RVC shares a film festival

Molloy College’s Madison Theatre will screen movies all weekend as part of Long Beach event


For the first time, the Madison Theatre at Molloy College is hosting part of the Long Beach International Film Festival, bringing films from the beach to Rockville Centre.

The Madison Theatre was set to be the site of the festival’s opening ceremony on Wednesday, and will screen films all day on Saturday and Sunday. The world premier of “The Wisdom to Know the Difference,” a film written and directed by Daniel Baldwin, and starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Baldwin’s brother William, was also scheduled for Wednesday.

“They were looking for a first-class venue to do their opening ceremony, show full-length movies and do their award ceremony,” Angelo Fraboni, executive artistic director of the Madison Theatre, said of the festival. “They have their drive-in on the beach. They needed a different type of venue for the full-length features.”

Long Beach film festival organizers actually approached Fraboni last year about using the theater for part of the show, but it was already booked. Fraboni wanted to be a part of the festival, but it just wasn’t possible. But he told the organizers to contact him earlier this year to make sure they could create a partnership.

“One thing I would love to see happen on the Island is more theaters and organizations partnering together instead of trying to compete,” he said. “I think we can help each other, and help ourselves in the process.”

On Saturday and Sunday, the Madison Theatre will screen films from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — feature films, short films, student films and a midnight horror movie. On Monday, the theater will host the festival’s closing-night award ceremony.

Fraboni said that the partnership with the film festival is what he always wanted summers at the Madison Theatre to be: a different festival every weekend to attract audiences and help make Molloy a focus of conversation and a destination for artists.

“We bring in a lot of diverse types of programming,” he said. “We’ve been doing some documentaries here. But by bringing in a film festival, it’s what our summers should be.”

The festival will serve as a springboard for other plans Fraboni has. The theater will host an Oscar party, at which guests can eat dinner on the stage while watching the show. And it will team up with the Long Beach Film Festival for events throughout the year as well, to help keep the festival in people’s minds.

“It’s part of our mission at the college,” Fraboni said. “It’s all about expansion, and it’s all about getting people together.”