Our Mission & History

We educate, advocate, and inform about --and through-- cinema. We promote diversity through film exhibition and creation. We foster film talent and cultivate film appreciation and participation. Our programs and venues ensure that the potent ideas and voices of film are accessible to everyone in our community.

History

Founded in 2001 to save the crumbling Tower Theatre, SLFS became a 501C3 nonprofit in 2003. In its early days, brother and sister co-founders Paul and Kris Liacopoulos invested themselves in a fundamental vision – to make sure that all Salt Lake residents had access to a diversity of film that went beyond the Hollywood mainstream and reflected the lives and cultures of everyone in our society. Paul and Kris rolled up their sleeves, literally hocked their houses and restored the Tower Theater. Because of their efforts, SLFS has served over 1.5 million patrons since its founding ten years ago. This outpouring of community support underscores our position as a top-tier arts and culture organization in Utah and the Intermountain West.

Organization

SLFS presents an amazing 12,000+ opportunities a year in Salt Lake County for residents to enjoy extraordinary film presentations at both the historic Tower and central business district Broadway Centre Cinemas. Our facilities create cinematic events that build bridges for communication within Utah’s continually diversifying population and the changing global milieu. Serving over 250,000 patrons annually. SLFS offers the community dozens of special programs and treats over 26,000 city residents to free film presentations each year.

As the region’s only film presenting venue with permanent facilities for independent film, SLFS serves individuals of all ages, races and socioeconomic levels. With recent program grants from Zoo Arts and Parks, The Hemingway Foundation, The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, The George Q. Morris Foundation, and The Salt Lake City Arts Council, SLFS has a proven track record of success as both a local business and a non-profit leader.

Visit us soon and experience Salt Lake Film Society!

Message From Our Founder

I am so pleased and even downright amazed to see the Salt Lake Film Society today, especially as I remember that night my brother Paul came to me over 10 years ago and said, “We’ve got to save the Tower!” When we wrote those personal checks and got those loans, we did so with the hope that our community would believe in the importance of coming back to and supporting the Tower and art, independent and foreign film in Salt Lake.

Within a couple of years, we knew our community indeed felt it was important, and furthermore viewed our independence from Hollywood mainstream multiplexes and films as a valuable community asset. That is when we explored adding more screens and creating the SLFS with a core mission of building community engagement and general appreciation for film exhibition and creation.

Now, several years later, through a lot of hard work from our board and our staff, great leadership from our Executive Director Tori Baker, and fantastic support from our members and community at large, we continue to ensure that our community has access to diverse voices through films that might not otherwise make it to Salt Lake.

Film is such an important communication medium — it captures our imaginations, provides inspiration, and informs us of important stories needing to be told. Finally, it records our cultures and our histories in intensely personal ways and brings them to life when projected on screen. When there are no longer living survivors of World War II or the holocaust, many individual stories will transcend time to be told again and again, in their own voices, because they are recorded on film. At the Salt Lake Film Society, we are honored to be part of the foundational concept of freedom of speech that is so important to our democracy. Thank you for being a part of our story through your engagement, support and patronage.

Sincerely, Kris Liacopolous