The Save the Oak Street movement appears to be dead. Robert Cowgill sent out this missive earlier today via email to supporters of the beleagured revival theater:
Dear Oak Street Cinema Community:
Bogart told Bergman in Casablanca that "We'll always have Paris." Well, we'll always have Rich Dworski accompanying Harold Lloyd, and all the wonderful memories around a cinema that was, for me, the best cinema in the world.
I have been clearly told by the chair of the Board of Directors of Minnesota Film Arts that they will not work with me or the Save the Oak Street group. My efforts to show the board that there was community will to save the theater has been seen as a hostile attack. Obviously the strategy failed.
The theater is currently closed. I have no idea what the board is planning; they won't say. Perhaps repertory. Perhaps the theater is already sold.
I told the MFA board chair that I would send an email to the supporters telling them to consider themselves released from their pledges -- a total of over $40,000 to keep the theater a repertory based organization.
Thank you so much for those pledges, and for your support of the cinema over the years, of its programming, and of its spirit of tawdry grace. It was worth every effort, and all the wonderful evenings we spent will always live in my heart. If the current board brings back repertory -- well, I hope you support them in their effort.
Until we meet again. Bob Cowgill, Founder, Oak Street Cinema