“…the stuff dreams are made of.” H. Bogart
The Film Salon is an ongoing monthly film series devoted to the screening and appreciation of great films (both acknowledged classics and the obscure alike). Its goal is to expose audiences, foster discussion and enhance understanding of our moving image heritage. 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).
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.
Trinity-First United Methodist Church has a history of supporting the fine arts. Thanks to Trinity-First’s vision and underwriting, The Film Salon has a safe and well equipped home to foster the appreciation of our moving image heritage. If the thought of a church sponsoring screenings and discussions of important films seems incongruous, just remember: theaters that used to show classic films were called “Revival Houses”.
Charles Horak founded The Film Salon in May of 2002 as an excuse to watch great movies with others.
Like a lot of cinephiles, Horak loved movies as a child. His full appreciation 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/is the TLA Video shop. Watching led to reading 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 is vice president of a family-owned construction and development firm.
Thanks to The Film Salon, and some fine folks he’s met along the way, Horak has been involved in number of local film initiatives. He has been host of the weekly radio program On Film (88.5FM, El Paso NPR) since 2005. He is a 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 became the artistic director of the Plaza Classic Film Festival in El Paso. The Plaza Classic is one of the world’s largest film festivals dedicated to the presentation of classic films and is centered around El Paso’s premier movie palace – the Plaza Theatre. The Festival drew more than 30,000 attendees in its first year, and continues to grow in every way.
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.