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Bijou Cinema Closing for Downtown Partnership

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The Bijou Cinema at the University of Iowa will soon be closing its door -- before joining forces with local nonprofit FilmScene.

The Bijou will now work as a partner with FilmScene, and programming will happen out of the nonprofit's new theater, Scene 1, located on the Ped Mall.

A crew is still working to put together the theater inside of the new space, where FilmScene co-founders Andy Brodie and Andrew Sherburne hope to start screening films in October.

"We're just excited for the cinema to open," Brodie said.

Long before he was building his own space, Brodie was working as a student at the Bijou Cinema. The relationship with FilmScene seems to be a natural fit.

"I know firsthand what an invaluable experience that can be, and I want to make sure we protect that tradition and that experience for students moving forward with FilmScene," Brodie said.

The student who run the cinema say it will only give them more opportunities.

"It's not as if the Bijou is going away, we're just focusing our efforts alongside FilmScene to grow," said Bijou Programming Director Joshua Yates.

The Bijou board of directors will be involved with programming decisions, creating campus programs, and it will have seats on the FilmScene board of directors, as well.

"It's exciting, and there's going to be plenty of work to go around," Sherburne said.

And FilmScene is dedicated to maintaining an authentic relationship with the university. The 100 seats that will be used in its theater were salvaged from the Hancher Auditorium.

Both FilmScene and the Bijou agree, the partnership will give students more real world experience will help bring art and cinema more exposure downtown.

"It's really a response to a need, I feel like, and what better people to do it than people who really care about cinema as an art form?" Yates said.

FilmScene will be hosting a meet and greet at its new location this Saturday at noon during Jazz Fest. Free popcorn will be provided.
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