Cinestudio at Trinity College: Where Classic Films Thrive in a Classic Theatre

4 min read

Julia Pecora ’25

Features Editor


Nestled on the verdant campus of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Cinestudio stands as a testament to the enduring power of cinema. Founded in 1970 by a group of passionate students, this beloved theater has been captivating audiences for over five decades with its diverse programming, top-notch projection, and impeccable sound quality.

Once the theater opened in 1970, Cinestudio quickly became a haven for cinephiles seeking diverse and innovative programming. What was once a crumbling old lecture hall was transformed by a group of students whose imaginations benefitted the lives of Trinity College students for decades. Implementing state of the art acoustics into and design inspiration modeling a beautiful 1930s film house within just two years.

With the assistance of Ralph Mauro from National Theater Supply and Lonny Jennings at Dolby, Cinestudio tackled its initial sound issues. They threw open their doors to the public on February 16, 1970, for a grand opening that was completely sold out. The double feature of “Alice’s Restaurant” and “The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine” set the stage for Cinestudio’s enduring legacy.

As the years rolled on, Cinestudio continued to push the boundaries of cinema, screening controversial and avant-garde films that challenged conventional norms. They introduced audiences to the works of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, debuted eventual cult classics like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and thrilled moviegoers with Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” on their 70mm projectors. From sold-out showings of “Harold and Maude” to mind-bending experiences with “Eraserhead,” Cinestudio has always been a place where cinephiles unite to celebrate the art of cinema.

Today, Cinestudio stands as a testament to the enduring love for film. It not only provides a platform for the screening of epic veteran films but also embraces new creative masterpieces. What sets Cinestudio apart is its commitment to education, offering young people the opportunity to learn how to operate a fully professional movie theater with the highest technical standards. This cooperative venture, led by dedicated volunteers, has thrived under the steady hands of two founding members, James Hanley and Peter McMorris, who manage its day-to-day operations, including nightly projections. With a staff of approximately 50 student and community volunteers, Cinestudio continues to light up screens seven days a week, ensuring the legacy of cinema lives on.

From now until September 12, Cinestudio is inviting moviegoers to embark on a cinematic journey with a true classic – “The Godfather.” This iconic masterpiece, directed by the legendary Francis Ford Coppola, tells the story of the Corleone family and their intricate web of power, loyalty, and betrayal. As you settle into the plush seats of Cinestudio’s historic theater, you’ll be transported to the world of Don Vito Corleone, played by the incomparable Marlon Brando.

With legendary projection and superb sound quality, Cinestudio ensures that every nuance of this cinematic gem is experienced in its full glory. So, whether you’re a die-hard fan or experiencing “The Godfather” for the first time, don’t miss this opportunity to witness cinema history unfold on the big screen.

The cinematic offerings at Cinestudio don’t end with the Corleone family saga. On September 22, the theater will welcome a different kind of classic – “Barbie.” This beloved doll, who has captured the hearts of generations, is making her way to the silver screen in a delightful and heartwarming adventure.

“Barbie” promises a beautiful, eye-opening experience that will enchant audiences of all ages. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring the kids, or the young at heart, for a cinematic escape filled with inspiring messages about gender equality.

Cinestudio’s commitment to making the magic of cinema accessible to everyone is exemplified by its incredibly reasonable ticket prices. General admission tickets are available for a mere $10, while students with a valid Trinity Student ID can secure their tickets for just $8. Friends of Cinestudio enjoy an exclusive rate of $7, and seniors aged 62 and up can relish the cinematic experience for a mere $8. With prices this affordable, there’s no excuse to miss out on the cinematic joy that Cinestudio offers.

In conclusion, we implore you to seize the opportunity to experience the enchantment of Cinestudio. Whether you’re immersing yourself in the iconic world of “The Godfather” or sharing a delightful evening with “Barbie,” Cinestudio promises an unforgettable cinematic experience.

Let’s remember that great films are meant to be seen on the big screen, where the magic truly comes alive. Cinestudio’s historic theater, state-of-the-art projection, and unbeatable ticket prices make it the perfect destination for your next movie night. So, gather your friends, family, and fellow film lovers, and head to Trinity College to rediscover the joy of cinema.

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