by Matthew Cugini, Hipp Cinema Program Manager
The Hippodrome Cinema, still located right in the heart of downtown Gainesville, has undergone a remarkable transformation, thanks to the support of the Wild Spaces & Public Places sales tax. With a rising number of residents in town and the further development of the historic downtown area, this project could not have come soon enough.
The revitalization project funded by the Wild Spaces & Public Places sales tax was much needed. The Hippodrome Cinema, an iconic cultural hub in North Florida, had been essentially left as it had been when it was first created. With this generous funding, the cinema has been brought up to the modern era, both in being more inviting and more accessible to differently abled patrons.
The old cinema seats were removed, and replaced with brand new seating, actually allowing for more capacity than before. The films will be looking extra vivid and crisp on the new projection screen. The sound system in the cinema has been expanded and upgraded, ensuring that every sound, from whispers to explosions, is crystal clear. These factors allow for a more immersive, dynamic experience.
The renovations were not limited to the screening room. The City of Gainesville took the opportunity to upgrade the restrooms, making them accessible and in compliance with ADA standards.
What sets the Hippodrome Cinema apart is its dedication to offering a diverse array of films. As Gainesville’s only art-house cinema, it goes beyond mainstream blockbusters. From independent films that push boundaries to hard-hitting documentaries addressing critical issues, from internationally acclaimed world cinema to beloved classics that evoke nostalgia, the programming of the Hippodrome Cinema caters to a wide range of tastes.
Beyond these staples, the Hippodrome Cinema hosts a variety of signature programming throughout the year. This includes film festivals celebrating specific genres or themes, as well as screenings accompanied by insightful discussions. For up-to-date information on showtimes and current screenings, visitors can check the cinema’s website at www.thehipp.org.
The reopening of the Hippodrome Cinema marks a new chapter in Gainesville’s cultural landscape. With its refreshed look, improved facilities, and commitment to presenting films that challenge, entertain, and inspire, the Hippodrome is set to become a cultural cornerstone once again. So, grab your popcorn, sink into those comfy seats, and prepare for a cinematic journey unlike any other.