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Produced & Directed by
Ira Deutchman

Executive Producers
Peter Gilbert
Beth Krieger
Susan Lacy

Edited by
Brian Gersten

Original Score by
Leo Sidran

94 minutes

The feature documentary Searching for Mr. Rugoff is the story of Donald Rugoff, who was the crazy genius behind Cinema 5, the mid-century theater chain and film distribution company. Rugoff was a difficult (some would say impossible) person but was also the man who kicked art films into the mainstream with outrageous marketing schemes and pure bluster. Rugoff’s impact on cinema culture in the United States is inestimable, and his influence on the art film business—from the studio classics divisions to the independent film movement to the rise of the Weinsteins—is undeniable. Yet, mysteriously, Rugoff has become a virtually forgotten figure. The story is told through the eyes of former employee Ira Deutchman, who sets out to find the truth about the man who had such a major impact on his life, and to understand how such an important figure could have disappeared so completely.

“An essential history of film culture. I got the warm-and-fuzzies from seeing the love here for moviegoing.”
–Nicolas Rapold, New York Times
“An enthralling documentary that film buffs everywhere will want to see.”
–Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“A beautifully structured tale of movie love. “Searching for Mr. Rugoff” is both dramatic and enlightening, a moving document of an American life that has a bit of “Citizen Kane” to it.” 
Godfrey Cheshire, RogerEbert.com
Searching for Mr. Rugoff is an entertaining and instructive jaunt, and it bristles with small shocks”
Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
“A LOVING AND KALEIDOSCOPIC PORTRAIT.”
DAVID EHRLICH, INDIEWIRE
“Quirky and thought provoking”
Peter Keough. BOSTON GLOBE
“Entertaining and enlightening”
–Sandra Kent, Boston Herald
“Equal parts documentary, investigation, and film history feature, and all three are compelling in different ways…You’ll be charmed by it.”
–Kristen Lopez, Indiewire

 

 

 

In Theaters

Searching for Mr. Rugoff

If there are no current showtimes at a theater near you, the film is available in the following Virtual Cinemas nationwide. 

CINEMA ARTS CENTRE, HUNTINGTON NY
Laemmle VIRTUAL CINEMA
CHRISTOPHER B. SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER
Roxie, San Francisco
Music Box Theater, Chicago
Varsity Cinema, Des Moines
BRYN MAWR FILM INSTITUTE, BRYN MAWR
Jane Pickens Theater, Newport
Salt Lake Film Society, Salt Lake City

 

Opened August 13, 2021 in Theaters

NEW YORK

Paris Theater, New York City
IFC Center, New York City
New Plaza Cinema, New York City
Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York City
CINEMA ARTS CENTRE, HUNTINGTON
CRANDELL THEATRE, CHATHAM
CINEMAPOLIS, ITHACA

CALIFORNIA

Laemmle MONICA FILM CENTER, SANTA MONICA
CHRISTOPHER B. SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER
Alexander Valley Film Society, Cloverdale
Roxie, San Francisco
The Lumiere Cinema at the Music Hall, Beverly Hills
The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana

ARIZONA

The Loft Cinema, Tucson

DELAWARE

Cinema Art Theater, LeweS

FLORIDA

CORAL GABLES ART CINEMA, CORAL GABLES
LAKE WORTH PLAYHOUSE, LAKE WORTH
ENZIAN, ORLANDO
LIVING ROOM THEATERS, BOCA RATON
MOVIES OF DELRAY, DELRAY BEACH

ILLINOIS

Music Box Theater, Chicago
Normal Theater, Normal

INDIANA

KAN KAN CINEMA, INDIANAPOLIS
LIVING ROOM THEATERS, INDIANAPOLIS

IOWA

Varsity Cinema, Des Moines

LOUISIANA

Zeitgeist Theatre, New Orleans

MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN THEATER, ANN ARBOR

MASSACHUSETTS

Coolidge Corner, Boston
AMHERST CINEMA, AMHERST
West Newton Cinema, West Newton
NANTUCKET DREAMLAND, NANTUCKET

NEW JERSEY

Princeton Garden Theater, Princeton

NEW MEXICO

CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe

NORTH CAROLINA

A/PERTURE CINEMA, WINSTON SALEM

OHIO

CEDAR LEE THEATER, CLEVELAND
Cincinnati World Cinema, Cincinnati

OKLAHOMA

CIRCLE THEATER, TULSA

OREGON

LIVING ROOM THEATERS, PORTLAND

PENNSYLVANIA

BRYN MAWR FILM INSTITUTE, BRYN MAWR
COLONIAL, Phoenixville
MIDTOWN, Harrisburg
Ambler Theater, Ambler
County Theater, Doylestown

RHODE ISLAND

Jane Pickens Theater, Newport

UTAH

Salt Lake Film Society, Salt Lake City

WASHINGTON

Pickford Film Center, Bellingham
Watch this space for more to come.
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