Photo by Tim Fuller

Hundreds of thousands of Tucsonans of all ages traveled around the world via films from 62 countries shown at The Loft Cinema last year. They consumed 11,600 pounds of organic popcorn too.

Now in its 45th year (15 as a nonprofit), the Loft is continuing the expansion and renovation that began a few years after the current facility was purchased in 2002. Screen 1 renovations—scheduled to be complete in late July—will significantly increase comfort for the Loft’s dedicated film lovers.

“We are really excited about the renovations we’re doing in our main theater. We’re replacing all the old seats with new ones, and we’re making the theater fully ADA accessible,” says Loft Executive Director Peggy Johnson. “Loft fans will find a lot of other improvements too, including better air conditioning and better sound.”

How the Nonprofit Loan Fund Helped

NPLF loaned The Loft Cinema the majority of the funds needed for its Screen 1 renovation.

“We wanted to preserve our cash flow during this period,” said Loft Finance Director Jonathan Kleefeld, “and NPLF gave us good loan terms that helped us do that. We chose to work with NPLF because they share our values around supporting the local community, they understand our nonprofit culture, and they made it easy to work with them.”

“We appreciate the Loft’s vote of confidence in the Nonprofit Loan Fund,” says NPLF Director Maura Grogan. “They are a strong borrower and could get traditional financing. We are happy they value the support we provide to nonprofits and chose to work with us.” 

 

NPLF Director Maura Grogan with Loft staff Gilbert Rataezyk, America Valencia and Haley McFeeley.

More About the Loft

The Loft offers everything from first-run films, an international film festival, and a free summer Kid’s Fest—to local film premieres, late night cult classics and sing-a-longs. Their numbers show that they must be doing lots of things right, too.  Unlike traditional movie theaters that have seen declines in audience year after year, the Loft’s audience has grown nearly 240 percent from about 55,000 admissions in 2003 to nearly 190,000 in 2015.

According to the local Tucson Weekly Best of Tucson roundup, “Tucson’s film scene and movie nerds are plentiful, and the pinnacle of our cinema love has, and continues to be, The Loft Cinema. The ultimate source of independent films, unique Q&As, special guests and favorite cult films, the three-screen theater continues to reign supreme in the community.”

Renovations at the Loft won’t stop with the Screen 1 improvements. The final phase includes connecting the main facility with the building that houses Screen 3, expanding the lobby, adding a fourth screen, and moving the administrative offices back to the main campus.

“Watch for details as we take some time to plan a facility that allows us to continue fulfilling our mission well into the future,” says Peggy. “We are dedicated to creating community by celebrating the art and diversity film.”

Congratulations to Loft Cinema Executive Director Peggy Johnson for being the first American elected to the Board of Directors of the International Confederation of Art Cinemas (CICAE), which is a nonprofit association that promotes cultural diversity in cinemas and festivals. Founded in 1955 by the national arthouse cinema associations of Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland, the collective and concerted action of CICAE pioneers led to the emergence in each country of a real market for quality films. “People in Europe know about us,” says Peggy. “They understand the importance of film to cultural identity. The Loft Cinema does too!”

 

An artist’s rendition of the new Screen 1 Theater post renovation.