A torchlight parade, complete with bands and limousines, will greet the opening of Cambridge's newest movie theatre, the Orson Welles Cinema, at 7 p.m. tonight. The Cambridge City Council has joined in the celebration by declaring today "Orson Welles Day," in honor of the noted American Filmmaker.
The Welles Cinema, which is located in the now defunct Esquire Theatre on Mass Ave, is the brainchild of Dean Gitter '56. Gitter has append a year planning his project, a college-oriented entertainment center that he hopes will become a prototype for campuses throughout the country.
Among the new ideas to let incorporated into the Welles are:
* Midnight showings of films different from the regularly scheduled features. Those who come to the last show of the regular film may stay for the midnight movie at no extra charge.
* Bookstore devoted to cinema in the lobby.
* A cafe-style food concession, also in the lobby which Gitter hopes will serve as a meeting place for anyone who wants to sit around and talk about films.
* In the fall, the addition of a building which will house a multi-media sensual nightclub and a restaurant.
* Sunday afternoon screenings of works of local college filmmakers, and Saturday morning screenings, for films of younger filmmakers. An informal film workshop may be set up for the younger group.
The opening program at the Welles will be Bunuel's simon of the Desert and Welles's Immortal Story; the midnight show is Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Peter Jaszi '68, Gitter's film booking agent, plans to book both first-run art films and rarely seen American classics into the theatre. Audience suggestions will be a prime factor in his selection of films, he said.
Gitter's University Cinema Association has bought the old Esquire outright and extensive renovation is just beginning. Jaszi conceives of the Welles as "a 'great thirties' place of light, complete with Hollywood film memorabilia." He hopes to get away from the "anal approach, the sterility of the new, modern movie theatre."