As Downtown Bradenton develops in so many wonderful ways, it’s fun to look at some of the things that are already offered in this growing community. A good deal of attention has been placed on what we would like to see emerge downtown and the different types of activities that should be offered – which is so exciting for all of us to help build and shape.
We eagerly anticipate a beautiful Riverwalk, a bustling nightlife, and plenty of cultural amenities. But as many people already know – most of these offerings are already available in some form, if you know where to look. Downtown will get even more impressive over the next few years, but let’s celebrate where we are right now, as well!
One of my favorite parts of the current downtown scene is the presence of quality movie screenings taking place regularly at low cost, or no cost, for Bradenton’s cinephiles. You say you’re looking for great film downtown – well we’ve heard you! There are film options for kids, movie buffs and everyone in between. Okay, I’ll admit I might be biased. I handle the film programming for Film Fridays at the South Florida Museum.
Friday, January 6, is the start of our new program — “And the Winner Is…” — a series of nine Academy Award© films. As such, I have a special place in my heart for the broad range documentary, independent, international, and Hollywood films offered at the museum most Friday nights. It’s a great way for us to highlight our Bishop Planetarium theater and to continue to build a new audience. We really enjoy being able to respond to what our guests enjoy and what they may want to see in the future as we choose the titles we will show.
One of the reasons that we started our program almost three years ago was the community’s desire for a downtown film venue. Since then, Bradenton has developed other fine film programs. Reels at Rossi offers great films for the whole family on the third Friday of each month (after the Riverwalk construction is finished) and the Manatee Players has had some fantastic midnight movie screenings over the last couple of years. Once their new theater opens, I can only imagine the range of programs they’ll be offering!
I am proud to be part of a community that embraces film, culture and community in so many forms. Thanks for your continued support and we look forward to growing with you.
Jessica Schubick is long-time Bradenton resident and coordinates the year-round series presented as Film Fridays at 6 p.m. on most Friday nights in the South Florida Museum’s Bishop Planetarium Theater. She graduated from New York University with a degree in Filmmaking and previous to her position at the museum, she worked for three years as the Festival Manager of the Sarasota Film Festival.