{ 5 Minutes With… }


The heart of FoCo’s indie cinema scene makes a daring new move.


Lyric Cinema Café co-owner Ben Mozer has been working hard on his new digs—a $3.5 million, 10,000-square-foot building at 1209 North College. The theater re-opens this September with three movie screens, a 50-plus seat bar and a full kitchen, which means that the Lyric’s not just for movies any more.

Tell us about the design.
The building design is supposed to echo a space ship crash landing. Our décor leans towards a space junk theme. The big theater’s seats are reclaimed church pews that kind of look like Star Trek seats.

And now there’s food, right?
Yes. It will be limited at first. Five [types of] sandwiches, a couple salads and a bunch of fried stuff because I LOVE fried stuff…like homemade donuts.

Still quirky?
Yeah. I want to bring in sculptures [by the bar area]. And we’ll hold some art installations outside in the big huge yard. I eventually want to plant fruit trees so we can have harvest parties and make apple cider.

What about films?
The Lyric will always maintain the independent and foreign films. At the same time, we also need to make money to stay open. Getting a cross-over, big-budget movie every once in a while will be nice to fill in the gaps.

When we open, I’m going to try and get the new Blade Runner in the 250-seat theater, just to be a middle finger to Cinemark that has stolen so many movies from me.

We can do whatever we want now. We’re far enough away [that] they don’t compete in our market.

That said, I want to be selective about the bigger movies that we get. Like, Blade Runner, cool. Transformers, no. If it has an action figure or a Burger King cup, that might be the cut off.

So about that Kickstarter campaign you guys had…
It was a thing we had to do at the time. The frustrating thing about the Kickstarter campaign is it was so public and so desperate. We needed to figure out how to get those [digital] projectors just to keep the doors open. And it worked. But now that we’re building a new theater, everybody asks, “So what happened to the $150,000?” Well, we spent it on the projectors, and they’re coming with.

I feel like, from my point of view, I took the $150,000 and made it into $3.5 million dollars.