NMHS grads team up to present Classic Cinema Club

Two New Milford High School graduates have teamed up to bring some popular films back to the big screen.

Myke Furhman and Andrew Atkinson have launched the Classic Cinema Club.

The club’s next screening will be “Groundhog Day” Feb. 6 at 9 p.m. at Bank Street Theater in New Milford.

Two other screenings were previously offered.

“Halloween” was shown in October, followed by “Gremlins” in December, both of which drew a large crowd.

“There’s something about seeing older nostalgic movies on the big screen,” Furhman said.

“I’m a big movie buff in general and so far, all the titles that have been shown are my favorite,” said Lizz Czajka, who attended the first two screenings and has tickets for the third screening.

“It’s something different,” she said. “It’s local, fun and you run into some people you don’t see often.”

Furhman described the club as having “taken off.”

“We’re happy,” he said.

So far, individuals of all ages have attended, but most of the attendees are in their 30-40s.

“We really want to be seen like a social event,” Atkinson said of the events.

“Have (a drink), come hang out with us and watch the film.”

A $15 ticket includes the screening, popcorn and a soda or adult beverage.

The longtime friends introduce each film and interact with the audience.

A crowd of 60 or more guests from as far as Hartford and Milford attended “Halloween.” Many of them were horror film or Michael Myers fans.

A similar crowd flocked to the theater to see “Gremlins,” which was followed by a special Q&A with Michael Finnell, producer of “Gremlins.”

Many of the fans brought stuffed Gizmos to the event.

Both Atkinson and Furhman said they would like to invite other special guests to screenings in the future.

“We want to get people who were involved in the making of films as guests,” Atkinson said. “To make it a movie and a shared experience.”

The next film will probably be in April, and outdoor screenings might be offered this summer, Furhman said.

Much thought goes into selecting the movie to screen. One factor is whether the theater can obtain the rights from the studios.

“We don’t just pop in a DVD,” Atkinson said.

The club coordinators said they will mix up the types of movies they screen to keep things fresh.

Furhman and Atkinson, who both graduated from New Milford High School previously lived in Los Angeles before moving back east where they were raised.

“One aspect we loved of living in LA was the historical theaters that played classic films,” Furhman said.

Their mutual affection for that type of entertainment was at the root of their idea for the cinema club.

That was nurtured by Atkinson’s fiancée, Jessica, who rented out a theater for Atkinson and friends to view an “Avengers” movie.

“She kind of sparked the idea,” Atkinson said, noting a screening of “Jaws” for friends soon followed to gauge interest in periodic movie screenings.

“Who says we can’t do this on our own?” Atkinson recalled asking Furhman.

The men, who have known each other since age 11 or 12, enjoy working together to bring the screenings to the community.

“It’s been a great partnership so far,” Atkinson said of the working relationship with Furhman. “Our skills complement the other.”

Furhman is the owner of Myke Foo Media in New Milford, a full-service video, photography and recording studio. Atkinson was an ad executive while living in LA.

The next Classic Cinema Club movie screening, “Groundhog Day, will be shown Feb. 6 at 9 p.m. at Bank Street Theater in New Milford. Tickets are $15.and can be purchased in advance by visiting the Facebook page for “Classic Cinema Club” and following the link on the “Event” information for the Feb. 6 program.