With Trivia 237, BVFCC launches new monthly trivia night event

Best Video Film & Cultural Center launches a new monthly trivia night, Trivia 237 (or “T-237” for those dystopian future-minded folk) on Monday, July 2. The event starts at 7:30 PM and admission is a suggested donation of $5.

Trivia 237—named after the infamous Hotel Stanley room in “The Shining”—is the brainchild of BVFCC barista Lena Olive-Reese and her husband Paul. Lena and Paul, the creators and executive producers, will also host the event.

Trivia 237 will be a team trivia event comprised of four rounds of quizzing with ten questions per round, for a total of forty questions. Questions will cover a wide range of cinema-related (and “cinema-adjacent”) material: film facts, box office statistics, store facts, film score, television, reviews, among others.

No portable electronic devices of any kind may be used during gameplay under any circumstances. Competitors may not shout out answers during gameplay, attempt to look at answer sheets of other teams, or approach the executive producers’ table during gameplay. If a team is suspected of violating any of these rules, the executive producers reserve the right to disqualify the entire team for the individual round in which the offense occurred or the entire competition. Teams will be limited to a six-player maximum to allow as many people as possible to participate.

Teams write their answers on a prepared form provided by BVFCC. Answers must be written legibly in English. The executive producers reserve the right to disqualify any answers they judge to be too illegible to be considered correct.

Lena and Paul Olive-Reese.

Where proper names of film/tv/musics are concerned, a correct answer requires that the full name be given. For example, if the correct answer is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, an answer of “The Grinch” is marked incorrect. In the case of people, giving the last name is acceptable except in cases where there are multiple people with the same last name and the intent is unclear. For example, if the correct answer is “Kevin Smith,” an answer of “Smith” is not specific enough and marked incorrect. But, if the correct answer is “Martin Scorsese,” a response of “Scorsese” is considered correct.

Each question will be worth one point, with any extra credit questions being worth an additional point. Scoring points for extra credit questions requires answering the base question correctly in order to be eligible.

Every team has one joker to use. The Joker, when used, allows a team to double the total points earned in a round. Jokers do not double extra credit points. After a team writes all of their answers down, if they wish to use their joker, they must write “JOKER” in large, unmistakable print on their answer sheet before it is turned in for scoring. The Joker may only be used once.

After all questions are asked in a round, teams are allowed one minute to complete their answer sheets and submit them to the executive producers for scoring. Any late answer sheets will not be scored and the team will score zero points for the round. Cumulative totals of all teams will then be read before the next round begins.

After all rounds are scored, the team with the highest overall score is declared the winner. All scoring, as decided by the executive producers, is final.

Bring your friends and test your knowledge of film trivia at Trivia 237. T-237 will be held the first Monday of each month.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Monday, July 2, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

Oscars Brunch this Sunday, 10 AM-Noon—Free Bagels & Mimosas!

This Sunday is Oscars Sunday!

BVFCC is hosting another Oscar day brunch this Sunday, March 4, the morning of the Academy Awards. From 10 AM until noon, we will be offering free bagels and mimosas. We will be selling Oscar ballots at $1 a piece that will offer you the chance to win prizes like a Cafe Amici gift certificate or a BVFCC t-shirt. We will also have a trivia contest.

It will be fun—be there! It’s free! (We are always, of course, happy to accept donations.)

BVFCC New Year’s holiday weekend hours

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s holiday weekend hours:

Café: Saturday, 8 AM-6 PM; Sunday 8 AM-6 PM; Monday 8 AM-5 PM.

Video archive: Saturday 9 AM-10 PM; Sunday 9 AM-9 PM; Monday 9 AM-7 PM.

Have a Happy New Year’s, a great 2018, and please stay safe!

Support BVFCC—purchase memberships, share holiday cheer with friends at the café, get special order DVDs & Blu-Rays, gift certificates

To our members, friends and neighbors: December is upon us, the end of another year and a time for giving. We appreciate and thank all for another year of support, exciting events and relative stability. We could not have done it without your interest and participation.

This holiday season please keep us in your holiday gift-giving plans, every little bit helps. Customer activity can get a bit lean during the dead of winter so here is how you can help maintain BVFCC’s success:

• Come out for a coffee, a show, a beer or wine and meet up with a friend;

• Make your holiday special orders of movies of TV series;

• Renew a soon-expiring membership;

• Purchase a gift membership for friends—for video rentals or the cultural membership plan for BVFCC music and film events, or for both;

• Buy BVFCC gift certificates, good for both the video and cafe sides of BVFCC;

• Please consider a donation as well as year end nears. Remember, we are a not-for-profit charitable cultural organization and any donation to Best Video is completely tax deductible. Your accountant will be proud of you! And we’ll be as happy as Rudolph leading the way!

We wish all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and hope to see you at BVFCC sometime soon. And thanks again for your continued support. We’ll give it all back to you in the coming year, adding more films to our vast library, more live music, beautifying our space, and having a place for you, your families and neighbors to meet and feel the sense of community that is yours and ours. Here at Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

A message from BVFCC on this #GivingTuesday

To our members, friends and neighbors: December is upon us, the end of another year and a time for giving. We appreciate and thank all for another year of support, exciting events and relative stability. We could not have done it without your interest and participation.

This holiday season please keep us in your holiday gift giving plans, every little bit helps. Customer activity can get a bit lean during the dead of winter so coming out now for a coffee, a show, a beer or wine and meet up with a friend, a holiday special order or purchase can all add up to a happy and sustaining season for Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

Consider, too, renewing a soon-expiring membership, purchasing a gift membership for a friend and buying a gift certificate for anything and all we offer. Please consider a donation as well as year end nears. Remember, we are a not-for-profit charitable cultural organization and any donation to Best Video is completely tax deductible. Your accountant will be proud of you! And we’ll be as happy as Rudolph leading the way!

We wish all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and hope to see you at BVFCC sometime soon. And thanks again for your continued support. We’ll give it all back to you in the coming year, adding more films to our vast library, more live music, beautifying our space, and having a place for you, your families and neighbors to meet and feel the sense of community that is yours and ours. Here at Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

Artists Audrey Nefores, Nick Hurwitz-Goodman create BVFCC-themed art show/benefit to show at Ordinary tavern in New Haven; opening Sat., Nov. 11, 7-10 PM

Local artists—and Best Video Film & Cultural Center members—Audrey Nefores and Nick Hurwitz-Goodman are creating “Creepshow,” an art show and benefit for BVFCC that opens at Ordinary on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 7-10 PM. Ordinary—a tavern from the guys that brought you Mikro, Caseus Fromagerie Bistro, and The Cheese Truck—offers craft cocktails & delicious, locally sourced ingredients in one of New Haven’s oldest bars, located at 990 Chapel St.

Taking cues from cinematic moments and technique, CREEPSHOW is a collection of relics that explore the beauty of film through paint, sculpture and mixed media. The artists hope this work will inspire others to experience the uniquely tactile and sensory experiences found in places like Best Video Film & Cultural Center, the last video rental store in Connecticut.

Join Nefores and Hurwitz-Goodman for a video-drenched night with wild art, food specials, spaghetti western music, and a chance to get a rental membership at the best nonprofit video archive and performance venue on the east coast.

Nick Hurwitz-Goodman work in progress inspired by “The Brood” (1979, directed by David Cronenberg. This masterpiece flick is available to rent at BVFCC.

Brooklyn-based musician Simon Hanes is a special guest. Four years ago, Compformanger (composer, arranger and performer) Simon Hanes founded Tredici Bacci, a 14 piece chamber-rock orchestra, as a vehicle by which to explore his near-manic obsession with music from Italian films of the 1960s and 70s. Since then, the NY-based group has been smacking audiences right in the face with their celebratory and transgressive approach to a largely overlooked musical lineage. Hanes’ original compositions approach the work of maestros like Ennio Morricone and Armando Trovajoli from a underground music perspective, resulting in fiery, high-energy performances.

BVFCC Second Anniversary Gala scheduled for Sat., Nov. 18, tix available; gala is free to any who donated more than $100 in 2017

Please join us on Saturday, November 18, 2017, from 7-10 PM, in celebration of the second anniversary of Best Video Film and Cultural Center (BVFCC), a non-profit created to preserve Best Video’s rich archive and explore new ways to bring people, film, and music together. The celebration will take place at The Ballroom at The Outer Space in Hamden.

Tickets are $25 but please consider making a donation over and above that amount. Supporters who donate over $100 — or have donated over $100 this year — will receive complementary admission to the show. Donations in excess of the value of admission are tax-deductible as allowed by law. You can purchase tickets online here.

BVFCC was officially recognized as a tax-deductible non-profit by the IRS in 2016.

We have increased our programming with over 120 music events; more film screenings with larger turnouts and great discussions; more lectures on films by Yale Prof. Mark Schenker; and increased use of the Performance Space by community groups.

We organized a film festival — BestFest Student Films, which had its initial event on Dec. 10, 2016 — to showcase the work of local high school students. In addition, educators and filmmakers involved in the organizing of BestFest Student Films offered several free filmmaking workshops for students.

A lineup of superb local artists have offered to donate their talent for this event: bluegrass group Five in the Chamber, klezmer big band Nu Haven Kapelye, indie rock chamber group Olive Tiger, and the string quartet rock band The Tet Offensive. We will also be showing locally made short films between musical acts.

Steve Rodgers, owner of The Space and The Outer Space, has generously donated use of The Ballroom for our gala event.

About BVFCC

Best Video Film and Cultural Center (“BVFCC”) was created to preserve Best Video’s rich archive and explore new ways to bring people, film, and music together. On November 1, 2016, BVFCC took over BEST VIDEO, a valued community space serving Greater New Haven with its world class film archive, performance space and coffee bar.

The entire film archive — one of the finest such collections in the country — remains in place and continues to grow with additions of more foreign and domestic films, documentaries, and television series. In addition, the music events, film screenings and other presentations in the performance space have been expanded to reach a broader community audience.

New Membership Options

Our goal is to bring good movies and good people together. For customers who like the way we do that now, nothing will change. For just a few dollars, you will still be able to rent any movie in our archive. However, we now offer new membership formats that we believe better serve BEST VIDEO’s diverse customers and provide more value and simpler access to our expansive archive and our music and film events.

Our Success Depends on You

We invite the support of every member of the BEST VIDEO family. If you are unable to make it to the concert, please consider making a donation. All amounts are greatly appreciated. We look forward to the participation of all of our existing members and are excited to welcome new members to our family as we continue in our efforts to enrich the cultural wealth of the greater New Haven region.

BVFCC Appeal an ongoing success—over $30,000 raised!

Dear Friends,

Wow.

We are humbled and grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support and love—there really is no other word for it—that we have received from the community since we made our appeal for donations and memberships.

The “official” campaign, as defined by the Facebook event we created, lasted through last Tuesday, August 29. But we continue to get new households joining up for our monthly or annual membership plans.

As of mid-day Monday, September 4, we have raised over $30,000 through donations and supporters signing up for new memberships or upgrading the plans they already have. We have added almost 100 new members.

If you haven’t already joined one of the plans but would like to, you can do so at this link or in person at Best Video Film & Cultural Center.

If you would like to donate, you can do so at this link or in person at Best Video Film & Cultural Center.

We are deeply grateful and humbled by the community’s support.

Thank you!

Appeal progress update: An outpouring of support!

Dear Friends,

It has been almost a week since we went to the public to appeal for support because our finances were faltering. And the response to our appeal has been an outpouring of affection for Best Video Film & Cultural Center, expressed in memberships, donations, social media sharing, and reports in such media outlets as Connecticut Public Radio and The Arts Paper. This support has been expressed numerous times by members coming into Best Video to tell us, “We don’t know what we would do without you.”

As of mid-day Monday, we have raised almost $18,000 through donations and supporters signing up for new membership plans or upgrading the plans they already have. These funds enable us to pay off all our outstanding bills and to start building a cushion for the rest of the year. This campaign has already substantively broadened our base of support in the community.

Having reached this point, we hope we can shoot for the goals of $20,000, or $25,000, or even our ultimate goal of $50,000.

With the addition of those who have joined over the past week, we now have over 400 members on the monthly or annual plans. Can you help us reach 450 or 500 by the end of the week? We have had longtime Best Video members who haven’t rented since as far back as 2010 sign up for plans. And we have had completely new members respond, too.

One new member wrote on Facebook today, “This is becoming a wonderful new routine! Just picked up a copy of The Mist (located in the Stephen King section) to blow my girlfriend’s mind tonight. Did you know that Best Video has a full bar and offers Foxon Park soda?”

In response to community interest, our café will be open later on Monday and Tuesday nights starting next week to go along with the hours it is open Wednesday through Friday when we have shows.

Also in response to a suggestion by a local resident, we will soon be rolling out a new membership option—the Cultural Membership Plan—for those who are more interested in the music and film events we offer than the movie rentals. The Cultural Membership will cost $20 a month or $200 for the year and will entitle the members to attend any BVFCC event at no further cost just by showing their member card. (It will not apply to events presented by outside promoters.)

We believe it is important to be responsive to the community. The community has always been there when we have needed help. We know what needs to happen and we believe it is possible, but we need your help to get us there. There are three ways that you can contribute:

• If you are not already a member, become a member today by signing up online or coming into our space. Programming director Hank Hoffman suggests a target of 200 additional members over the next few months in order to have enough recurring revenue to cover our current operating expenses.

Make a donation online (or in person).  General manager Richard Brown says raising $20,000 would catch us up with bills currently owed to vendors. Even better, BVFCC Board of Directors President David Margolis points out that raising $50,000 would enable us to also pay off the remaining debt to Best Video founder Hank Paper and establish a financial cushion that would facilitate expanded community programming and improvements to the physical space.

• If you have already donated and/or gotten a membership, share your affection for BVFCC on social media. The success of this campaign to date has been driven by incredible word-of-mouth on Facebook and other social media outlets. Please help us keep up the momentum through this second week by telling your friends what Best Video means to you.

We know that we can make that happen. Approximately 5,000 households support Best Video each year by renting videos, purchasing items at our cafe, or attending our events. If just one in five sign up for a membership plan, then we will reach our goal. If just one in ten make a donation of $100 or more, then we will exceed our goal of raising an additional $50,000 this year. Many hands…

If BVFCC were just a “video store,” we would have closed years ago. And perhaps deservedly so. But BVFCC is much more than that. It is a community gathering place, a performance venue, a film screening room, a national-level archive of the history of cinema, and a safe place for neighborhood children to come and hang out after school. It is a place where people, film, and music come together.

When you are a member of Best Video Film & Cultural Center—whether you pay on a recurring monthly basis or get a 10% discount by paying annually—BVFCC becomes your library of film. Depending on your level of membership, you get free admission to from 1-4 shows per month. Most importantly, you are part of a community dedicated to keeping BVFCC as an essential part of the cultural wealth of the greater New Haven area.

Very Truly Yours,
The BVFCC Board:

David Margolis, President
Scott White, Treasurer
Jean Blue, Secretary
Elin Schoen Brockman
Linda Satin Pancoast
Avi Kamrat
Richard Brown, General Manager
Hank Hoffman, Programming director

Appeal: Community support needed for Best Video Film & Cultural Center

Dear Friends:

Without a groundswell of support, Best Video faces the very real threat of having to shut our doors.

What happens in the very near future will determine whether Best Video Film and Cultural Center will close, will limp along, or will soar.

• If you are not already a member, become a member today by signing up online or coming into our space. Programming director Hank Hoffman suggests a target of 200 additional members over the next few months in order to have enough recurring revenue to cover our current operating expenses.

Make a donation online (or in person). General manager Richard Brown says raising $20,000 would catch us up with bills currently owed to vendors. Even better, BVFCC Board of Directors President David Margolis points out that raising $50,000 would enable us to also pay off the remaining debt to Best Video founder Hank Paper and establish a financial cushion that would facilitate expanded community programming and improvements to the physical space.

After more than a year-and-a-half of operation, BVFCC is proud of the community support that has carried us this far. We have already raised over $35,000 in donations in the fiscal year beginning October 2016. Of particular note as a marker of the value the community places on Best Video, is this year’s performance in The Great Give, the May online charity marathon organized by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Out of some 500 worthy nonprofits, BVFCC finished in the Top 10 in number of individual donors and in the Top 25 in total contributions.

Unfortunately, despite our successes, when it comes to bringing in enough income to cover our expenses and pay off our debts, we are falling short. We have a 2nd Anniversary Gala celebration planned for November. We had hoped to get to that event without calling on the public but a slower than expected summer necessitates this appeal.

The average monthly operational income shortfall that donations need to make up is approximately $4,700; in the past ten months, we have been averaging about $3,500 in donations. Good but not quite enough. ($2,000 of that $4,700 per month is remaining debt for the purchase of the assets; that obligation is fulfilled by June of next year.)

Presenting programming to delight and educate the community. Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps playing music from “The Simpsons” TV show to a sold-out crowd this past July.

When we opened as a nonprofit in November 2015, we knew that the traditional video rental model was not viable. For several years leading up to Hank Paper’s sale of Best Video’s assets to BVFCC, rental income was decreasing by 20% a year. Anticipating that the trend would continue, we started offering annual membership plans. With membership plans starting at $10 per month, we projected that if we can reach 700-1,000 members by the end of the third year, we would be able to replace the rental income with membership revenue.

The good news is that almost 370 households have signed up for one of the three membership plans. The bad news is that—for BVFCC not to run into recurrent cash flow crises and, ultimately, face the awful decision to close—we need 200-500 more member households.

We know that we can make that happen. Approximately 5,000 households support Best Video each year by renting videos, purchasing items at our cafe, or attending our events. If just one in five sign up for a membership plan, then we will reach our goal. If just one in ten make a donation of $100 or more, then we will exceed our goal of raising an additional $50,000 this year. Many hands…

If BVFCC were just a “video store,” we would have closed years ago. And perhaps deservedly so. But BVFCC is much more than that. It is a community gathering place, a performance venue, a film screening room, a national-level archive of the history of cinema, and a safe place for neighborhood children to come and hang out after school. It is a place where people, film, and music come together.

BVFCC exists bring people, film, and music together.Pre-Oscars Brunch this past February.

When you are a member of Best Video Film & Cultural Center—whether you pay on a recurring monthly basis or get a 10% discount by paying annually—BVFCC becomes your library of film. Depending on your level of membership, you get free admission to from 1-4 shows per month. Most importantly, you are part of a community dedicated to keeping BVFCC as an essential part of the cultural wealth of the greater New Haven area.

Very Truly Yours,
The BVFCC Board:

David Margolis, President
Scott White, Treasurer
Jean Blue, Secretary
Elin Schoen Brockman
Linda Satin Pancoast
Avi Kamrat
Richard Brown, General Manager
Hank Hoffman, Programming Director