CIFF Night at the Beachland Ballroom

March 24, 2014   |   posted in Festival Events


As a recent transplant to Cleveland who is still exploring all the city’s hot spots, I ventured out to Collinwood to experience the 38th CIFF’s first ever film screening at the legendary Beachland Ballroom, sponsored by Cellar Door Cleveland.

Walking through the front door was a refreshing step back in time. Originally built in 1950 as the Croatian Liberty Home, the venue was converted in 2000 to host a diverse range of musical acts in the main ballroom and smaller gigs featured in the tavern. The place holds plenty of its original character with its wooden-slatted gym floor, brassy crown molding, and intimate setting for concert-goers.

Both films shown last night were part of yet another first for the festival this year, the Music Movies competition. The night began with “Mistaken for Strangers,” a comedic and touching rock-doc about The National, an indie rock band who graced the Ballroom’s stage in 2003.

“The National played here on September 3, 2003, and we paid them $150 to play in the tavern,” said Cindy Barber, one of the owners of the Beachland Ballroom as she introduced the film. The popular band has gone on to find international success and had a recent guest appearance on Saturday Night Live.

Cleveland local Cory Paul was highly anticipating the second film, “The Ballad of Shovels and Rope”. “This is one of the main places I come to see a show in Cleveland,” said Paul. “I attend the film festival as often as I can, and I’m excited they’ve started showing screenings at Beachland.”

Thankfully, Cleveland’s historical landmark is only the beginning of this burgeoning neighborhood. After the show, I wandered into a record shop, Music Saves, and Star Pop Vintage & Modern, offering a hodgepodge of action figures and collectors’ items. After being newly branded a local, I’m happy to say it was my first of many visits to Collinwood’s Waterloo Arts District. Cheers, Cleveland! You’re starting to feel like home.

Amy Kersey
Photo by Hilary Bovay

PDF  Download Related PDF [1.2 MB]

Related Screenings:
03/23/14 @ 6:00 PM – Mistaken for Strangers
03/23/14 @ 8:00 PM – The Ballad of Shovels and Rope

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