NEW LONDON — This Thursday, “Elvis” will kick off the Winter Cinema Series at the Garde Arts Center, featuring local sponsorships of critically and Oscar & Golden Globe nominated films from 2022.
The series, running through March 11, includes films like “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” “The Woman King,” “The Inspection,” and “The Fabelmans,” along with Oscar Shorts.
This year, in a kind of “economic matchmaking,” several groups have sponsored films with the idea of driving tourism to the area, said Jeanne Sigel, development director at the Garde.
The collaborations include the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, the sponsor of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” on Feb. 3., which is hosting a “business-after-hours” event at the theater starting at 5:30.
“We’re sharing our market bases [with the Mystic Chamber] to be able to drive traffic – mostly Mystic to New London,” said Sigel. “Mystic has so many visitors and when they come here, this gives them an extended value to stay from a one or two day trip to a three, four or five day trip.”
Bruce Flax, president of the Greater Mystic Chamber, said that promoting the Garde was part of the chamber’s marketing of the region as a tourist destination.
“We thought it was really important to support the Garde and to show we’re a regional chamber that extends over the river and promotes the region as a whole,” said Bruce Flax, president of the Greater Mystic Chamber. “We can talk with people who may not have heard of the Garde or may not have heard there’s a historic trail in New London – and maybe they will stay longer than they intended to.”
For “Elvis,” the film sponsor is Young Professionals of Eastern Connecticut, which is a division of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, who will host a pre-movie reception from 5 to 7 p.m. (registration required).
Breezeline is the title sponsor for the series. In addition, co-sponsors include Sawyer Law Firm, The Shops at Mohegan Sun, Liberty Bank, Blu-Prints Unlimited, Inc. and Hall Communications.
“It’s not just about the Garde and the shows and what we do, but it’s about the strength of partnership in a time when we so desperately need happy and need connection,” said Sigel.
A pass for the entire series can be purchased for $65.
Editor’s note: The sponsor of “Elvis” is Young Professionals of Eastern Connecticut, which is a division of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, not the Young Professionals of Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce as previously published.