The Grace Museum partnered with the Historic Paramount Theatre to present Grace After Dark, a series of 24fps International Short Film Festival rooftop screenings.
The event took place Thursday, Sept. 3, with the Rock’n Rollerz Rollin’ Grill food truck and courtyard seating, and the rooftop opened to the first 100 guests.
This was the first of several free events the Grace Museum will offer on its rooftop. Normally, the museum rents the venue for events such as weddings, special events and exhibition receptions.
Emerald Cassidy, director of marketing and communication, said the event was created to cater to the young adult crowd.
“We do a lot of things on Thursday nights as far as the museum,” Cassidy said. “We always have an exhibit on hand, and we have educational forums for children, families and adults, but we wanted to engage our younger adults.”
The museum was able to provide equipment to project films on the rooftop with money received from a grant, something Cassidy said they’d been wanting to do.
“We’re blessed to have one of the rare views in Abilene with the rooftop that we have and our famous neon sign,” she said. “Although we have these rooftop screenings with the Paramount, Grace After Dark will encompass more of a late-night kind of activity for adults to enjoy.”
Barry Smoot, artistic director of the Paramount, helped make the event possible by curating a set of short films from the 24fps International Short Film Festival, a film festival facilitated by the Paramount Theatre. Films from Spain, the United Kingdom and other places around the world have been submitted into the competition.
“It’s an international film festival, so they’re really great films,” Smoot said.
Smoot was able to provide the Grace with the films because of his connection to the festival. He said it was as simple as asking the artists for permission to show the films.
Thursday night was the inaugural debut of the rooftop as a venue for free events. A series of six short films will be screened and complimentary refreshments will be available.
These events are limited to patrons 21 and older because alcohol will be served.