Join us in Philadelphia on Wed-Fri June 21-23 for the Convergence Regional Seminar.
Hosted by the Ambler Theater, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, and the Philadelphia Film Society, we promise you a
stimulating three days in the City of Brotherly Love.


Day 1: Wed, June 21 @ Ambler Theater

The Regional Convergence kicks off around noon at the Ambler Theater with a day of panels and capped with a cocktail reception, dinner, and a screening.
  • 11:30am-12:30pm Registration / Lunch
  • 12:30pm-12:45 Welcome
  • 12:45-1:35 Expansion Case Studies: Go behind-the-scenes at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville and the County Theater in Doylestown to learn the details about each theater’s expansion project. The Colonial has just completed an $8 million transformation to their classic 1903 single screen theater. The County is deep in the planning and fund-raising process to expand their 1938 art deco twin (an estimated $4 million project). An intimate look at these two theaters and the challenges and successes of each campaign.
  • 1:50-2:40 Everyone is Involved in Development - Throughout our organizations, each is a part of the development process. Raising funds is being in relationship with our donors/members and patrons. It involves not only our “small development shops” but our directors, our boards, our staff in our theaters and offices, we all have a part to play in the success of our theaters. Fundraising is an integral part of activity – whether a programmer, a director or a board volunteer. Three Development Directors, from Renew Theaters, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, and The Philadelphia Film Society, share their take on how this can be accomplished.
  • 2:55-3:45 Making the Most of your Local Network - Learn tips, tricks and dirty secrets from a local trio of Pennsylvania art houses. The Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg, Zoetropolis Art House in Lancaster, and SMALL STAR Art House in York share how they network locally to boost each other's business practices. Hear about the collaborative ways they work together, how alliances between theaters can expand perspectives and success, and how you can implement these practices at your theater and with your neighbors.
  • 4pm-5:30pm Trailer Wars - Beta Version - Trailer Wars is a Battle of the Bands Style competition between theaters to show off their best in-house trailers. Eight theaters will compete in three rounds which will be judged by the audience. Winning theaters will move on to the next round with a new trailer until a champion is crowned. Both entertaining and enlightening, this panel will show off the best talent of our colleagues and will contain an interview component so the creators can share their technical and artistic strategies.
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm Cocktail Reception
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm Dinner on your own
  • 8:30 Screening: Film title TBA

Day 2: Thurs, June 22 @ Bryn Mawr Film Institute

We will head over to BMFI on Thursday morning for more panels, a special event with the inventor of the Steadicam, and more. Following the BMFI leg, we will have options for evening events in the city including a group run up the Rocky Steps.
  • 8am Bus departs Ambler to BMFI
  • 9am-10am Registration / Coffee
  • 10am-11:15 The Evolution of Suburban Art Houses and Bryn Mawr Film Institute - Variously known as the Seville Theater, the Bryn Mawr Theater, and Bryn Mawr Film Institute, the building located at 824 West Lancaster Avenue has been home to film in Bryn Mawr for 90 years. BMFI board member and former Paramount Pictures Executive Vice President John Hersker will dig into the storied past of BMFI’s historic building with an illustrated lecture that gives special attention to the 1960s and 70s, when Hersker managed the theater and it transitioned from showing run-of-the-mill Hollywood films to BMFI’s now-standard arthouse fare. BMFI Board Chair Juliet Goodfriend will then discuss her fifteen year (and counting) journey to revitalize film in Bryn Mawr by rescuing the property from developers, implementing a three-phased restoration and modernization strategy, and establishing a nationally-recognized destination for film exhibition and education. A short tour will follow the remarks, time-permitting.
  • 11:30 -12:30 Telling Tales out of School: Stakeholders Discuss Film Education for Adults - This session will begin with an overview of BMFI’s film education program for adults, which offers more than 30 courses to nearly 1200 students annually, but its focus will be on some of the people who make the whole thing go. Students and instructors will share their experiences at BMFI, and discuss some of the opportunities and challenges of learning and teaching about film at an art house.
  • 12:30-2:00 Lunchtime Conversation with Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown - Over a gourmet boxed lunch, get to know the renowned cinematographer Garrett Brown, who transformed the process of making motion pictures forever with his breakthrough invention: the Steadicam. Used in scores of beloved films (Rocky, Marathon Man, The Shining, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Casino, etc, etc.), the revolutionary technology--for which Brown earned an Academy Award for technical excellence in 1978--allows camera operators to move freely while maintaining a stable and steady line of vision for the camera. Holder of more than 60 patents worldwide, this impressive man will talk innovation and answer questions from the audience at this special lunchtime session.
  • 2:15-3:15 Steal My Program - In this pitch session, participants will have 10 minutes to detail a successfully mounted program and lay out all the tools needed for others to recreate it. Hear about JBFC Kids from Jacob Burns Film Center, Movies on the Block from the Philadelphia Film Society, and Brat Pack America from Kevin Smokler, among other amazing (and easily “stealable”!) programming ideas.
  • - - - -
  • 3:15pm Bus to Phila Art Museum “Rocky Steps” for group photo
  • 3:45pm Bus to Marriott Hotel
  • 4:00pm Bus #1 back to Ambler
  • 4pm-8pm Free Time in Philly (Cocktails, Dinner, Touring)
  • 8pm Bus #2 back to Ambler

Day 3: Fri, June 23 @ PFS Prince Theater

Our final morning kicks off with a bagel breakfast at the PFS Prince Theater and one final panel.
  • 9am-10am Bagel Breakfast at PFS Prince Theater
  • 10am-11am Behind the Fest: Exploring Film Festival Operations - Big or small, Film Festivals are a unique, enlightening, and invigorating event for both audience members and staff alike. A Film Festival can also be a logistical circus, integrating professionals from film programming, venue management, hospitality, events, marketing, and the independent film world to create a cohesive and enjoyable experience for thousands of guests. Join the Philadelphia Film Society and representatives from some of the most esteemed Festivals in the Greater Philadelphia Area to get a behinds the scenes look at Film Festival Operations. The panel will cover venues, staffing, Ops nightmares (and how we fixed them) and more.

$125/person. No group rates or discounts.

Hotel Details
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
432 Pennsylvania Ave
Fort Washington, PA 19034

Discounted rate of $120/night for standard rooms. All guests receive a free hot breakfast, outdoor pool access, free parking and free wireless Internet. Located in walking distance from Fort Washington Regional Rail Station. Transit from Hotel to Ambler Theater and Bryn Mawr Film Institute will be available.

If you are planning to stick around on Thurs night, we are providing hotel options in downtown Philadelphia as well...

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
1201 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

$299/night for June 22.


Design by KC Biedlingmaier and Renew Theaters, Inc.
© Copyright Renew Theaters, Inc and all participating theaters.