Springfield’s only arthouse movie theater plans to move to a new downtown location in January 2014. Construction crews have already started building out the two-screen location on the ground floor of 305 S. Campbell, a new mixed use under development by Brentwood Management that is attached to the College Station parking garage.
The move will not increase the size of the theater but will give it several key amenities, according to Mike Stevens, the Executive Director of the non-profit theater. “We’ll suddenly have tons of free covered parking, comfy new seats and be on a lively stretch of Campbell that only looks to get busier,” said Stevens. “We’re excited.” The move comes just months after The Moxie raised $120,000 to pay for a new digital projection system mandated by Hollywood studios. The new projection system will make the move as well. “It’s been a busy year at The Moxie,” says Stephanie Stenger Montgomery, president of the theater’s Board of Directors. “We’re so appreciative that Springfield rallied behind The Moxie. It really showed how much the community values what The Moxie does, namely bring artistically worthy films to town.” The January move will instantly create a “Theater District” with the Regal College Station 14 only one block north on Campbell. “You’ll be able to see virtually any movie playing within a 150-mile radius in one square block of downtown Springfield,” said Rusty Worley, the Executive Director of the Urban Districts Alliance. “This reinforces the walkability of downtown and the opportunity to park once and enjoy a wide variety of offerings.”
The Moxie Cinema screens first-run independent and foreign films that otherwise would never come to Springfield. The original one-screen location on Walnut Street (408 W. Walnut) opened in September of 2005. The theater transitioned to a non-profit in 2010 following a national trend among arthouse theaters. Aside from regular screenings of first-run films, The Moxie promotes local filmmakers though regular screenings, collaborates with other local non-profits (Sister Cities, Ozarks Public Television, NAACP, etc…) on free community screenings and has built a robust education program that offers youth workshops on visual storytelling as well as regular free kids screenings.