The Frida Cinema is in the heart of La Cuatro. A traditional marquee stands out among its neighboring eateries and businesses, clearly identifying itself as a movie theater. Only, the Frida is not a movie theater, it’s an art house. The only art house in Orange County. An art house is a horse of a different color. Like a living breathing organism, it is ever-changing, growing with immense vitality. A namesake of Frida Kahlo, the Frida Cinema embodies the barrier-breaking spirit of Kahlo herself.
The description on their website explains it best. “An art house cinema’s focus is on the screening of foreign, independent, documentary, LGBT, student, experimental, and other often unrepresented genres of cinema. Such venues also serve the community as centers for education, community engagement, multimedia events, spoken word presentations and other non-cinematic engagements of community and art.”
When a cinematic great (or even a crossover artist like David Bowie) dies, the Frida honors them with a film screening and their theater seats fill with fans who’ve come to mourn and remember together. The Frida offers you a place to get your message across and thrive. When a charity event is hosted at the Frida, they allow event organizers to make the space their own.
Lovers of all forms of artistic expression, the Frida uses the walls of their lobby and even their bathroom doors as gallery space. They often invite artists to submit pieces according to the film(s) they’re showcasing. Many of the artists are Santa Ana natives and it never gets old seeing your friends’ work on display.
They encourage you to dress in costume. They encourage you to sing along. They encourage you to be together and share an experience.
This election season, they opened their doors and invited you to come take a seat for free because they care that you’re informed. It’s more important to them that you’re there for those moments. They even had beer on tap to ease the pain and add to the laughs. Every Sunday at 11am they have Calle Cuatro Sunday Matinee, a partnership with Santa Ana Business Council. They screen family-friendly, contemporary films that cost $5 for adults and $1 for children 13 and younger.
The Frida Cinema is not a movie theater. It is a space that welcomes you without judgement. It is a space that thanks you for being there, figuratively and literally when founder Logan Crow steps in front of the theater to speak with you before a screening. It is a space that exists and flourishes because of you, and because of the team of volunteers who passionately put in hours. It’s not easy to maintain a non-profit, but they work with you in mind. We were fortunate enough to witness firsthand how the Frida can bring people together for a common cause when we hosted our very first Viva La Vida fundraiser showcasing one of our favorite films, Like Water for Chocolate. The experience offered us a reassurance that working on giving the community an event to gather, express themselves, and share with one another is vital. And that, with each other’s support, our community grows stronger together.
The Frida Cinema’s dedication to bringing a variety of worldviews and togetherness to our community through cinematic arts is why we’re proud they are a sponsor of Viva La Vida 2016.
For more information on The Frida Cinema and to support their Chair Drive to fill their theaters with brand new seats (with cup holders!) please visit, www.thefridacinema.org