FIlms at the Gate (2006-present)
Since 2006, every summer, we have transformed a vacant lot near Boston’s Chinatown Gate into a free, outdoor theater, showing Kung-Fu and classic Chinese-language films. Films at the Gate is a collaborative project of Boston Street Lab, film curator Jean Lukitsh, and the Asian Community Development Corporation. The series seeks to:
- improve awareness of Boston's Chinatown as a site of cultural activity
- restore a tradition of shared, public experience of Chinese-language films in Chinatown,
- provide temporary community use of Chinatown's underutilized spaces,
- draw foot-traffic to neighborhood restaurants, and make downtown Boston a destination beyond the working hours.
The Asian Community Development Corporation is a community-based organization serving the Asian American community of Greater Boston, with an emphasis on preserving and revitalizing Boston's Chinatown.
Jean Lukitsh is the curator of the series. Jean is a former resident of Chinatown, and was the projectionist for two of the three cinemas that existed in Boston's Chinatown in the 70s and 80s. Jean is a regular contributor to the popular website Kung Fu Cinema, a student of local wushu Master Bow Sim Mark, and a martial arts teacher in Boston.
Leslie and Sam Davol are founding producers of the event. After moving to Chinatown with their two children in 2005 and starting Films at the Gate, they founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Street Lab, which continues their work on Films at the Gate.
Visit the Films at the Gate Event Site
Looking for this year's schedule, directions, and details? Head over to www.filmstthegate.org where we maintain an event web site.
Go Behind the Scenes: our Blog
We've been producing Films at the Gate for six years, and writing about it for nearly as long. Follow along on the Street Lab Blog.
A tradition of film in Chinatown
Until the late 1980s, Chinatown had three movie theaters which showed double-features three times a day, often to packed houses from midday to midnight. Whole families would attend, and children would often play in the aisles. In the 1970s and 80s, concessions consisted of vending machine-goods, bags of popcorn, and fortune cookies brought in by the owner. Patrons often brought in their own food as well. Jackie Chan movies were especially popular. Facing pressure from the popularity of home video rentals, all three cinemas closed in the 1980's.
Our Recent Blog Posts about Films at the Gate:
What began seven years ago on a vacant lot continues on the Greenway: Films at the Gate returns for a seventh year, starting tomorrow, Thursday 8/23. Join us as we create a free, outdoor theater, showing Kung-Fu and classic Chinese-language films under the stars, next to the Chinatown Gate. Film schedule and details here. Movies roll at [...]
Films at the Gate starts is almost here! Check out the 2012 schedule chosen by curator Jean Lukitsh. Here’s another terrific post from Jean about one of her picks SHAOLIN TEMPLE. Thanks Jean! To say that Cheung Sing-yim (1935- ), the director of Jet Li’s debut film THE SHAOLIN TEMPLE, is relatively unknown is putting [...]
It’s time again for Films at the Gate! Every summer, Street Lab works with Jean Lukitsh, the Asian Community Development Corporation, and local volunteers to transform a vacant lot near Boston’s Chinatown Gate into a free, outdoor theater, showing Kung-Fu and classic Chinese-language films under the stars. Learn about the project here. Join us outside [...]
View all of our blog posts about Films at the Gate here.