West Virginia International Film Festival will reopen their independent theater after temporarily closing in March of 2020.
Charleston, W.V. – The West Virginia Film Festival (WVIFF) will reopen the Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema on September 1, 2021.
After shuttering its doors in March of 2020, WVIFF will re-open the Floralee Cinema to cinephiles for a full season of film. The 501c3 non-profit has continued their mission through private rentals and one special outdoor screening during FestivALL’s June festivities but has otherwise been unable to present normal programming for the last 16 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WVIFF President Delford Chaffin stated, “The WVIFF is happy to finally resume screenings at our beloved little theater. We look forward to seeing all of our patrons and continuing our mission of encouraging a love of all things cinema, while keeping everyone safe.”
With the reopening of the cinema, WVIFF will offer some of their standard programing like West Virginia Wednesdays, a monthly feature Film, and Movies That Matter Monday. In addition, Throwback Thursdays, a new series, will find its way to the “jewel box” theater. These new screenings hope to attract and retain new folks of all ages to the cinema.
The Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema will ease back into its weekly programming with West Virginia Wednesday. This series screens the first two Wednesdays of the month and showcases a film with ties to the state. From documentaries to horror, comedies, and everything in between, this is a chance to show off the great films with ties to our home, and beginning on September 1, the Floralee Cinema will show Quarantine Life. Filmmakers Curren Sheldon and Tijah Bumgarner created this collection of comedic shorts based on true stories during the first year of lockdowns as COVID-19 caused a worldwide shutdown.
The inaugural Throwback Thursday series will take movie-goers back in time to the 1990s, starting with the classic film, Pretty Woman. This series will showcase one film per month (multiple screenings) beginning in September 2021 starting with the year 1990 and ending in June 2022 with 1999. It’s a ten-month series that goes year by year through the decade, showcasing one film from each year.
Announcements regarding the Movie that Matters feature and more will be released in late August at wviff.org and on Facebook @Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema
As health and safety concerns continue to rise due to the spread of Delta variant of COVID-19, the West Virginia International Film Festival will require proof of vaccinations and mandatory masking. While the cinema is equipped with air purifiers and other sanitary equipment, the space is small and will make the additional protocol imperative to the safety of guests. The WVIFF board members and staff have made this decision based on the nature of the space and to keep the overall health and safety of the Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema patrons as the highest priority.