At its core, The Film Salon is a monthly reminder that movies are a communal activity. Since our first screening of Citizen Kane on May 3rd, 2002, we've met on the first Saturday of each month, rain or shine (actually, that first year we met on the first Friday of each month). For over fourteen wonderful years, we met in the chapel of Trinity-First United Methodist Church.
In June of 2016, The Film Salon announced the launch of a new phase in its evolution and a move to the newly opened Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. With a screening of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre on July 2nd, 2016, The Film Salon inaugurated this new partnership.
There is seemingly no end to the great films we've yet to watch, so expect The Film Salon to go on, for a very long time.
Charles Horak, like a lot of cinephiles, was fascinated by movies at a very young age. His full appreciation of the artform however, required a longer incubation. An occasional insomniac, shy and not particularly fond of sports, he spent an inordinate amount of his youth watching TV. Movies 'Til Dawn, Saturday and Sunday matinees (and even the occasional silent film on his local PBS station) kept him busy circling entries in the weekly TV guide.
College brought new wonders, and his first steps in an architectural career took him to Philadelphia and his discovery of the cornucopia that was the TLA Video shop. Watching led to reading about, and thinking about, the cinema. The dots slowly connected.
Since 1996, Horak and his family have lived in his hometown of El Paso, Texas. He owns several businesses related to real estate construction, development, financing and management.
Thanks to The Film Salon, and some fine folks he's met along the way, Horak has been involved in a number of local film initiatives over the years. Since 2005, he has been host of the weekly radio program, On Film (88.5FM, NPR). He is a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, was awarded a fellowship to the 2007 Moving Image Institute in Film Criticism and his 2008 reviews of Shine A Light, Hellboy II and Iron Man were nominated for an Entertainment Journalism award by the Los Angeles Press Club (thankfully Kenneth Turan won).
In 2003, along with local film historian Jay Duncan, Horak founded the IT! Came From the '50s Film Festival which ran four wonderful years at the Chamizal National Memorial. In 2008, Horak helped found and was the artistic director of the Plaza Classic Film Festival in El Paso, Texas for its first six years. He is Chair of the Director's Circle of The Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, is on the board of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and a member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists.
Charles Horak is the father of three budding cinephiles and husband of Dr. Ann Branan Horak, professor of English, Religious Studies and Women's Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso.