JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – East Tennessee State University hopes to enrich the Tri-Cities with cinema at the revitalized Bud Frank Theatre.

A release from ETSU states the theatre was the home of performances and productions for years and will now serve the community as an art cinema. The university stated the Bud Frank Theatre will actually be the only “art cinema in the region outside of Asheville, North Carolina.”

Associate professor Dr. Matthew Holtmeier of ETSU’s Literature and Language Department said Northeast Tennesseeans are often robbed of the chance to see cinematic masterpieces.

“This is important, because half of the films released – indeed, half the Oscar contenders – do not play in Northeast Tennessee on initial release,” Holtmeier said in the release. “We currently live in a cinema desert, but hopefully we will be able to rectify that with the Bud Frank.” 

ETSU is kicking off “Cinema at the Bud Frank Theatre” at 6 p.m. on Oct. 5. The university will host an opening reception with live music and a screening of the silent film “Our Hospitality” beginning at 7 p.m.

According to ETSU, all of the events at the theatre this semester will be free and open to the public. An admission fee is likely to be put in place as the program grows and more films are screened.

ETSU provided a schedule of films to be screened this semester:

  • “Annihilation” on Tuesday, Oct. 24
  • “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” on Monday, Oct. 30
  • “Frankenstein,” a National Theatre Live performance, on Sunday, Nov. 5
  • “White Christmas” on Friday, Dec. 1

The university stated that aside from just providing a space for art cinema to be enjoyed, the theatre will also provide opportunities to Film and Media students.

More scheduled events at the theatre can be viewed online.