A Great Find for Movie Lovers.. Maysles Cinema in Harlem
If you blink you will miss this modest theater conveniently located on Lenox Ave in Harlem. From the outside The Maysles Cinema could easily be mistaken for a bakery or anything other than a movie theater. It’s unassuming exterior is what contributes to it’s charm. Once you enter the theater you will take note of the really cool graffiti mural and various other art pieces on the walls. You will also notice that as far as theaters go this one is extremely well kept. It is bright, clean, and slightly modern. So no sticky floors or gum on the seats.
The Maysles Cinema is fairly new to Harlem. And, it’s the only theater in northern Manhattan to showcases only documentary film and video. Many of the documentaries speak to racial, social, economic, and political issues of people from various walks of life. At the completion of the documentaries there are also panel discussions with the directors and cast members of the films.
I had the opportunity to view “Democracy in Dakar” at the Cinema and get to experience first hand what the director was thinking. This film was excellent and spoke to hip hop’s influence in the 2000 election in Senegal. The panel discussion was a plus for me because at the end of many films, I find that I have questions that normally don’t get answered and I am left wondering.
A venue such as this feeds my curiosity and I feel like I got more than my money’s worth. I should mention that this is a non-profit cinema and has a “suggested” donation of $10. So for what ever you can contribute you will receive the greatest gift aka knowledge and good company. And considering how expensive the regular theaters are, you end up getting more bang for your buck by supporting Maysles Cinema. One last added plus about The Maysles Cinema is that their programming also works in collaboration with independent film makers and gorilla videographers to produce quality presentations. They also offer a six week summer film program for the youth in the neighborhood. So “MC” loves the kids and I love Maysles Cinema!
Cheers, Shantee Gordon