Intermission's Almost Over!
We can hardly wait to welcome you back to the NEW Cinema Salem.
In March of 2020 Cinema Salem closed its doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the cinema will reopen under new leadership with a new vision — a second act to follow and build on a 14-year run as Salem’s dedicated independent cinema.
We’re eager to get back to showing the kind of movies you've always enjoyed here, and to offer exciting discoveries from cinema's rich history, plus more recent gems off cinema’s beaten path. We also look forward to an expanded menu of live performances and events as Covid restrictions ease.
We don’t know yet when it will be safe to invite the public back in. We hope to reopen in mid-2021, with full details to come. So stay tuned.
Meanwhile, meet the team that's leading Cinema Salem into its new era.
Film Curation and Programming
Born and raised in Danvers, Jon joins Cinema Salem after nearly a decade in New Orleans, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in film. He began working at the New Orleans Film Festival in 2011 and grew with NOFF’s programming team through a period of unprecedented expansion, helping craft the festival’s yearly slate of around 200 films out of a pool of thousands of entries. During that time, NOFF was listed on MovieMaker’s list of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee for nine consecutive years, as well as making frequent appearances on their über-exclusive list of The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. NOFF’s programming has been noteworthy for its commitment to diversity: each of the last several festival slates has come from more than 35% creators of color and 50% or more from women or gender non-conforming creators.
Even after ten years away, the North Shore still feels most like home. Jon is excited to be returning and looking forward to spreading film culture in Salem and beyond.
Peter started working at Cinema Salem when it first opened in 2006, and he's been around ever since. Peter grew up in this area and saw movies here when the place was part of the Patriot Cinemas chain. After studying film in college, he was happy to land a job at his old haunt and worked his way up to general manager. Among many other valuable roles, he is our institutional memory. We're grateful he wants to continue in his position.
Peter studied film at Keene State College and has pursued interests in screenwriting and production. He now serves on the selection committee for Salem Film Fest.
Community Engagement and Creative Direction
John is the founder of Creative Collective, Creative North Shore, and John Andrews Photography. A leader in innovative approaches to economic development, John is a community treasure. The Essex Media Group named him 2020 Person of the Year, recognizing his tireless efforts supporting and connecting the creative workforce and small businesses during the pandemic.
John is no stranger to Cinema Salem. He has produced and programmed dozens of live performances in the space and supported many film festivals and specialty programs. Going forward, he will continue working to grow the cinema into an asset for the creative community, and to expand the connections and collaborations with local artists, makers, culture leaders, festivals, and organizations, furthering the cinema’s vision of transforming the space into a place of belonging for all.
Marshall Strauss and Elaine Gerdine
Marshall and Elaine have lived in Salem since 2001, arriving from Washington DC and many points beyond. Admitted rookies in the cinema business, they bring business and creative experience in an array of other fields. They also confess a love of learning curves and the desire to sustain and expand a beloved community asset.
Marshall has spent his working years to date in the worlds of nonprofits, politics, and human rights advocacy. (Find details here.) Until stepping down in early 2020, he was CEO of the Workplace Giving Alliance, a Salem-based nonprofit that helps the U.S. government administer its employee workplace fund drive. He remains involved as a board member. He also serves on The Salem Pantry board, and is a former board member of Plummer Youth Promise and Historic Salem. Earlier professional activities included nonprofit fundraising, political speechwriting, and trying to bring democracy to China and Russia. (Some of these efforts have been more successful than others.) Along the way, he organized a 1991 Congressional human rights delegation to China led by Nancy Pelosi. He also was CEO of an organization that produced 20 human rights documentaries broadcast nationwide in Russia in the 1990s.
Elaine worked with Marshall at the Workplace Giving Alliance for five years. Her earlier professional life included web content management, corporate communications for a DC beltway bandit, church organ gigs, piano teaching, arts journalism, freelance editing, children’s-opera and musical-theater writing (words, not music), consulting for the New York State Council on the Arts, and playing keyboard with a South Texas bar mitzvah band. Lately her musical interests have skewed more toward the classical, but she still loves rock and roll.