Hamtramck veterans hall to become 'microcinema' and bar

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An old veterans hall in Hamtramck is getting a makeover. The owners are working to turn it into a movie theatre, set to open this summer. 

“This building is so gorgeous hard to pass up,” Co-founder Lara Sfire said. 

Lara Sfire and Josh Gardner have sewn seeds in the movie production industry.

But now, they're joining forces to turn a former veterans hall in Hamtramck into a space that will bring culture alive through foreign and independent movies. 

“To have a place where people can come, congregate, watch foreign films but also have access to drink, food and be able to talk and hang out,” Gardner said.

The concept is called ‘Microcinemas’ and It's part of a growing trend in how people watch movies. 

But Josh was already bringing the microcinema concept to Metro Detroiters through pop-up cinemas across the city. 

But now the former veterans hall will offer a permanent location so people can gather and enjoy the theatrical experience in a cultural oasis called Hamtramck. 

“Such a diverse community, so really happy to be here and embrace all the different people that are here, the artist community and be able to show movies from these different places around the world,” co-founder Josh Gardner said. 

These partners say this first floor space is set to open in mid to late summer.

But this duo's creative juices don't stop with a microcinema. Upstairs the plan is to renovate this room to create even more space where movies will be watched. 

Ultimately these two business partners hope the creative space will help get Michigan back in the movie business.

“My long term goal is to get more filmmaking happening in Michigan and bring back the film incentive in Detroit,” Sfire said.

The partners are using grant money and personal funds to complete this vision but they say they could also use your help.

“We'll start a crowdfunding campaign just to get ourselves out there,” she said. 

Film Lab also plans to celebrate Hamtramck's diversity by targeting films to the Polish, Bangladeshi, Arab, Pakistani and Balkan communities that reside there.

“We're going to try to bring a huge array of films and interest here,” Gardner added.

For more information on the Film Lab, click here

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