POSTED Fri. Jul 17, 2015

Creative Culture

A Film For Every Occasion (And Location)
Cree McCree
Written by CREE MCCREE

There’s a full moon high in the sky above St. Claude Avenue, where a steady stream of cyclists are chaining up their bikes to the wrought-iron fence outside a big empty lot near the Saturn Bar. Propped against the fence, a makeshift marquee lights the way to their destination: Indywood Movie Theater, spelled out in little round bulbs.

Inside the gate, on the grassy lawn, Bike-In movie-goers are spreading out blankets, setting up folding chairs, uncorking wine, and digging into popcorn sold next to the folding table that serves as an as hoc box office, where free bug spray is also available. Looming above us, an inflatable screen flashes a friendly greeting:

“Welcome to Indywood.”

Last week, that screen traveled to Bark Market for a Bark-In Movie, where 40 dogs (and 90 humans) howled along with the marauding canines in the Hungarian film White God. Tonight, it transports us to the haunting odyssey of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, a Japanese woman obsessed with finding the briefcase of cash Steve Buscemi buried in Fargo. Later this summer, the inflatable screen will visit a pool for the Swim-In world premiere of the locally-shot Zombie Shark.

“We like our community to be mobile so we can do things like that,” says Will Sampson, who launched Indywood with his sister Hayley in January, 2014, at its original location: an old Wash-Dry-Fold on Elysian Fields. Mobility became a necessity on June 9, when the landlord told the siblings it was time to move on.

“We outgrew the building,” says Sampson, summing up their ouster in a nutshell. Indeed, Indywood became so popular it was averaging about 1,000 movie-goers a month before the landlord pulled the plug, thanks in part to buzz-building events like hosting Solange Knowles’ pre-nuptial screening of Mahogany.

The silver lining of getting the boot? “It forced us to realized that we want to get bigger and grow,” says Sampson, who’s hot on the trail of several downtown venues and expects to reopen in a new permanent location on or before Indywood’s second birthday in January 2016.

Meanwhile, Bike-In Movies is keeping Indywood alive as a moveable cinematic feast. And judging by Kumiko, which drew over a hundred movie-goers with just two days notice on a Facebook page, it’s fast becoming a don’t-miss event for local cinephiles and a who’s-who of downtown cognoscenti.

“Our community is aggressively supportive,” notes Sampson, citing sponsors like small local retailers Bon Castor and Dirty Coast. New Orleans filmmaker Jason Matherne donated Indywood’s inflatable screen and lent the team a portable generator, while the vacant lot we’re sitting in tonight was supplied gratis by the owner of The Franklin and Mimi’s in the Marigny.

While we wait for the main feature, the screen holds our attention with local cinematic history (“the first movie theater in the US opened in New Orleans in 1896”); a delightful “Indywood Pitch (with Legos),” starring a Lego people cast-of-thousands; and trailers for “Token Empire,” a local web series now in production.

Prequels like these aren’t just entertaining. They underscore the Indywood mission: making, promoting and screening independent films, series and shorts, not only in New Orleans but across the US and around the world.

“We want to experiment with what the cinematic experience can be in the 21st century,” says Sampson, a filmmaker himself, who plans to publish a “manifesto” on how to start your own movie theater. “We license all our films, and pay our taxes, but we’re a bit of a pirate operation. We could be a model for indie films everywhere.”

Indywood continues its Bike-In Movie series at various locations on most Friday nights, throughout the summer and beyond. For an ever-evolving schedule of upcoming films and other events, check the Indywood Facebook page.

POSTED Jul 18, 2019

Creative Culture

August in New Orleans

August in New Orleans

New Orleans may be known as a party town, but locals work as hard here as they do in any city. Take a break from the routine with…....

Written by CREE MCCREE
POSTED Dec 14, 2018


Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Breaking Down the Best New Orleans & Louisiana Holiday Music

Hey, the weather outside is kind of frightful! About as frightful as it gets down here anyways (also, note that next week temperatures will be back in the…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN
POSTED May 10, 2017

Creative Culture

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Carnival Redux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

On May 12 the New Orleans Museum of Art will fling open its doors for Masquerade: Late Night at NOMA, a costume party replete with float builders, mask-makers,…....

POSTED Dec 23, 2016


Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Some Holiday Music for the Weekend

Happy holidays, y’all. We hope you find plenty to occupy you during this busy Christmas weekend, but if you find yourself having a small, quiet moment, or just…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN

    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook