the city, including the Prytania Theatre, the Contemporary Arts Center and the New Orleans Museum of Art. The society's annual New Orleans Film Festival, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in October, has twice been named one of the "25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" by MovieMaker magazine.

Coming attraction: The film society's "Moonlight Movies" outdoor screening series concludes May 30 at 8:15 p.m. with Jazz on a Summer's Day, Aram Avakian and Bert Stern's documentary portrait of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. The film will be presented at the Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave.) in partnership with the U.S. Mint and Friends of the Cabildo.


Prytania Theatre
5339 Prytania St., (504) 891-2787; www.prytaniatheatreneworleans.com
  The plush 275-seat Prytania, the oldest operating theater in New Orleans and the only single-screen first-run theater in Louisiana, shows independent hits and blockbusters in state-of-the-art Sony 4K projection, while maintaining the capacity to show 35mm films. The Prytania also offers ongoing series of old Hollywood films (Sunday and Wednesday at 10 a.m.), cult classics (Friday and Saturday at midnight, Sunday at 10 p.m.), and a summer program of children's movies (Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m., June through August).

Coming attraction: The Big Lebowski, with a "Best Dressed Dude Contest" May 23-24 at midnight.

Tickets: $11.50 adults, $10.50 students, $9.50 seniors 63 and older and children under 12, $5.75 before 6 p.m.


Indywood
630 Elysian Fields Ave.; www.indywood.org
  Indywood, which has roomy red chairs and a low-key vibe, arranges each week's selection of recent independent, classic and local films around a theme ("Road Movies" and "Teenage" are among the most recent). Though the projection, limited to DVD and Blu-ray for now, may leave films of a darker palette (Inside Llewyn Davis) looking a little muddy, Indywood screens an engaging and eclectic mix at an affordable price.

Coming attraction: "Local Film Week," which runs May 15-21, features Louisiana-made films, director Q&As and a Cinema Reset Open Screen event for filmmakers who want to screen and receive feedback on 10-minute selections of their work. Fifty percent of ticket sales go directly to the filmmakers.


Shotgun Cinema
Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St.; www.shotguncinema.org
  With a 16- by 9-foot screen and theatre-quality projection and sound, Shotgun Cinema's monthly events exhibit a rare level of technical expertise for what is, essentially, a pop-up picture house. Programming director Angela Catalano's choices reflect a taste for world cinema with arresting images (Lithuanian science-fiction film Vanishing Waves) and thematic depth (Agnes Varda's 2001 documentary The Gleaners and I), though the appeal may be limited to the most adventurous viewers.

Coming attraction: The New Orleans premier of director Richard Ayoade's The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg as a timid office functionary with a charismatic doppelganger. June 11 at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $7


Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center
1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., (504) 352-1150; www.zeitgeistinc.net
  The programming at the 27-year-old Zeitgeist reflects founder and director Rene Broussard's iconoclastic tastes (though he admits to screening films he hates from time to time), influenced by annual visits to the Toronto International Film Festival and relationships with small and medium-sized distributors. In addition to the varied movies offered, Zeitgeist's performance arts, visual arts and literary events continue to embody the nonprofit media arts center's motto: "Something for and against everyone."

Coming attraction: God's Pocket, the feature film directing debut of Mad Men star John Slattery and one of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman's final screen roles, runs May 20-21 at 7:30 p.m. and May 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets: $8 general admission, $7 students and seniors, $6 Zeitgeist members

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