AFS Cinema and Hall, operated by the Austin Film Society, is an arthouse theater and event space located in Central Austin at the Linc Center. This unique venue features a 278-seat movie theater outfitted with Dolby sound and a 35mm changeover system in addition to a large, open hall space for galas, parties, weddings and performances. The AFS Cinema serves as the home of Austin Film Society's exhibition programs and is also available to rent for private screenings and special events.
AFS Cinema (Formerly The Marchesa)
Hours: Opens one hour before any event. See upcoming events here.
Address: 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78759
NEWS ABOUT THE AFS CINEMA
Lauded Austin Chef Tapped to Create Austin Film Society’s Menu
Austin Film Society, helmed by founder and director Richard Linklater, is getting a brand new home in Highland. With that, comes a cafe with a fresh new menu created by consulting chef Jorge Hernandez, who just joined the team along with WHM Hospitality, which means Bill Mann is helping out too.
Hernandez’s vision for AFS’s impending menu includes fancy popcorn, pork hot dogs, cheese and charcuterie plates, and, for the healthy-minded vegetables with dips, so far. To quench those thirsts, beer, wine, and cocktails will be served. Two teased drinks include a rum and coke made with smoked gum syrup, and gin and Mexican tonics.
Guests will be able to order their food and drink at the counter, where they can either bring everything into screenings, or choose to eat out in the lobby. The art cinema theater will feature two screens and an event hall, the Marchesa Hall. It's pegged to open sometime this year.
Since Hernandez is only Austin Film Society’s consulting chef, WHM will also hire the theater’s permanent staff, including the culinary director. Austin is one of the major hubs for dine-in theaters, with the debut of Alamo Drafthouse back in 1997. Other like-theaters include Violet Crown, Flix Brewhouse, iPic, and others.
Hernandez is keeping busy after leaving Qui last year. He is also the consulting chef for brewery and restaurant The Brewer’s Table, which is opening this summer. He also opened several restaurants with Jose Andres, including Jaleo in Las Vegas and Minibar in Washington D.C.
UPDATE FROM: FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Austin Film Society announces the redesign of the organization’s twin screen arthouse cinema and event hall, designed by Designtrait and Michael Hsu Office of Architecture. AFS Founder and Artistic Director Richard Linklater will collaborate with the local design firms to realize the organization’s long-time vision for a full time arthouse cinema for Austin’s film lovers. Scheduled to open in early 2017, the venue’s new design will celebrate the organization’s 31-year history as a beacon for Austin’s vibrant film community and evoke appreciation for cinema and movie-going culture past and present.
“Designtrait and Hsu are our ideal design partners for this project” said AFS Founder, Richard Linklater. “They have elevated the vision with their creativity and depth of experience, and shared and delighted in our passion for film, finding ways to express this in the design. Best of all, they are Austinites who want to support AFS in making something great happen for the community.”
“The ultimate goal for the design of the theater is to create a setting that complements the vision of an arthouse theater: a hub for the vibrant arts community to share the film experience and engage with each other,” said Michael Hsu.
In addition to adding a second cinema to the venue, located in Austin’s Highland neighborhood, the redesigned space will have a variety of distinctive gathering areas, including an entry vestibule, bar, and lounge, offering guests pleasing settings in which to assemble before and after films. The kinetic space will be simple yet dynamic, mixing features, elements and colors to welcome guests into a comfortable atmosphere with a distinctively “Austin-vibe.” The cinema will feature a series of “surprise and delight” moments ranging from grand design gestures to Linklater’s own private movie memorabilia, including:
Vintage cinema posters curated by Linklater
Movie soundtrack album covers from Richard Linklater’s personal collection
Full service bar and featured food menu
Renovated lobby with cinema-inspired light installations and lounge seating
New marquee signage
Updated Event Hall, available for private rental
“Richard Linklater and the Austin Film Society are design collaborators in the purest form,” said Becky Jeanes, architect and co-owner of Designtrait. “Richard has been at every design meeting, thoroughly thinking through the design. The resulting design is truly representative of the organization and delivers very deliberately layered elements that will enhance the experience for moviegoers.”
Working alongside Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and Designtrait is Swinerton, an Austin construction company that will serve as the Construction Manager and execute the buildout once design nears completion.
UPDATE FROM: SEPTEMBER 27, 2016
Austin Film Society (AFS) is thrilled to announce that it assumes management of its own cinema and event venue this week and plans to significantly expand its offering of curated programming.
AFS has signed an agreement to operate the theater and event venue formerly known as the Marchesa Hall and Theater (6226 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, TX 78752). The venue will be temporarily renamed the AFS Cinema until—after undergoing significant renovations—it will relaunch, with new branding and expanded programming in early 2017.
Richard Linklater, Austin Film Society’s Artistic Director and Founder says “opening a full time art house theater has always been part of the organization’s vision,” and it is a “dream come true” to see this come to fruition. Running a full-time theater enables AFS to grow its museum-quality, carefully curated repertory, international, and art house film programming, as well as host AFS Premieres and Special Events such as the recent AFS Artist Spotlight with Ethan Hawke and the upcoming Sundance Institute #ArtistServices Workshop (May 21).
Linklater announced lead gifts and AFS’s plans to open an arthouse theater on stage at the Texas Film Awards, presented by H-E-B, in March. A recording of that announcement, which also outlines the history of AFS’s exhibition program, can be viewed here.
David Monahan, an Austin native, has been hired as General Manager to lead daily operations of the theater and event space. Monahan previously held senior management positions with Nordstrom’s restaurant division, where he served as General Manager at several locations nationally. He previously was a stage manager for UT’s Texas Performing Arts and an Assistant Theater Manager at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Theater.
In addition to housing AFS’s curated programming and special events, the AFS Cinema and Event Space is available for rent. Please direct all rental inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Austin Film Society is a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status and is committed to making Austin synonymous with great film. To support AFS in bringing international film culture and education to Austinites through the expansion of the theater, contact Lauren Alexander-Labahn, Director of Relationships and Revenue, at email@example.com
The project was originally announced at the 2016 Texas Film Awards. Read our March 10 press release >>
UPDATE FROM: MAY 5, 2016
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For media inquiries, please contact Charlotte Hill.
For rental information of the venue space, please inquire here.
If you're a filmmaker or distributor and are interested in having your film programmed at the Cinema, please inquire here.
THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE FOR SUPPORTING AFS AT THE MARCHESA, THE BEST LITTLE ARTHOUSE IN TEXAS!
Elizabeth Avellán • JP's Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation • The Linc • Richard Linklater • Taline Manassian • Zachary McGhee • Chris Mattsson and John McHale • Anthony and Kelly Pedone • Robert Rodriguez • Irene Pavlis and Alexander Shoghi • Jessica Winslow and Steve Smaha • Amy Lowrey and Jason Sugg • Neil Wilson • Mary and Howard Yancy • Anonymous (2)
Carol and Chris Adams • Deborah Green and Clayton Aynesworth • Kristin Johansen-Berg and Alan Berg • Louis Black • Suzanne Deal Booth and David Booth • Edmund Bujalski • Jim Butler • Sarah Rosenthal and Morgan Coy • In Memory of David Crittenden • Beverly Dale • James Duncan • Embassy Suites Hotel - Austin Central • Marcy and Robert Garriott • Mark Genfan • Sam Graham • Mark S Hall • Kendall and Todd Hasie • Charlotte Herzele • Robert Holt • Carla and Jack McDonald • Annie and Mark McKinnon • Ross Moody • Shannon Moody • Chale Nafus • Linda Ball and Forrest Preece • Catherine Robb • Edward Safady • Jane Schweppe • Gloria Castro and Bob Sedgwick • Jeanette Scott and Don Sembera • Zachary Swickey • Michelle Guchereau and Victor Torres • Donna and Rick Triplett • Sharon and Travis White • Suzanne and Marc Winkelman • Anonymous (2)
Regeana Akers • Jasmine, Kaitlyn and Liam Baker • The Branfman Family • Laura Fleischauer and Zack Carlson • Virginia Hemstreet and Tom Chamberlain • Tai-San Choo • Donna Reily Davis • Erin and Bears Fonte • Emily Ramshaw and David Hartstein • Shirlene and David Justice • Asad Kirmani • LUND FUNdation • Greg and Mari Marchbanks Family Foundation • Brian Miller • Vincent Prendergast • Linda Roark and Ford Turner