Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT:   Polly Burks
561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

FAU and Community Leaders Hold Groundbreaking for New Classroom and Movie Theater Building

BOCA RATON, FL (June 2, 2009) - Florida Atlantic University and community leaders gathered today to celebrate the groundbreaking for a new classroom and office building on the Boca Raton campus that also will house a movie complex to be operated by cutting-edge Living Room Theaters, Inc. (LRT).   The 73,000-square-foot building was designed to meet U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2010.

The $19 million dollar facility will house 14 classrooms, conference rooms and office space for the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.   It will be anchored by a three-story atrium that is designed as a “main street” for the building and one wing of the first floor will house a state-of-the-art all-digital movie complex with four separate theaters and a café.   These all-digital theaters offer significant environmental advantages by eliminating the use of celluloid prints. This is the first and only all-digital theatre on a university campus.  

The movie complex will be used during the day by FAU’s film study program in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, allowing students to study film in a true cinema setting with outstanding picture and sound quality.   On evenings and weekends, the theaters will be used by LRT for community screenings of foreign, classic and independent films.   The complex will feature films that are rarely shown in mainstream, high volume theaters, and it will emphasize new releases from around the world.   Moviegoers will be able to relax in the comfortable seating of the 50-person theaters while enjoying food and beverages purchased at the LRT café.   The café will offer a wide range of food and a sophisticated selection of beer and wine.

The Living Room Theaters portion of the building is funded by a donation of $1.5 million from LRT and matching funds from the State of Florida’s Alec P. Courtelis Capital Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant Program, which doubles the gift to $3 million.  

The architect for the building is Astorino and the construction firm is Turner Construction.  FAU is working with Astorino and Turner Construction to minimize the building’s environmental impact through strategies such as:

·                prioritizing the purchase of local materials and minimizing the carbon costs of shipping;

·                using natural light as much as possible and designing to keep air conditioning costs as low as possible;   

·                installing sensors that automatically turn off the lights when an area is unoccupied;   

·                using hard surface flooring that is manufactured sustainably and will maximize indoor air quality by minimizing mold and dust; and  

·                using green-certified materials whenever possible — for example, choosing materials that do not outgas chemicals after installation.  

FAU’s Boca Raton campus will be the second site for LRT, which also operates a foreign/independent cinema in Portland, Oregon.   LRT is owned by the father/son team Diego and Ernesto Rimoche.   Ernesto Rimoche is the well-known and award-winning Mexican producer of films including “Mask,” an adaptation of Julio Cortázar's story “El Perseguidor,” “ El Anzuela” (The Come On) , “Demasiado amor” (To Love, Too Much), and documentaries for television including “Como Julio, México” (July in Mexico), “Los Tres Sismos” (The Three Earthquakes) and “La Línea” (The Line).

  “In this region filled with malls and multiplexes, independent cinema, especially from other countries, is rare.   This unique partnership between the university and LRT will showcase such cinema and help build film culture in this region,” said Manjunath Pendakur, dean of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.  “Also, our accomplished faculty will be able to teach their classes in this state-of-the-art facility.”

For more information about FAU’s School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, call 561-297-3850.

-FAU-

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