If you’re a cinema lover, you’re an art house theater lover. There’s something just special about seeing independent and restoration films at a classic cinema that is a completely different experience than going to your local AMC or even Alamo Drafthouse.

And of course, while we love and support movies wherever they are, it’s very cool to see organizations like Art House Convergence (AHC) put together events like Art House Theater Day which is set to return this year on Thursday, July 25th.

So, if you too love cinema and want to support your local art house theaters, here’s what you need to know about this one-of-a-kind event.

The History of Art House Theater Day

Launched back in 2016, Art House Theater Day is an annual program of AHC that brings audiences together to celebrate all that art house theaters —and independent film—contribute to our cultural landscape. Their motto, so to speak, is to provide ambitious and innovative art that provokes, challenges, entertains, and inspires, and the day is very much in that vein.

“We haven’t gathered synchronously since 2019, and July 25th will be a great day to celebrate the art house - which extends beyond any genre of film and truly exemplifies community-driven curation. We’re excited to remind movie-loving audiences that their local art houses are the premiere theatrical destination for independent film.” — AHC Managing Director Kate Markham.

The original Art House Theater Day in 2016 reached more than 150 cinemas across the country and, in addition to programs like Art House Theater Day, AHC offers networking opportunities, resources, and best practices to independent exhibitors at large.

Art House Theater Day 2024

This year’s lineup features the premiere of the 40th anniversary 4K restoration of The Terminator released by Park Circus, along with an exclusive Q&A with Director James Cameron and Producer Gale Anne Hurd on the film's indie roots and the critical importance of art house theaters today. This conversation will play following the film and will be moderated by Amanda Salazar, Director of Programming at Vidiots, a non-profit video store and entertainment events hub for film lovers in the Los Angeles area.

"Knowing that many people have never seen the film, or missed out on seeing it on the silver screen, I couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate The Terminator's 40th anniversary with its return to cinemas on Art House Theater Day. People may wonder if The Terminator is truly an indie film. As the film’s producer, I can assure you it is. Jim Cameron and I made the film for $6.4 million, which included a completion bond and a 10% contingency. We had a variety of co-financiers, pre-sold rights and our distribution was through Orion Pictures rather than a major studio - the very definition of an indie film, both then and now. We hope you’ll enjoy the nostalgic experience of seeing it this summer!" — producer Gale Anne Hurd (“The Walking Dead,” Armageddon).

Additional titles for Art House Theater Day are set to include Janus Film's 4K restoration of West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty (Director Med Hondo, 1979) and Suburbia (Penelope Spheeris, 1983) courtesy of American Genre Film Archive.

For more information on Art House Theater Day, you can visit the ACH site here as more programming announcements are set to be revealed later this month.