The Grand Plans of the Grand Cinema

Marketing Manager of the Grand Cinema, Ernest Jasmin speaks about their current safety measures and events.

The Grand Cinema is a local non-profit theater that many Tacomans turn to for entertainment. It’s central to the Tacoma community. The Grand Cinema is open to all and has begun mandating vaccine cards. They want to maintain the safety of their patrons, volunteers and staff in order to continue to enjoy the films showcased.  The Ledger had the privilege of speaking to Marketing Manager of the Grand, Ernest Jasmin, regarding their current plans.

“As we’ve navigated this frustrating pandemic, we have always felt that safety comes before anything else,” Jasmin said, “We followed headlines related to the Delta variant spiking infection numbers and we thought updating our policy would be best for everyone.”

On top of these measures, the Grand Cinema has ensured that all of their staff and active volunteers are vaccinated. Even with these precautions, the Grand has immediate goals to get the word out that they are open and they’re eager to see as many guests as they did before the pandemic. 

Although the Grand has ceased their virtual screenings, they are still holding in-person events. The Grand has their Weird Elephant event twice a month, which is dedicated to cult classics, that are usually, but not exclusively, horror and science fiction.

“Our Theater Assistant Director, Wade Neal, hosts the event and fans can win prizes for answering trivia questions or showing up in cool costumes that are related to whatever film we are showing,”  Jasmin said.

The Grand also hosts free film days, a program created with a grant from Tacoma Creates to increase access to arts, culture, heritage, and sciences in Tacoma. They do this to support the Tacoma community, specifically to the underserved youth. 

“We appreciate all the support this community has given us over the years, and we like to create fun events like this to give a little something back, ” he said. 

Outside of these events are the Tacoma Film Festival, which returns in a few weeks, and their film programs. One of their programs is Film Camp, which recently finished under the leadership of their new Education Director, Paul Richter. 

“We have a number of other programs, including Film Education for Adults, but we have not gotten all of them up and running since we reopened,” Jasmin said. 

Although programs for adults are not currently running, there are still perks for adult film enthusiasts. The Grand offers free admission for students and EBT/Quest Card holders. Jasmin highly encouraged students to take advantage of this. 

Currently, there are many good films to watch. Jasmin’s favorite film that the Grand has shown recently is “The Green Knight,” which stars Dev Patel and is directed by David Lowery. He has also enjoyed “Summer of Soul,” “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” and “Swan Song.”

“We are committed to enhancing the cultural vitality of our community through quality film and education programming,” he said. 

Films create community and understanding for those who partake in watching them. And with this knowledge, Jasmin and the staff at the Grand look forward to continuing to do their part in enriching the community of Tacoma.

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