In November 2015, The Coolidge Corner Theatre announced that it has received a two-year grant of $748,392 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to continue expansion of its successful Science on Screen national program.
Throughout the upcoming 2016/2017 grant cycle, the Coolidge Corner Theatre and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will award a minimum of 60 grants (of up to $8,500 each) to independent cinemas to develop and bring Science on Screen programs to their respective communities. This is the fourth grant the Coolidge has received from the Sloan Foundation, which launched the national initiative in 2010. To date, the Coolidge has received over $1.8 million to oversee and administer the program, awarding 94 grants to 47 independent cinemas across the country.
“We are delighted to join with the Coolidge Corner Theatre in continuing to grow its flourishing Science on Screen program to independent theaters and communities across America,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “This innovative matching of original films with science and technology speakers offers a fresh lens on the most talked-about films of the year—from 2015’s Ex Machina and Steve Jobs to The Martian and Concussion—and includes screenings from 30 films awarded Sloan Prizes and 15 feature films developed through the Sloan Film Pipeline, ensuring that science and fun go hand in hand at the movies.”
Initially conceived and established in 2005 for Coolidge Corner Theatre regional audiences, Science on Screen creatively pairs feature films and documentaries with lively presentations by experts in science and technology. The series is one of the theater’s longest-running and most successful programs. The monthly event features a mix of classic, cult, science fiction, and nonfiction films accompanied by introductions from speakers who discuss specific science and/or technology issues raised by each film. Topics have ranged from what happens inside the brains of freestyle rappers as they rhyme off the cuff (8 Mile), to modern flight automation systems in commercial aircraft (Airplane!), to the science behind surprising shifts in human morality (Crimes and Misdemeanors).
“The national expansion of Science on Screen over the past five years has been a deeply rewarding experience,” says Katherine Tallman, Executive Director & CEO of Coolidge Corner Theatre. “The success of the program at cinemas across the country demonstrates the public’s appetite for learning about science and the role it plays in our daily lives, and shows that virtually any film can serve as a vehicle for scientific enlightenment while providing entertainment. We are honored to work with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to continue to expand the program.”