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Cleveland Arts Prize Will Honor Cinematheque Founder John Ewing

photo of John Ewing

 The Cleveland Arts Prize is honoring Cleveland Cinematheque founder John Ewing tomorrow night at the theater’s new location. The event includes the world premiere of a documentary on Ewing’s life.

John Ewing founded the Cinematheque in 1986 and moved it late last year to a new, state-of-the-art facility at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

The evening begins with Ted Sikora’s documentary about Ewing, and both men will then participate in a Q&A, followed by a screening of the 1949 film “Late Spring,” one of Ewing’s favorites. He says he’s not sure if his theater would have been as successful in another city.

“Cleveland has this bedrock of arts supporters. And that’s who really kept us going in the early years. We’re facing a lot more competition from Amazon and Netflix [and] cable television.”

Ewing adds that his mission of presenting the finest in film has been enhanced by the new theater’s installation of both film and digital projectors.

“We can also still show 35-millimeter; we don’t do it all the time, but we do at least one 35-millimeter film every weekend. And I’m not going to tell you that film is better than digital. But it’s definitely different than digital. And a lot of people think it’s better. But if you want that option to compare, you can do it at the Cinematheque.”

Ewing received a special citation for the Cleveland Arts Prize in 1995, and has also been honored with France's Order of the Chevalier of Arts and Letters in 2010.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.