Arts Award Spotlight: The Picture House Regional Film Center

One by one, ArtsNews is highlighting this year’s Arts Award honorees. The prestigious awards luncheon is held annually by ArtsWestchester to recognize the people and organizations who have a significant impact on arts and culture in Westchester County. This year’s luncheon will take place on April 19 at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase.

The Picture House Regional Film Center | 2023 Arts Organization Award

In 2001, the Pelham Picture House, which had been operating as a movie theater since 1921, was set to be demolished and replaced by a retail bank. A group of citizens established the Pelham Picture House Preservation, a nonprofit organization that aimed to purchase and preserve the theater. That nonprofit has since evolved into The Picture House Regional Film Center.

In February 2022, The Picture House opened its second location after signing a 10-year lease with BowTie Cinemas to take over operations of the Bronxville Theater. The Bronxville expansion added three screens—and another 1920s-era theater—to the regional film center. This has allowed for even more programming of new, independent, foreign and documentary films in Westchester.

This expansion has increased the organization’s audiences and strengthened its impact across the region through amplified access to some of the best available cinema, conversations, arts education and live performances in the County. With this, it also serves as an economic engine for local businesses by helping to attract more people to eat, shop and visit the downtown area.

For The Picture House, the opportunity to rescue another 1920s theater spoke to the organization’s heart and aligned with its mission.  However, to expand as it was also building back from the pandemic required a leap of faith that the organization bravely took.

Moving into its third decade, The Picture House Regional Film Center plans to continue evolving into a cultural center of excellence as it provides safe, welcoming spaces for creativity, curiosity and can’t-miss moments.


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About ArtsWestchester

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to create an equitable, inclusive, vibrant and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue.

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