It’s a Wrap

Posted online: November 2016


screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-1-01-43-pmIt’s a match made in cinematic heaven: The Santa Barbara International Film Festival now has a long-term lease on Santa Barbara’s historic Riviera Theater. Although SBIFF has, for the last decade, used the 400-seat theater for its Cinema Society screenings, the new arrangement gives SBIFF use of the space 24/7 for the next 20 years (with a 10-year option). “This is a game-changer,” says creative director Roger Durling, “We will now have a full year-round presence.”

The only movie theater in town with an ocean view, the Riviera Theater is located within the Riviera Park complex owned by philanthropist Michael Towbes. The theater building dates back to 1930, and SBIFF plans to update its sound system, screen projection, and seating. “Santa Barbara will have a state-of-the-art film center,” says Durling, who has morphed the SBIFF from an annual 10-day festival (running February 1 to 11, 2017) to a year-round presenter of specialty films. –L. D. Porter

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