Some Cinestudio staff members - November 2015

Some Cinestudio staff members – November 2015

Staff - 2013 Staff – 2013

Some of the folks who bring you the movies at Cinestudio.

Cinestudio is an independent film theater located on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. The theater is a single-screen venue with a seating capacity of approximately 500. Regionally, it is known for its large screen, 70 mm film projection capability, and classic movie palace atmosphere. Cinestudio’s signature features are its operational gold screen curtain, balcony seating, and gold lion insignia.


Cinestudio was founded in 1970 by a group of students at Trinity College. The students converted a large lecture hall in the college’s Clement Chemistry Building into a recreation of a 1930s film house. The theater was created as a cooperative, with students overseeing all aspects of the theater’s operation. Cinestudio made its mark early by showing controversial films and debuting future cult classics, including The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Cinestudio has continued largely as a cooperative operation. Two founding members, James Hanley and Peter McMorris, have guided the theater since its inception and now manage its day-to-day operation, including all nightly projection. A staff of approximately 50 student and community volunteers run showings seven days a week.

In 2002, Cinestudio incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization. The theater now is independent of Trinity College, although it still occupies space in the college’s chemistry building.

In 2007, the theater’s ticket booth was renamed the Fred Pfeil Memorial Ticket Booth in honor of late Trinity College professor and long-time Cinestudio volunteer and board member, Fred Pfeil.

Recent articles

The Hartford Courant

Old-School Theater A Ticket To Movie Magic

Cinestudio At Trinity College, Now 40 Years Old, Is A Hartford Treasure

Elegant Curtain Still Rises At Cinestudio — Courant.com

Connecticut Magazine

Best of Connecticut Diversions 2010

Best Independent Cinema

“After 40 years (the theater celebrated its anniversary in March with a screening of Up in the Air), Cine studio is still one of the best-kept secrets—and most worthwhile diversions—on the Trinity College campus. Nestled within the school’s 1935 McKim, Mead, and White-designed Clement Chemistry Building and graced movie-palace style with a dramatic red interior, gold Austrian shade curtain and 70mm projection capability, it’s become the go-to community destination for fans of all films: classics, foreign, animé, Hollywood and indie releases.”

©Connecticut Magazine 2010

Connecticut Magazine

Best of Connecticut Diversions 2009

Best Independent Cinema

“How do we love Cinestudio? Let us count a few ways: 1. It’s modeled after the classic movie palaces of the 1930s, with a mind-blowing, custom-made gold Austrian shade curtain. 2. After 40 years, it still schedules the best-and sometimes impossible to find elsewhere-in classic, current, foreign and indie films. 3. A not-for-profit arts organization, it’s largely managed by a volunteer army of 50 Trinity College students (the campus on which the theater stands) and community members: One early volunteer was Trinity alum and Hollywood director Stephen Gyllenhaal (father of actors Maggie and Jake). 4. Its ubiquitous lion logo was inspired by the “lion courant” in A Lion in Winter and is thus the coolest lion since MGM’s Leo.”

©Connecticut Magazine 2009

Connecticut Magazine

Best of Connecticut Nightlife 2008

Best Independent Cinema

“Who’d have thunk it-a classic old-style movie house with a custom-made Austrian shade curtain, fabulous acoustics and state-of-the-art projection capability-all nestled within the Trinity College chemistry building? Nearing its 40th anniversary, this Hartford icon still garners deserved cheers for its programming, which deftly mixes current commercial releases with silver-screen classics, art-house premieres, foreign films and the occasional dash of anime.”

©Connecticut Magazine 2008

The Hartford Bucket List

Thirty-three things to do in the Hartford area before you die

Thursday, September 25, 2008. By Adam Bulger

“If you live in or around Hartford, you know that Cinestudio at Trinity College is the premier destination for film-lovers in the area. Originally a school lecture hall, the space was converted in a glorious ’30s-style movie palace, complete with a balcony, in 1970. The fare varies from independent and foreign films to second-run major studio pictures. But no matter what’s on the screen, show up early to secure the back row center seats, and prepare to be hypnotized by the curtains.”