The Historic Fountain Theatre and the Mesilla Valley Film Society
Las Cruces, NM – On this edition of PUENTES a la comunidad, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra spoke with Mesilla Valley Film Society (MVFS) President, Carol McCall, about their non-profit organization, a brief history of the historic Fountain Theatre located off the Plaza on Calle de Guadalupe in Mesilla, NM, and upcoming events. www.mesillavalleyfilm.org.
Since 1874 the Fountain Theatre has been owned and operated by several members of Colonel Albert J. Fountain’s family, starting with Albert Jr. in 1905. He began producing plays, vaudeville, light opera, lantern slide shows, and silent films. Jr. also painted the interior murals showing his father entering the Mesilla Valley. In 1929 Albert Jr. sold the building to my Great-Uncle Vicente Guerra, who decided to install projection and sound equipment to show “talkies” and installed the first permanent screen and seats. In 1938 Albert Fountain III bought back the building and screened only Spanish language movies and live plays until 1951. It was vacant for over 10 years then Arthur Fountain acquired the building and lent it to the Las Cruces Community Theatre (LCCT) until 1977 when his son, Artie, began to show films and allowed the NMSU Theater Arts Department to stage plays. Then in 1989 Artie rented the building to the Mesilla Valley Film Society (MVFS) who now screen American independent, foreign, alternative films, and fundraising events with other non-profit organizations. Two special events coming up on September 15th is the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference scholarship fundraiser two screenings of “Traveling Mariachi Memoirs,” by filmmaker Barbara G. Bustillos Cogswell. And on September 18th, a fundraiser for Animal Companions of Las Cruces with a screening of KEDI, about Istanbul’s street feline population. www.mesillavalleyfilm.org.