2022 was another strong year of recover for Circle Cinema, thanks to the support of our Members and audience!
Our Community Impact Report highlights some of the big steps we made in 2022, with an eye for continued success as we celebrate our 95th birthday in 2023. Click below for pages of the report, and continue scrolling for a message from our Executive Director with highlights from a great year.
A Message from Executive Director Brent Ortolani
It’s time to return to the movies.
That was the clarion call sounded by Hollywood elite and film enthusiasts across the U.S. during “Oscar season” – the months running up to the Academy Awards in March.
After a few years of declining attendance in the wake of the Covid pandemic at arthouse cinemas and corporate multiplexes alike, in 2022, many moviegoers grew weary of streaming at home and opted to return to a traditional, in-person cinematic experience. Circle members and guests were no exception – attendance jumped significantly during the period from October 2022 through March 2023, and Circle membership doubled during that period.
The year in film – from a woman’s wild experiences in the multiverse to another’s fall from the pinnacle of conducting major orchestras around the world – reminded us that movie magic is alive and well on the big screen.
The Circle presented nearly 90 percent of all films nominated for Academy Awards, and adhering to our tradition, provided enhanced experiences through expert panel discussions, audience participation, and musical performances. At the Circle, “a film is never just a film.”
Circle members enjoyed unforgettable experiences, meeting legendary Academy Award-winning cinematographer Sir Roger Deakins, walking the Red Carpet at our Oscar party in record numbers, and enjoying free popcorn along with their memberships, thanks to a generous grant by Circle champions Mona and Marc Whitmire.
Record numbers of members and guests also enjoyed more than 300 films in every genre, from studio blockbusters to horror/cult classics and foreign and independent films. Oklahoma filmmakers also enjoyed a banner year, including Tulsan John Swab, who gained national recognition and presented two of his new films at the Circle.
We also welcomed the Motion Picture Alliance of Tulsa, in partnership with the Cherokee Nation, for its monthly meetings of local filmmakers, cast, and crew who network and learn about upcoming opportunities in local filmmaking.
Many of you joined us for live jazz in the lobby on Thursday nights, enjoyed specialty cocktails at the bar, and shopped in our new merchandise shop – a reminder that Tulsa’s only historic, arthouse cinema is more than a place see movies, it’s also a place to gather, discover, and be inspired.
This year, we celebrate our 95th anniversary and invite you to rediscover the magic of movies and rediscover why the Circle is one of the nation’s leading, influential arthouse cinemas. See you at the movies!