Photo Credit: Michael Isabell
Beacon’s independent movie theater opened in 2019, but it’s not only a theater. Founder Mike Burdge and his team – a “family” of 12 or so employees, partners, friends and his partner Diana DiMuro – have built a full-on community around the appreciation of movies, complete with festivals, online screenings, drive-in movies at University Settlement Camp, online criticism and podcasts.
For Burdge the obsession started early.
“I became very interested in the story aspect of film way early on,” he says. “I loved watching the cartoons I had grown up with and starting to understand that people wrote these things. That people were making decisions all for my entertainment.”
In this episode he shares Story Screen’s origin story as well as its comeback plan, post-pandemic. And he describes the vision to create an elevated movie-going experience that far transcends what we’ve all come to expect from chain cinemas.
“People haven’t betrayed movie theaters. Movie theaters betrayed people,” Burdge says. “They were charging too much. They didn’t care…. You can only go so far in treating things like a product.”