HERE LIES an incomplete archive of flyers for Firefly Cinema , a seasonal microcinema run by Jeanne Liotta at the 6th st. and Ave. B Garden in the East Village New York . Seventeen years of Free Cinema for the People until the final show in 2010. All films were projected in glorious 16mm out of doors in the community garden, one of many community gardens built in the 80s and 90s in abandoned and rubble strewn lots throughout the Lower East Side. Equipment was my own and carried back and forth from my 6th floor walkup two blocks south . The programs were mostly organized by whim, inspired by years of devotion to the New York Public Library's incredible circulating film collection and their meticulously cross-referenced catalogs which encouraged great serendipity. Sometimes there were rentals from the Film Coop, and occasionally solo shows by filmmakers fulfilling their NYFA fellowships public service piece. The season started every year on or about the summer solstice and ended in August. There may have been one or two Septembers. Publicity consisted of flyers made quickly at home and pinned up to the neighborhood bulletin board a day or two before the screening, word of mouth, and an announcement posted on the Frameworks list-serv as a matter of record. Whoever showed up showed up; there were no mailing lists, websites, or other advertisements. Come and go as you please. Sorry if you missed it.
Thanks over the years goes to The Events Committee, to the wonderful librarians at The Donnell Media Collection at NYPL for providing access to the vaults, to Bradley Eros for naming it in the first place, to Chloe for setting up the benches always perfectly askew, to Kevin T Allen and Tomas Casas for cables, equipment, tunes and moral support, to the weather for remaining mostly clear except for that one serious downpour during Sans Soleil when I projected through the raindrops, and to all the friends, neighbors, students and perfect strangers who wandered into the garden and sat unfettered under the trees watching movies. No thanks to the crazy neighbor who screamed audio rapists out his window on a regular basis.
This was cinema as live event, local and shared, costing nearly nothing but time and energy. If you can practice doing things without money then you should do it and be glad. Good times, random encounters, films, flowers, fireflies.
Jeanne Liotta 2012
text also published 2013:
Incite Journal of Experimental Media, Issue #4: Exhibition Guide