Once a month, The Grace Museum partners with the Historic Paramount Theatre for late-night rooftop film showings selected from the Paramount’s 24 FPS International Short Film Festival, called Grace After Dark.
The program began four years ago when the two local downtown attractions began discussing different ideas for collaboration. Rebecca Bridges, programming and interpretation director at The Grace Museum, said they provide the space, while Paramount provides the short films for the production.
“The vision is just to create something fun for the community and a way for us to partner,” Bridges said. “We like to find any opportunity to work with our neighbors and help each other out.”
Bridges explained how guests are encouraged to buy a ticket, then pick up food from a downtown restaurant or food truck and bring it back to enjoy a dinner on the rooftop.
“It’s a great way for us to provide something that’s just for adults because there’s not that many events in Abilene that aren’t for the whole family,” Bridges said. “It’s kind of fun to have a grown-ups only event sometimes.”
The program consists of an artistic compilation of three to four films from around the world through the Paramount’s 24 FPS Internation Short Film Festival.
The film festival takes place annually in November, bringing in about 3,000- 5,000 submissions. Barry Smoot, Paramount Artistic Director and 24 FPS Festival Director, said they were approached by The Grace Museum to collaborate.
“We started talking about films and then we hit upon our short film festival that would work great for their programming because we could do short, pretty eclectic programs,” Smoot said. “So what we do is show films that have been official selections or winners of our film festival here.”
Admission is free for the first 100 guests, due to fire code restrictions for the rooftop capacity. The Grace Museum also offers free popcorn and allows outside food. A trailer and extra information on each showing can be found in advance on The Grace Museum’s Facebook page and website.
Grace After Dark is put on only during the warmer months. The last monthly showing is October 11, until they start back up in April.