BRUNSWICK — Local film aficionados may have a new place to take in independent films such as this year’s Oscar-winner “The Artist” or “Moonrise Kingdom” if funding for the expansion of Eveningstar Cinema comes through.
For the past 20 years, the one-screen movie theater has provided audiences with a film experience unlike what they would experience at a chain theater, but when Barry Norman bought the Eveningstar two years ago, it was clear that more could be done to bring viewers a better experience.
“When I bought it two years ago, one of the things I did not study is the need for more screens,” he said. “I thought one screen would be easier to manage but there is zero flexibility. With multiple screens there is so much more flexibility.”
With only one screen Norman said that he often loses out on films he wants to bring in because he has already committed to a six-week run with another film. Additionally, the physical size of the building poses problems for the 6′ 5” Norman.
“The ceilings here are 5′ 6” and I’m 6′ 5” and I have to be an owner-operator, this is slowly destroying my physical health,” he said.
The new building, if approved, will be located at Brunswick Station and, Norman hopes, will be a great draw for people taking the train into town.
“I’m trying to build a brand-new art deco building hopefully at Brunswick Station,” he said. “Imagine someone coming off the train and stepping into Brunswick seeing that art deco marquee and building an immediate feel for the type of town the Brunswick is.”
Funding for the project will be the biggest hurdle for Norman to clear in the realization of his dream. The estimated cost for construction is “just south of $4 million,” but he has been talking with banks and other organizations about funding the project.
He has yet to approach the Town Council with his plans for the new building but he doesn’t expect approval to be an issue.
“Until I have the financials (in order), I haven’t gone before the Town Council for approval, but I don’t anticipate that as a problem,” Norman said. “Why would anyone not want that theater? It’s nothing but a win-win for everyone involved.”
The proposed expansion plans for Eveningstar Cinema add two screens and move the building out of the Tontine Mall and over to Brunswick Station.