Paying a visit to the Carbon Arc Cinema in the Khyber building has been on my list of things to …
Beyond HollywoodBy Nicole Trask | Apr 27, 2011
Carbon Arc Cinema has been up and running since the summer of 2010 but the dream had been in the works for much longer than that for local artist and filmmaker Siloen Daley. Since the closure of Wormwoods Dog and Monkey Cinema in 1998 there has been a lack of venues to showcase independent cinema. Daley wanted to change that.
“I wanted to see a dedicated space for independent films and for the community to just show up and watch amongst like-minded people,” she says. “I wanted to bring people together and help strengthen our film and cultural community.”
Every Thursday at 7 p.m., Carbon Arc features a screening at the Khyber Institute of Contemporary Arts on Barrington Street, often with local filmmakers hosting and introducing screenings. Daley serves up vegan popcorn and has shown flicks like The Last Picture Show, Four Eyed Monsters, Mister Lonely and Phantom of the Paradise.
Daley’s good friend Kenny Lewis, once a projectionist at Wormwoods, bought all that was left of the old theatre, including projectors, archives and seats. Over the years, Lewis and Daley tried to open another cinema, but the stars never aligned.
In 2007, Daley created a program of animated short films and embarked on a tour of North America. She was inspired by the independent screening venues she saw and returned with renewed focus. With the assistance of volunteers and other filmmakers such as Alan Collins, Carbon Arc was finally realized in July 2010.
“The Khyber space is perfect,” Daley says. “It was sitting vacant for years. There are high ceilings and HRM is planning on making it wheelchair accessible. It was like it was just waiting for us.”
This quirky cinema is gaining momentum and it doesn’t hurt that many of the guests are more than just film buffs. Established filmmakers like Josh MacDonald, Sook-Yin Lee, Andrea Dorfman and Thom Fitzgerald are just a few who have been on hand for hosting duties and informative talks on the industry.
Daley hopes Carbon Arc evolves to nightly screenings. In the meantime, she is busy planning an exciting screening to mark the first year anniversary. Her dream for the space in 2011 is to install theatre seats, upgrade the sound system and continue to grow the number of volunteers and patrons.