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New theater director will reopen the CCA, oversee The Screen

Santa Fe resident Peter Grendle is the new theater director at the Center for Contemporary Art. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Peter Grendle’s love for Santa Fe has grown immensely in a decade and a half in the city.

With his recent appointment as theater director at the Center for Contemporary Arts, he has found his home.

“Peter brings with him the enthusiasm, creativity and experience CCA needs to further its cinema program in many ways. We are excited to bring Peter on board and look forward to working with him to reopen our beloved cinema,” states CCA Chief Administrative Officer, April Jouse, on the hiring of Grendle.

Grendle will lead the CCA as it reopens its theater, pivoting away from the online programming it relied on during 2020.

He will also be overseeing the satellite venue, The Screen.

“I believe a successful community theater should not simply entertain, but educate and enlighten in a manner that is truly unique,” Grendle says. “CCA’s past, present and future offers one-of-a-kind artistic interaction and community engagement with the best crowd on the planet: Santa Feans.”

Grendle spent nine years managing The Screen, which the CCA took over in 2018.

He learned of the open position and immediately wondered who would be next in line to lead.

“I felt like I should throw my name in,” he says. “All of my mentors have worked at CCA at some point.”

Film has always been at the forefront for Grendle, who is also a film school graduate.

The Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe is gearing up to reopen to the public. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

“Film takes you away in two hours and it’s a transformative experience,” Grendle says. “With CCA and The Screen, I want to program films and events that my kids and the community will be able to have for years to come. That’s why I took the gig. I know what the Santa Fe film community and the CCA have built. I feel it’s my duty now to move all of the programming forward.”

Grendle says the CCA will install a laser projector in the theater.

“It’s not just cutting edge, it’s in a class of its own,” he says. “It’s the brightest, cleanest and flattest image known to projection.”

While the technology side is moving forward, Grendle also wants to pay homage to the past with 35mm films.

“There are over 100 35mm titles and we have the projectors to show the films,” he says. “I want to get a club together and do a monthly 35mm film series. We’re going to be the most versatile cinema in the state.”

Once those programs get running, Grendle also wants to bridge the Santa Fe/Albuquerque film corridor. He says the CCA’s concessions will grow when the theater gets a beer/wine license.

“My vision is having events that take place in both cities,” he says. “An event where the film community can come together.”

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