Posted in movies | music | pictures on May 18, 2009

photos by Ryan Muir

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Rooftop Films kicked off their 2009 season on Friday night (5/15). The event took place on the Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street @ Essex - Manhattan). Before the films, Cymbals Eat Guitars played a set of live music.

Upcoming bands haven't been announced yet, but a bunch of the movies have been. More pictures from the first night below...

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rooftop Films Opening Night

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Comments (66)

The films were amazing. The band...not so amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 8:31 AM

The space itself is what truly looks amazing! A full skate park set up inside...WOW!

Posted by blackhat | May 18, 2009 9:04 AM

That skate park isn't inside. It's on a roof. That (AND the movies, AND the band) are what's amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 9:50 AM

"That skate park isn't inside. It's on a roof. That (AND the movies, AND the band) are what's amazing. "

and was it SOLD OUT????????

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 10:03 AM

the band was great

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 10:14 AM

you may not be able to tell from the photos that there are three separate screens. it was quite an elaborate setup. i enjoyed the show.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 10:27 AM

the band was not great. when they announced they had two more songs, there was a collective groan.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 11:19 AM

I've seen the band a few times prior and they were really good. The sound system wasn't so great on the rooftop and, from the looks of the crowd, CEG's music may have been a bit distortion heavy for the movie peeps. Films were great. Definitely worth checking out rooftop films events.

Posted by Big Perm | May 18, 2009 11:29 AM

This series was badly run last year. They would have chairs for a fraction of the people that paid. Who wants to sit on concrete for two hours?

Judging by all the "sold out" writing on the food sign it seems they still can't get their shit together. Too bad a charity is being run by amateurs. They could make so much more money if they knew what they were doing.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 11:31 AM

the food was being sold by the kids at the school for their own fundraising purposes, so i think you can lay off about "getting their shit together"

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 11:40 AM

"Judging by all the "sold out" writing on the food sign it seems they still can't get their shit together. Too bad a charity is being run by amateurs. They could make so much more money if they knew what they were doing."

It's not a charity. The "non-profit" here is a scam. The people running these events are likely banking big time.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 11:45 AM

Rooftop is a non-profit with a limited budget, and for $9 you get band, movies and free beer at the bar. They could charge more and make it more expensive for people to attend, and sit on nicer chairs, etc., or they could not let so many people in. But they figure that it's better to let more people in and make it cheap for everyone and get thousands of people up on a roof watching great movies. If you can find a more "professional" outfit that can show movies and music on a roof in Manhattan at $9 a ticket, then just let us know who they are.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 11:51 AM

11:51

thanks for being eloquent, i was going to let off a series of expletives to the same effect.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 11:57 AM

short films would never have audiences of 1,000 if it wasn't for Rooftop Films, they do something truly important and they're the only ones. this isn't bryant park, d-bones.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 12:12 PM

honestly, I'm very impressed with Rooftop's ability to put on a great show for an equally great price. If you're willing to compromise quality programming and a cool atmosphere for a comfy chair and an exorbitantly priced ticket to a mediocre film, there's no scarcity of theaters in which to do so. Bring a pillow next time or quit whining.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 12:19 PM

You mean I don't get a reserved Lazy-Boy recliner and all-you-can-drink martinis for that $9??? Pssh...what a rip off!!!


Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 12:20 PM

Rooftop Films does not make lots of money charging 9 dollars, I'm pretty sure they came in in the red for the last few years trying to provide a community experience for almost nothing, so whoever you d-bags are who think it's a scam, why don't you learn what you're talking about before you run your mouth.

Also I like sitting on the ground or on a skate ramp, why don't you stick to Loews movie theaters. Or maybe you can complain to the high school kids trying to raise some money that their concessions operation could be making more if they'd stop being so amateur, it's a shame not everyone has their shit together like you anonymous internet complainer.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 12:30 PM

"Or maybe you can complain to the high school kids trying to raise some money that their concessions operation could be making more if they'd stop being so amateur"

hey high school kids, stop being so amateur. You might make more money... like the people running Rooftop Films!

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 12:50 PM

What a great show. I have been going to rooftop for several years now and this year the festival has really come into its own. I can't wait to see what else they have in store for us! It's fun to sit on a city roof and just watch a collection of great films. At a time where the economy is unraveling, it's always good to support the artists!! People should spend their weekends on rooftops not in movie theaters! Support the true artists, not the millionaires! And who doesn't want to be outside on summer nights in the city?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 1:03 PM

do all the shows have a menu like that? Veggie dogs and such?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 1:14 PM

Thanks for the words of support. As Program Director of Rooftop Films, I can assure you all that Rooftop is indeed a non-profit and we can provide ample documentation for anyone who would like to see it. We have, fortunately, not been in the red the last couple of years, but we remained just barely in the black (very barely), thanks to some very careful planning and the willingness of our generous staff to make cuts in salary and expenses when we need to, as opposed to cutting services to our audience, filmmakers and partners. As a non-profit, all our records are public, so if anyone wants to see how much we make, individually or collectively, and decide whether or not we are "making bank," they can. I can assure you, we all bring in bag lunches and forego luxuries so that we can work for an organization that we believe in, and we are extremely grateful to our audience and supporters for supporting us so that we can keep putting together screenings like Friday night's progam. This year is the most difficult financially, by far, as funding and sponsors dry up around the world, so we will struggle all year to keep our head above water.

In addition to our screenings, we also have put together and a new global partnership with the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which will bring to New York filmmakers from Mexico and Indonesia. We've established a new collaboration with Reel13, showing our films to new audiences online and on TV. We've put together new outreach programs, with Cinereach and The Fledgling Fund, creatively connecting filmmakers and audiences through the causes they champion. We've organized enhanced funding opportunities for filmmakers, via Eastern Effects, Edgeworx, and The Chicken & Egg Fund, to support future productions. Education programs at our school partners that inform and instruct a new generation of media makers. None of these endeavors pad our bank accounts--they are just things that we believe in, and we do them because we have a community of organizations, filmmakers, fans and supporters who support us and help us to make things happen, hopefully for the betterment of our communities.

The screenings at Open Road Rooftop will raise more than $20,000 for the school, and it helps offset their massive budget cuts. It is true, the person who organized the food sales at the screening on Friday was not a professional caterer. He is the principal of the High School, and he donates his time on a Friday night to carry hot dogs and sodas to the roof so that the kids at his school can get something close to the education they deserve. The kids working there at the stand are doing it because they see their principal grilling hot dogs at 10:30 at night and they know that they owe it to themselves and their fellow students to lend a hand. On Saturday, Rooftop donated our sound equipment and I donated my afternoon to set up sound equipment on that same roof for their school fundraiser. When Scott, the principal, told me they had run out of food on Friday night, I said, “that’s great! That will help, right?”, to which he responded, “yeah, that means we might actually have money for paper at the end of the year.”

The building is a fully functioning school, so we can not get in to set up on Fridays until after 4 PM. That gives us about 3 hours to set up 3 screens, 3 sound systems, hundreds of chairs, tables, food, do a sound check with the band, etc.. After the show, we have less than an hour to clear all of that stuff off the roof before the school has to close. We do our best to make the projection and sound as high-quality as possible, but we have our time and money limitations and there are limits to what we can do. Nonetheless, after the show, the guys from Cymbals Eat Guitars said to me, "this was by far the best and coolest gig we have ever had." Those guys were great to work with, we love what they do and the music they make, and they have no bigger fans than the crew here at Rooftop.

We do our best to make the experience work for the audience, so we appreciate that most of you seem happy with the way we do things. If someone knows of an organization getting rid of old folding chairs inexpensively, we would be there tomorrow to pick them up. But if that doesn’t happen, we also believe that our audience understands that what we do is important and doesn't mind sitting on a roof in perfect weather if it means that Rooftop Films can continue our programming, funding and educational work.
No one here is complaining--we all love what we do and we just hope we can keep doing it, despite the recent economic hardships facing non-profits and arts organizations all over the world. We appreciate your support and understanding and we hope to see you all on the roof.
If anyone really would like to talk about any of this further, feel free to send an email any time—dan AT rooftopfilms DOT com. Thanks and sorry for dominating the comments page with this massive post.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 1:29 PM

Dearest Idiot,

I'll use your special quote method:

"you might make more money... like the people running Rooftop Films!"

This is totally ignorant and sadly incorrect. I'm not sure if you understand what it means to be a non-profit, nor do I care. Have fun being dumb and uninformed, it seems to me like that must be a really easy way to be.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 1:30 PM

I think Rooftop films are doing a better job this year because they are actually telling people that they do not have enough chairs. Enough people must have complained. When someone buys a movie ticket, they expect a seat. Duh. At least they are up front this year.

However, this year they are using going.com to purchase tickets. I do not want to create account on a social network just to buy a ticket. You are forced to disclose your birthday, sex, and other information so that they can sell your data to sponsors. Has anyone received spam from going.com? I bet they have.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 1:49 PM

The whole night, minus the band, was quite lovely. The roof was an awesome hang out spot and totally not what I expected prior to arriving and if only they had chosen a musical act which knew how to make actual music, rather than noise, this night would have been phenomenal indeed. Go again, I shall.

Posted by Patrick | May 18, 2009 2:04 PM

Anon at 1:49 - why don't you email your concern about going.com to dan AT rooftopfilms DOT com?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 2:17 PM

"I'll use your special quote method:"

I am not the person you are referring to, but how is putting something in quotes a "special quote method"?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 2:46 PM

Patrick, what!? The band was awesome and people were really into them. Old people should stop whining, go home, and put on some tweeny-bop.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 3:12 PM

Anon what? They were absolutely awful, and it was obvious 90 precent of the audience felt the same way, just based on the moans between songs, the collective exhalation/groaning when they would announce they had a couple more songs left and the cheers at the end, part in respect to the band, but mostly an exclamation of excitement and relief that our ears had survived and the films would at long last begin. Whoever likes a band like that either knows them personally and therefore wouldn't possibly admit it, or they are between the ages of 16 and 20 - as in they still haven't grown out of that teen angst music. I'm 28, by the way, hardly an old man.

I was merely pointing out the only fault with the whole night. I appreciated everything else, including the $2 food and drink, which went to the school, and I hope this organization continues to be successful because it's a really great thing their doing. I look forward to attending future events, regardless of the pain my ears may initially be subjected to.

Posted by Patrick | May 18, 2009 3:22 PM

To each his own but Cymbals Eat Guitars new self released LP is getting high marks from plenty of music critics (Obviously not a determinating factor of great music, but I raise this only to point out that it's not just people the band know or kids who like their music as mentioned above). And The Hazy Sea is a beautiful song, in my humble opinion, and I'm an old man in my thirties. Towards the end of their set I was ready for them to finish, but only because without a chair my back/butt was killing me and I came to see some shorts.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 3:34 PM

cymbals eat guitars are critics' darlings, and they deserve it.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 3:48 PM

Regarding going.com--they don't spam. They are a ticketing service and event promotion website, in addition to being a social network, and, as with any service like that they know that it would kill their business to give out email addresses to others. The only thing that you might get emailed is their weekly newsletter, which you can opt out of at signup. This is the same procedure as any ticketing service, be it behemoths like TicketMaster or other fine, local ticket services like SmartTix, etc. We went with going.com because their fees for the audience were lowest, their fees for us were the lowest, and they offered additional promotional tools that help us spread the word. We have gotten zero complaints about spamming in the 3 years we have worked with them. Would be glad to discuss if anyone has complaints or questions, again at dan AT rooftopfilms DOT com.

As for the food--this is generally the menu at the shows at Open Road, as that is what the school sells (all the money for concessions goes to the school). We have different things for sale at other venues.

Posted by Dan Nuxoll | May 18, 2009 4:17 PM

"This is the same procedure as any ticketing service, be it behemoths like TicketMaster"

Ticketmaster does not ask for age or gender. Why do YOU need my age and gender in order to sell me a ticket?

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 4:38 PM

"Ticketmaster does not ask for age or gender. Why do YOU need my age and gender in order to sell me a ticket?"

We (Rooftop) do not need it, it's true. I am not saying I love that particular feature, but I don't think it is a big deal, as you don't have to enter the information honestly if you really think it is going to be used in an inappropriate or invasive fashion (and I have no reason to believe that will happen, anyway). Personally, if we could turn off that feature, maybe we would. We did ask them if it was necessary, and they said that it couldn't be changed. But when we had to decide between charging our audience more and having smaller crowds or going with a service that asks for gender, we decided to go with going.

But I hear the complaint, and I do understand that it seems at least a little weird. But all things considered, would you prefer to pay more and have smaller crowds seeing the films? I am not being rhetorical here--if you think it isn't worth it, let me know.

Posted by Dan Nuxoll | May 18, 2009 4:49 PM

I agree in regards to the music being unbearable and though I don't think it was entirely the band's fault (sound equipment) I did find it really out of place for that environment. But no matter, it was a beautiful night and the short films were excellent (especially the animated ones). Btw, it's no surprise that they are "critics' darlings," as there are so many critics nowadays that every band is bound to have some good reviews. And who here honestly believes in the word of the majority of critics? I have noticed there are a lot of people who follow this up and coming band, and that's fine, it's just more noise rock than anything else and therefore I am happy to stay away.

As for the comments about using a ticket site that asks for age and sex, who cares? Really, is it nearly as bad as being X-rayed through your clothes at the airports or having to give your social security number online when filling out applications or even giving your email address out to amazon or some other generic site? They have no clue who you are based upon age and sex and, as Dan pointed out, you are free to be dishonest. I think they're doing a hell of a job at Rooftop Films Inc. and all of us should be grateful rather than trying to expose any flaws.

Posted by Alexis | May 18, 2009 5:09 PM

Dan,

I appreciate you trying to be hands on with all of this, and taking the time to address some of the things that people on here have brought up...but don't take the criticisms on here too seriously. It's mostly just bored D-bags who have never been to any of the Rooftop Films events, and never will go. Tomorrow they'll be bitching about Daft Punk or free shows at the South Street Seaport. For every one of them there are at least a hundred people in this city, myself included, who appreciate what you're doing. I'm sure if a real customer of yours had a complaint, they'd address it to you directly via your website. And if they're not enough of an adult to do that, then eff 'em.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by brooklynite | May 18, 2009 5:10 PM

Thanks brooklynite. I don't get too stressed out about comments on websites, but I don't like misinformation going unanswered. Plus there is nothing wrong with people knowing how things work at Rooftop, and I don't mind explaining the rationale for our decisions. We put a lot of thought into things like ticket services and how to get more chairs onto the roof, etc.. We're not perfect, but we do our best, and we want our audience to be happy, so we fix problems whenever we can. To that end, listening to our audience's complaints can be instructive, even if in some forums they aren't always particularly informed.

But thanks for the support, and everyone should know that those who have a serious complaint or question and have any interest in helping us to improve our shows can reach us any time with suggestions.

As for Cymbals Eat Guitars--look, if we only programmed bands (or films) that everyone liked, then we wouldn't be a particularly interesting organization. Plenty of things I love aren't particuarly well received by some people whose opinions I deeply respect. We think CEG are great. Lots of other people do too. Some people don't. No big deal. Some people came to see the films and didn't love the band. But some people came to see the films and LOVED the band, and some people came to see the band and loved the films, and that's the point--we bring people out to get exposed to something they didn't know about before, and sometimes we will challenge them to check out something new--and maybe that something will be noisy, or dark, or a little difficult in one way or another. Hopefully they get something out of it. If not, there will be a different set of music and films the following week, every week, all summer long, and hopefully there will be something more to their liking the next time around. That's the whole point of the operation. If you aren't down with that, then so it goes. But that's what we are shooting for.

Oh, and by the way, Ryan--the pictures are absolutely fantastic. Thanks for taking them and say hello next time you come out to a show.

Posted by Dan Nuxoll | May 18, 2009 6:41 PM

Dan,

disregard the idiotic comments on this board. Seems like people spend their days putting down everything posted on here in their own whitty ways and thinking they are funny. I went with a few friends the other night and we had a blast. Caught the last couple songs of the band and they were ok. Setting was great. Films were really good.

As for the people complaining about no seats to sit in, well, it said to get there early as limited seats were avail or to bring a blanket.

Keep up the great work!

Posted by eeee | May 18, 2009 6:42 PM

I wish we had something like this in Cali!

Posted by Californiaboobeee | May 20, 2009 9:15 AM

New York is always buzzing with great fun - music, films, etc. I enjoy my time whenever I visit NY city.

Posted by Film Directory | October 26, 2009 11:02 AM

Rooftop Films is awesome! I went last year, and it was so cool. They always have really great music, too, which is my favorite part.

Posted by Mobiler | June 11, 2010 11:45 PM

It's fun to sit on a city roof and just watch a collection of great films. At a time where the economy is unraveling, it's always good to support the artists!

Posted by Email Archive | June 22, 2010 10:07 PM

I got to see Tiny Furniture again and it was still fantastic the second time. My friend Lena Dunham’s second feature had its NY premiere on Friday at BAM Rose Cinemas and then they had a special outdoors screening as part of the Rooftop Films summer movie series. It was a very cool event where they had a huge inflatable screen set up in the parking lot across from BAM. It was really cool to watch a movie outside like that and the distractions of the city and the sometimes questionable sound were offset by the surprsingly great weather. It rained during the day and the event was almost called off, but the rain let up a few hours before the screening and didn’t really start again until the credits were basically rolling.

Posted by slatwall | July 11, 2010 6:21 PM

Rooftops are such a nice event. I kept me smiling for a long time last time I went.

Posted by mobilt bredbånd | August 4, 2010 6:02 PM

This looks like an awsome show!

Posted by Jesper | October 5, 2010 3:46 AM

Such awsome pictures

Posted by Lån Penge | October 18, 2010 8:08 AM

Looks like a fun event, do you know if they will hold similar ones in the future?

Posted by inkasso | February 23, 2011 2:23 PM

Awesome pictures right here. Rooftops does amazing work, keep it up.

Cheers, Thomas from Denmark

Posted by Fly til London | March 30, 2011 8:45 AM

That's rock'n'roll :) nice pic's

best wishes from dk ^

Posted by Gadeskilte | May 31, 2011 6:13 AM

That is cool that people can get the home loans moreover, it opens up completely new possibilities.

Posted by BLANCHARDJerry34 | May 17, 2012 3:17 AM

Thanks appreciate you trying to be hands on with all of this, and taking the time to address some of the things that people on here have brought

Posted by akciju birza | September 8, 2012 9:21 AM

Thanks appreciate you trying to be hands on with all of this, and taking the time to address some of the things that people on here have brought up

Posted by wicker furniture | November 9, 2012 6:46 AM

Thanks writing on the food sign it seems they still can't get their shit together. Too bad a charity is being run by amateurs

Posted by coal traders | January 16, 2013 2:37 AM

Thanks may not be able to tell from the photos that there are three separate screens. it was quite an elaborate setup. i enjoyed the show.

Posted by Homepage | January 21, 2013 6:22 AM

Thanks I have been going to rooftop for several years now and this year the festival has really come into its own

Posted by xxx | February 7, 2013 1:04 PM

I went with a few friends the other night and we had a blast. Caught the last couple songs of the band and they were ok. Setting was great

Posted by website performance | February 13, 2013 6:16 AM

Caught the last couple songs of the band and they were ok. Setting was great

Posted by netticasino | March 1, 2013 7:25 AM

Caught the last couple songs of the band and they were ok. Setting was great

Posted by Greek Clothing | March 4, 2013 12:20 AM

last couple songs of the band and they were ok. Sett

Posted by Dragon City | March 4, 2013 11:54 AM

there are three separate screens. it was quite an elaborate setup. i enjoyed the show.

Posted by phone cards | March 27, 2013 5:09 AM

Eat Guitars) ++ the May & June movie schedule announced

Posted by cheap sheds | March 31, 2013 2:43 PM

several years now and this year the festival has really come into its own

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Posted by Hypernova | October 1, 2013 1:56 PM

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