The University of Iowa

Bijou Film Board and FilmScene Announce Partnership on Downtown Cinema

Building on tradition, the Bijou Cinema and FilmScene are pleased to formally announce their partnership on a new cinema set to open downtown.

Starting this fall, the Bijou Film Board and its student members will work with FilmScene’s professional staff and board of directors on the operation of its new cinema and cafe, which will be located on the Pedestrian Mall at 118 E. College Street and operate 365 days a year. This summer will be the Bijou’s last season of programming at the Iowa Memorial Union.

“The Bijou and FilmScene share a unified vision to build a vibrant cinema culture in Iowa City,” said Bijou Executive Director Jesse Kreitzer. “This partnership ensures that the Bijou’s longstanding tradition of showcasing the best in independent and foreign cinema will continue to thrive.”

FilmScene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization co-founded in 2011 by Andy Brodie (pictured, himself a former student director of the Bijou) and Andrew Sherburne with the the following mission statement:

“FilmScene is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the cultural vitality of the Iowa City area through the presentation and discussion of film as an art form. With programming that entertains, inspires, and educates, FilmScene works to build and connect the community through film.”

“We are proud to partner with an organization with such a rich programming history,” said Brodie. “FilmScene will offer students real-world work experience and an opportunity to study and enjoy film in a professional, purpose-built cinema setting. Together, we’ll build the home for film that Iowa City deserves.”

The Bijou Film Board will continue to receive funding from the University of Iowa Student Government and the Executive Council of Graduate & Professional Students. Funding will support stipends and wages for student positions, campus marketing and outreach, as well as programming and collaboration with other UI groups.

“Student government recognizes the importance and value of the Bijou Film Board and FilmScene partnership,” said former UISG President Nicholas Pottebaum, who helped negotiate details of the partnership. “The two organizations have displayed an unwavering commitment to enriching the cultural and cinematic landscape of Iowa City."

New UISG president Katherine Valde added, “This is an exciting opportunity to continue expanding a vibrant downtown. Student government is delighted to support the Bijou Film Board in its new endeavor and believe that this new partnership will foster a great entertainment and cultural hub.”

Students will receive discounted admission to FilmScene, as well as be eligible for a discounted annual membership. FilmScene members will enjoy the lowest admission price and a variety of other membership perks, including discounts on popcorn and soda. Details on the membership program and ticket pricing will be announced later this summer.

"We're very excited about this new collaboration between FilmScene and the Bijou,” said Julia Haslett, a member of UI's cinema faculty and acting head of film/video production. "It will open up important new opportunities for programming student work, help attract world-renowned visiting artists, and connect UI's Cinema and Comparative Literature Department to the Iowa City community."

Additionally, FilmScene and the University of Iowa continue to explore potential daytime use of FilmScene cinemas for educational use, and there will be many collaborative programming opportunities between UI entities and FilmScene.

"This collaboration between FilmScene and the Bijou represents an exciting new chapter in the history of the Bijou, and will provide students with tremendous new opportunities to pursue their passions and learn important skills that they will take with them into the workforce, whether they work in film or another industry," said Tom Rocklin, Vice President for Student Life at the University of Iowa.

Scene 1 marks the return of full-time cinema to downtown Iowa City, which hasn’t had a dedicated movie theater since the sale and closure of the Campus 3 in 2007. In a city-sponsored market survey in 2011, respondents cited “movie theater” as the most-wanted entertainment addition for downtown.

“What’s exciting about this project is that it continues to diversify the mix of uses and activities for both the community at large and for students Downtown,” said Nancy Bird, Executive Director of the Iowa City Downtown District. “These cool cinema houses are emerging in some of the nation's hippest metropolitan cities–it’s a natural fit for the Iowa City Downtown District.”

Scene 1 will address the immediate demand for quality film programming in downtown Iowa City and serve as an opening act for FilmScene’s plans for a two-screen venue and educational facility to be housed in The Chauncey development at Gilbert and College Streets. The Chauncey is anticipated to open in 2016 at the earliest. FilmScene is collaborating with local developer Marc Moen and moengroup on plans for both Scene 1 and The Chauncey.

"This is one of the most rewarding projects we have been involved in,” said Moen. “A decaying historic building has been restored and repurposed into vital retail, entertainment and office uses. This project was made possible by a strong collaboration between the City of Iowa City, private business and the University of Iowa. It is a testament to what can be accomplished when these stake holders work toward a common goal. Moen Group is honored to have been a part of this project."  

More information about FilmScene and Scene 1 is available at

For additional information, please contact:
Andy Brodie, FilmScene Director/Co-founder, at 319-541-5443or
Jesse Kreitzer, Bijou Executive Director, at 319-333-8484or


The Bijou was founded in 1972 by a group of University of Iowa students who sought to bring a variety of independent, art house, foreign and classic films to the community. A non-profit, student organization recognized by the University of Iowa, the Bijou Film Board consists of a volunteer board of directors under the leadership of its Executive Director and Programming Director. The Bijou’s annual operating budget is funded by a portion of the student activity funds allocated through UISG and ECGPS.


Established in 2011, FilmScene is 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the cultural vitality of the Iowa City area through the presentation and discussion of film as an art form. With programming that entertains, inspires, and educates, FilmScene works to build and connect the community through film.

FilmScene Board of Directors

Andy Brodie, Director and co-founder
Andrew Sherburne, Associate Director and co-founder
Laura Bergus, Secretary
Doug Ongie, Treasurer
Karen Chappell
Evan Evans
David Gould
Tommy Haines
Kembrew McLeod
Andre Perry
Facebook: ICFilmScene
Twitter: @ICFilmScene