Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Ah yes, St. Patrick’s Day! The one day a year when I enjoy corned beef and cabbage. Yes, this is one of my favorite meals, however for some reason I only eat it once a year. Each year I always say I am going to have corned beef and cabbage more than once and before I know it, it is St. Patrick’s Day again!

Coming from Irish descent, I enjoy partaking in the activities that come with St. Patrick’s Day, like parades and celebrating my Irish heritage.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone out there! Luck of the Irish! Éirinn go Brách!

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A Simple Carnation

One of my favorite thing to photograph is flowers. A few weeks ago a single carnation came home. A simple white carnation in all of its simplicity in a vase of water. So, my new found love for photographing flowers just happened.

For some reason a simple thing as a carnation can brighten my day. Photographing flowers has become a new hobby of mine. Flowers don’t seem to fail to make me smile. Hope you all had a wonderful week!

I, Tonya

One of the most infamous skating scandals in history came to the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. The hit movie I, Tonya follows the story of competitive figure skater Tonya Harding as she climbs her way to the top of the skating world against all the odds. Her life tends to be going in the right direction to becoming an Olympic champion until the infamous Nancy Kerrigan attack. On February 18th, the Garde Arts Center brought this to life bringing in people from all over.

On a bright sunny and unusually warm day in February, there was chatter in the lobby between the ushers getting in their position as the popcorn was popped. There was chatter among everyone about the hit movie coming to life. When the doors opened many more came in talking more about the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan story. Not only was the movie I, Tonya being talked about, but upcoming movies Phantom Thread on February 28th and Darkest Hour on March 1st. Some people were stopping looking at some of the posters hanging in the windows at the Garde for upcoming movies Loving Vincent on March 7th and Call Me By Your Name on March 4th.

When the theater opened everyone was welcomed into a theater while popular figure skating program music played. While they made their way to their seats photos of upcoming events like Andrew Bird on March 2nd and Lyle Lovett on March 3rd flashed on the screen. There were photos of popular events that took place in the past, as well as sponsored events the Garde had hosted. There were some photos showing the some of the employees hard at work to keep the Garde up to date for patrons coming in. There were even photos of the Garde from before the renovations like World War II campaigns and the bar during the 1950’s.

Back in the lobby, while people stopped to grab food and drinks at the bar there were some people who had stopped and looked at future posters for future events like Popovich on March 16th and David Sedaris on April 14th. But, there was a special table that showed the Garde’s active involvement in the community. Together with Bethsaida Community Inc. and Safe Futures a purple donation box was set up. Both of these fantastic outreach programs help out victims of domestic violence and homeless families who have fallen on hard times. Adorned with a bouquet of orchids many had stopped to look at the box to help out these organizations for struggling families.

When the time came for Steve Sigel to take the stage a flood of people made their way in the theater. After giving a word of welcome he made a few light jokes about the movie I, Tonya before announcing the BANFF Mountain Film Festival for Winter sports fans. He proceeded to talk about the awards and nominations I, Tonya has earned. Many people were intrigued to learn the choreography done in the movie was done by the same woman who choreographed the 2002 Winter Olympics. Then he announced the audience was in for a special treat; a short film about Wally Lamb. The popular author has written books that take place at the Garde.

When the lights went down advertisements for sponsors for the Winter Cinema Series at the Garde Arts Cinema played: Secor Subaru, Atlantic Broadband, and the Thames Heritage Museum. All of these sponsors are proud to sponsor the Garde Arts, not only for the cinema series, but many other events. Then the Wally Lamb movie had played. In this short movie filmed at the Garde he talked about his life growing up around women and how it influenced his work. He spoke about his books that take place at the Garde and popular female silent director Lois Weber. When the film finished a preview for The Shape of Water on March 9th played and the movie began.

Following the harrowing story of Tonya Harding’s life as she overcame the odds to become a champion figure skater. Remade interviews with Tonya, her mother Lavona, and ex-husband Jeff Gillooly flashed on the screen leading many to laughter and sighs of shock at the same time. When the movie had ended many people stayed in the theater to watch the credits as they were intrigued by Tonya Harding’s untold story. As people made their way outside they talked about I, Tonya along with the story. Only the Garde Arts Center could bring to life a movie like I, Tonya. The legendary movie palace in New London, Connecticut was able to bring a story like this to life.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

There is no place in the world, to me, that can show a movie like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The only place in the world that can deliver the classic old fashioned movie palace atmosphere is the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. On February 16th, this critically acclaimed and award winning movie brought in people from all over to see the film in this of a kind atmosphere.

While the ushers were receiving their final instructions the popcorn was being popped as the bartenders prepped their stations. The patrons started to fill up the box office lobby anxiously waiting to get inside. Several of them had stopped at the box office to pick up a ticket for the movie. In the box office lobby they were looking at advertisements for upcoming events like Lyle Lovett & Shawn Colvin on March 3rd and Air Supply on March 10th.

When the doors opened the lobby filled with people where they were delighted to see advertisements for upcoming shows like David Sedaris on April 14th and Popovich Pet Theatre on March 16th. While others spoke about the upcoming movies coming to the Garde like Phantom Thread on February 28th and Darkest Hour on March 1st. Several people were walking by the Garde to see posters for upcoming movies leading many of them to stop and look at posters for The Shape of Water on March 9th and I, Tonya on February 18th.

In the lobby, as well, were representatives from Atlantic Broadband. The sponsors of the Garde Arts Winter Cinema Series were wearing royal blue shirts handing out mini basketball stress balls to patrons. Some of them stopped to answer questions about what Atlantic Broadband had to offer and the movie they were about to see.

As they made their way into the theater country music played while photos of upcoming events, like Andrew Bird on March 2nd, flashed on the screen. When the time came Phil Micalowski, president of the Board of Trustees for the Garde, came to the stage. He gave a warm welcome to the seven hundred and fifty three audience. After announcing the future movies for the weekend, The Post on February 17th and I, Tonya on February 18th, he took his seat leading to the movie to begin.

Once the movie started everyone was glued to the screen. There were people who were laughing at times, then crying at others. When Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ended there was applause by the audience. When the lights came back on many people in the audience stayed behind to watch the credits to see all who were a part of making this masterpiece.

In this traditional movie palace there were people who were pleased with a night out at the Garde Arts Center. The local nonprofit arts center was able to give everyone a movie to watch in a traditional movie palace. There truly is no place like the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut could provide.

The Disaster Artist

On a rainy cold day the Garde Arts Center opened its doors for the hit movie The Disaster Artist. The movie following Tommy Wiseau making the “worst movie ever made” called The Room brought in many from all over. The cold and rain did not stop people from walking to the Garde to see the critically acclaimed film.

As people made their way in out of the cold the aroma of popcorn filled the lobby. There were many who were buying cups of Harney and Sons tea where hot water, honey, and milk was set up for them, while others stopped to get a hot cup of coffee. In the lobby there were many people talking about the film they were about to see.

In the lobby with advertisements for upcoming events at the Garde like author and humorist David Sedaris on April 14th and the Australian iconic singing duo Air Supply on March 10th. Some people showed interest in the hit family musical The Wizard of Oz on May 3rd and the unique Popovich Pet Theater on March 16th. All of these events and more are coming to the Garde in the coming months much to the delight of patrons around Connecticut and beyond.

However, the most chatter came around the upcoming movies that are part of the Winter Cinema Series at the Garde Arts Center. Sponsored by Atlantic Broadband, Secor Subaru, The Thames River Heritage Park Tour and many local business come together for this event. In fact, this year there have been two movies added to the list: A Fantastic Woman on March 29th and Loving Vincent on March 7th.

When three o’clock came the lights dimmed with the previews for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri on February 16th and I,Tonya on February 18th played. After both of these previews there was some small talk about the excitement of these two films as both are critically acclaimed. Then the main event started The Disaster Artist. The audience was glued to the screen laughing when it was funny and sighing when it was said. The critically acclaimed film that has received a nomination for an Academy Award and James Franco won a Golden Globe Award for his role as Tommy Wiseau.

Ultimately, the film about the making of the worst movie ever made was a hit with the audience. After the film there was much chatter about how The Room became a cult classic after a terrible film debut and being critically slammed. In the movie The Disaster Artist the story was there about how it all came to be. At the Garde Arts Center some people lingered in to lobby to talk about the film they had just seen.

The Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut on February 11th was able to bring to life a film like no other theater. A local legendary movie palace The Disaster Artist was shown here for all to see in a one of a kind experience only the Garde Arts Center can offer. This windy and rainy day came with happiness and joy at there for who came to see an uplifting story about a man and his vision.

The Florida Project

There is something about movies that bring people together. Whether they make us laugh or cry there is a hidden meaning behind each of them that leads to people wanting change through discussion. In the hit independent film The Florida Project, the message was clear and the meaning powerful. On February 10th, the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut brought this film to life.

In the lobby filled with paintings by local artists part of The Constantine Art Group patrons came in after waiting patiently in the box office lobby. While some sat at tables munching on popcorn, others were admiring posters for upcoming events like Popovich on March 16th and The Wizard of Oz on March 9th. However, they all had one thought on their mind which was The Florida Project. There was small talk about the film as many have not heard of the film before.

As photos of past events were flashing on the screen of past events like parties and children musicals in the theater patrons made their way in looking at brochures for local community programs, like Lighthouse Community Center and the Thames Yacht Club. Others were holding brochures that had the dates for music acts like Rodriguez on April 13th and An Evening with Andrew Bird on March 2nd. The chatter about these upcoming events at the Garde seemed endless.

When the time had come for Steve Sigel to take the stage the exciting chatter about upcoming events seemed endless. Before welcoming everyone to the Garde he revealed that a cellphone had been found in the bathroom. After some comedic banter about the lost phone, the woman managed to find her phone because her friend had called it for her. He then proceeded to talk about Tape Face appearing on Febraury 15th, the hilarious mime from America’s Got Talent will be making an appearance at the Garde Arts Center. After lightening the mood, Steve explained the name for the film came from Walt Disney’s original name of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Florida Project, as an independent film, received critical acclaim with Willem Dafoe receiving several nominations for his performance as the motel manager Bobby. With a film about families living in motels in the shadows of Disney World this was a film that would be remembered.

The lights went down and after previews for Call Me By Your Name and A Fantastic Woman, both coming to the Garde in coming weeks the film began. There was laughter and tears as the movie came to a close. When the film ended many stayed behind to watch the credits as well as talk about the ending of the film that inspired many.

The Florida Project came to the Garde Arts Center providing a unique atmosphere for everyone all over. In the film we follow a precocious young girl as she looks beyond her surroundings through friends and bonding with her mother. Living in a hotel in the shadow of tourists who come from all over to Orlando, Florida, only the Garde could provide from a legendary movie palace.

When the film was over many people were talking in the lobby about the film they had just watched. A magical night was brought to life with tears and laughter at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut with the independent critically acclaimed film The Florida Project.

Tape Face

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A mime with noise, stand up with no talking, and drama with no acting are the three lines America’s Got Talent finalist Tape Face uses to describe himself. On February 15th, Tape Face brought his show to the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. There were many people who came from all over to watch this interesting, yet comedic, man put on a one of a kind show.

From the moment you walked in the door you could tell there was something different about Tape Face. There were a few people waiting in the lobby to go to a meet and greet with the one and only Tape Face. As they are waiting a table of souvenirs was being set up with red tape roses made by Tape Face earlier that day, signed photographs and posters, and T-shirts for sale. There was much buzz around this table and people taking photos next to the poster announcing Tape Faces arrival to the Garde.

The families coming to the show with children were intrigued by the upcoming events The Wizard of Oz on May 3rd and Popovich on March 16th. Other ads that popped out for several other patrons were Air Supply on March 10th and David Sedaris on April 14th. On top of all these other events there was much talk about the Garde Winter Cinema Series currently going on. All the movies part of the Atlantic Broadband sponsored Cinema Series are critically acclaimed with all receiving nominations for Academy Awards.

When the doors opened for the audience in they were welcomed into the theater where a stage was set with two chairs and many props for the show. With whimsical music playing there was chatter about upcoming events and even more so the show. There were questions about what Tape Face was going to do in his show. All of these questions were soon answered.

After David Keller, who is part of the board for the Garde, welcomes the audience. After telling the audience he was there with his family he left the stage and Tape Face walked on. Literally, he just walked on stage to applause, then walked off only to come back on stage to applause. After he came on stage the second time, the fun didn’t stop.

In this show there was much audience interaction with these “I-don’t-know-where-I-am” acts. There was a Western skit with red balloons and staple guns followed by a Star Wars parody with a tape measure. Several skits using pop culture references like the Rubix cube and a horse race with stick horses. All of this lead up to a finale wit several red balloons.

At the beginning of the show he brought up a patron who pressed a button with a sign saying “Do Not Push.” Every fifteen minutes the lights would show just on the button announcing the countdown. When the time finally came, the same man came back on stage only to be blindfolded while red balloons were being handed out to the audience to be blown up. The lights came on to an audience holding red balloons in their hands. When the blindfold came off the patron laughed leading to red balloons being thrown on stage followed by more red balloons coming from the ceiling. All of this was happening to the hit song “99 Red Balloons” by Nena playing.

When the show ended the audience headed out to the lobby to meet the one and only Tape Face. There was a long line of people waiting to get photographs and autographs from him. Ultimately, there was only one place that could bring this type of entertainment, The Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut was able to make a one of a kind experience with a one of a kind act.

Get Out

File:Teaser poster for 2017 film Get Out.pngOn a frigid night people from all over came to see the suspenseful movie Get Out at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. This ground breaking movie brought in people from all over to see the film in a movie palace, a true one of a kind experience that only the Garde can offer. This cold winters night was one to be remembered with a critically acclaimed suspenseful film.

Before the doors even opened there were people who were lined up in the box office lobby to see Get Out. Many patrons were talking about how they had seen the movie before. While music played they took an interest in the two movies added to the Garde Arts Winter Cinema Series: A Fantastic Woman on March 29th and Loving Vincent on March 7th. Not only was there interest in the movie series, but music acts as well coming to the Garde. The Australian duo Air Supply on March 10th and Andrew Bird on March 10th sparked the interest of many as they asked questions.

There were many patrons who made their way to the balcony where they saw the poster for Tape Face on February 15th. The hysterical mime from America’s Got Talent is going to be making his debut at the Garde. With so many events on top of all of these acts coming to the Garde, some people made their way back to the box office so they can buy tickets for upcoming shows like The Wizard of Oz on May 3rd and Popovich Pet Theater on March 16th.

When the time came for Steve Sigel to take the stage the audience was silent. Once he came up on stage he announced upcoming events before talking about Get Out. Directed by Jordan Peele he became the first African American to direct, write, and produce a movie that broke one million dollars at the box office. After much applause by the diverse audience Steve Sigel welcomed Brittany Midland to the stage. Brittany is the Vice President of the Black Engineers Counsel at Electric Boat. When she took the stage she was met with full applause where she revealed there would be a meeting at Two Wives Pizza for a discussion and review of the movie. Once she gave the microphone back to Steve Sigel and he gave a few remarks before the lights dimmed.

Once the movie started the audience was glued to the screen. There were shrieks of terror and laughter. Towards the end there was applause by the audience as they were able to get the ending they had hoped for. When the film credits rolled many had stayed behind to watch them before exiting the building. Many were making their way to Two Wives to meet up for the discussion about the film. In the end, Get Out a suspenseful, terrifying and engaging movie managed to bring out a reaction from all.

At the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut could only offer a one of a kind atmosphere for a movie like Get Out. This critically acclaimed film brought many from all over from different walks of life to see a film with meaning behind the horror. The Garde, once again, was able to offer another memorable night for many people from all over.

Lady Bird at The Garde

On a Saturday night the Garde Arts Center filled up with people to see the Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning film Lady Bird as part of their Winter Cinema series. With the box office lobby filled with patrons buying tickets to come see the film this night was destined to be a special night at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut.

Before the magic only the Garde could provide to the audience there was popcorn being popped and the bar being set up. In the lobby the ushers were taking their positions. The patrons made their way in by letting their tickets be scanned in the new scanning system.

Many patrons made their way inside the theater but stopped by to grab refreshments. One of the popular places was the new tea display where there were cups of tea being brewed with a free cookie. In the lobby there were many stopping by to look at the upcoming shows The Wizard of Oz on May 3rd and the New London Youth Talent Show on April 6th. Others stopped and asked questions about future shows like Air Supply on March 19th and Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin on March 3rd. Others stopped by a table to pick up advertisements for BANFF, a Mountain Film Festival at the Garde on February 25th. On the same table there were pamphlets for spring programs at the Connecticut College Arboretum and activity place mats for Kaden Bart Rockett, a show coming to the Garde on February 8th.

When the time came for Steve Sigel to take the stage he thanked the sponsors and benefactors after welcoming everyone. After talking about the film Lady Bird coming to be with Greta Gerwig writing and directing insisting she does it by herself. The film came to be with the vision of Greta Gerwig on her own. After talking about her he began to speak about Lois Weber.

Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber PosterGiving a bit of Garde history he mentioned it was Lois Weber’s silent film The Marriage Clause that first premiered at the Garde over ninety one years ago. He mentioned the resurgence of Lois Weber came when local author Wally Lamb wrote about her and her epic work as a woman in the silent film era. After talking about how great her work is he mentioned there would be a short film about her before the movie called “Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber.”

After previews for upcoming films at the Garde Get Out on February 9th and The Florida Project on February 10th, the films, Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber and Lady Bird began. Both films were met with applause at the end. Laughter filled the cinema as the movie, Lady Bird, played on. When the film finished there were many talking about the film and asking questions about Lois Weber. The Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut brought to life two different stories about strong women in a way only the Garde can do.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi at a Movie Palace

One of the most epic franchises of all time came to the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut with its latest film. The newest Star Wars film The Last Jedi came to the Garde bringing in many to the legendary cinema palace. Many parents brought their children, some of them wearing Star Wars logo T-shirts, to see the film in a one of a kind setting.

Before the doors opened there were many people setting up. Two new volunteers were popping the popcorn for the crowd before they came in. I got the chance to talk to them. “I’ve always been interested in theater and I came up here six months ago,” Alexis tells me as she fills up boxes of popcorn who hopes to volunteer backstage. After moving up here with her family from Georgia she was drawn to volunteer at the Garde. She told me about the friendly atmosphere and community she encountered when she first walked in. “I think it is really great that this is a non profit. When I came here for my interview I was amazed by the enormity of the building. When I first came here everyone was so friendly. I got to go back stage and see the dressing rooms. It’s a learning experience,” Alexis excitedly tells me.

Alongside her popping the popcorn is her younger sister Brandy. The film is her first time volunteering here and she already loves it. “I love volunteering here. It is so beautiful,” Brandy tells me commenting on the beauty of the Garde. The two sisters seem interested in volunteering in every aspect of the Garde. “Anything that I can do,” Alexis excited tells me of new found love for the Garde.

As I was talking to Alexis and Brandy many people were buying Star Wars wrapping paper and gift bags. For a contribution of five dollars to P.A.C.E (Partners Arts Community Education) the patrons could pick one. Showing their support for local organizations there were many who were buying the merchandise even after the show.

When the time came for Steve Sigel to take the stage he thanked the sponsors and benefactors before talking about the movie. Remarking on the film being shot in Croatia and Ireland he spoke about the film being Oscar nominated for John Williams score and the actor Anthony Daniels being the only Star Wars actor to appear in all eight films as droid C-3PO. In his final remarks he spoke about Carrie Fisher who portrays the legendary Princess Leia Organa. In her final film before her sudden death he mentioned the film was dedicated to her.

When the film began there were previews for upcoming films at the Garde Darkest Hour on March 1st and The Post on February 17th. When the movie began there was nothing stopping the audience from giving their undivided attention to the screen. There were laughs at times and sighs at other times. When the film ended the audience had burst into applause before leaving. As they made their way out they stopped by and admired posters for future shows like Tape Face on February 15th and The Wizard of Oz on May 3rd. There were many people walking out talking about the newest Star Wars film after seeing it in a movie palace. Only The Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut could provide.