Nestled quaintly on Ogden’s historic 25th Street, there sits the Art House Cinema 502. It is Ogden’s premier art cinema, showing first-run films that include hard to find foreign movies, documentaries, local shorts and far-from-center features at weekend late-night screenings. This cinema may have only 28 seats, and the “502” refers to its square footage, but it shows movies that are fiercely independent and often inspiring.
I got a chance to sit down and talk with Joel Layton, one of the cinema’s owners. Joel said that what his cinema lacks in gimmicks like 3D or big-budget movies, it makes up with incredibly well-done films and “the most awesome sound system in the city.” the cinema itself has a pleasing nostalgic quality with old-fashioned seats from 1938, the brick siding that can be seen from the inside and the fact that its small size makes the whole experience of movie going far more personal than it is at a massive megaplex. It has an old-world down home charm that is difficult to find in this day and age.
The cinema opened this fall, and Layton said they already have a good following, made even more amazing since previously none of the three owners knew anything about the movie business. “It was a blind leap of faith”, Joel said. “My wife just got on the phone and started making calls.” Joel, his wife, Lillian Randall, and a friend, Albert Randall, jumped off into the unknown and created something that truly benefits Ogden.
As far as the movie line-up, Joel said his top favorites include Poetry, Shaolin, and Some Guy Who Likes to Kill People. Joel also said that in January the cinema will be a venue for the Slam Dance Film Festival. With fantastic movies, a great staff and a hometown feeling, this art cinema will be around for a long, long time to come.
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