Nulu’s Dreamland Experiments Beyond Film

The Dreamland Film Center in Nulu is getting a mission make-over. The Louisville Film Society renovated the former Wayside Christian Church chapel behind Decca on East Market Street in 2012 as a micro-cinema, but recently decided to relocate to a larger space in the Portland neighborhood to accommodate new projects and an expanded mission.  

The building now known simply as Dreamland will still offer film screenings, but the mission is branching out. Now managed by the New Media Project’s Tim Barnes, the space will host live music and art events with an emphasis on the experimental – filling a void, Barnes says.

“The New Media project was basically put together to establish a group of individuals who were passionate about bringing higher profile artists to town who were leaning more toward more fringe music and art,” says Barnes. “That was the basic goal, whether it’s through music or film or social ideas or even just technology ideas and concepts.”

Dreamland opens Thursday (7 p.m.) with Jim Marlowe, Steve Good and Jackie Royce, a trio of experimental reed instrumentalists, and mAAs, Barnes’ duo with Louisville musician Connor Bell. A former touring musician, Barnes says the Louisville Orchestra’s historic new music commissioning project established Louisville as a city of artistic innovation in his mind.

“I think it’s inherent and almost embedded here,” he says. “Everywhere I went, especially in the Midwest, I came across these Louisville Orchestra records. The progressive attitude of the Louisville Orchestra was something that became very special to me. They commissioned a lot of composers I enjoyed, and they turned me on to composers I had not yet come across. There’s this connection there for me.”

“There was a time in this town when people were thinking on an extreme edge, or extreme forefront,” he adds.

To continue that thread, Barnes is working to stage concerts featuring new composers like Louisville’s Jacob Gotlib, and experimental chamber groups and soloists. He’s looking for “people who are pushing the envelope in their field.” Others are using the space to program shows, like the upcoming Second Story Man show on February 15 (8 p.m., with Black God and Brandon Butler) presented by Louisville promoters The Other Side of Life

Live music starts and winds down a bit earlier than other venues; Barnes says tenants upstairs mean a strict noise curfew. 

Upcoming shows

Thursday, January 30th – The New Media Project presents the Jim Marlowe/Steve Good/Jackie Royce Reed Trio and mAAs. 7 PM, $7.

Thursday, February 6th – The New Media Project presents Mind Over Mirrors, Matt Christensen, and Shedding. 7 PM, $10.

Saturday, February 15th – The Other Side of Life presents Black God, Second Story Man, and Brandon Butler. 8 PM, $5

Sunday, February 16th – The New Media Project presents Mikolaj Trzaska & Tim Daisy Duo, more TBA. 7 PM, $10.

Wednesday, February 19th – The New Media Project and The Other Side of Life present Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel Band, more TBA. 7 PM, $10.

Saturday, March 1st – The New Media Project presents Cairo Gang, Tropical Trash, Famous Laughs. 8 PM, $10.

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