Film and TV

Davey B. Gravey's Little Movies on a Little Screen

Davey B. Gravey's Tiny Cinema is everything the size-obsessed movie industry is not. The screen is small. The theater fits no more than four. The longest film lasts seven minutes. Instead of projecting the latest digital files, Gravey shows movies with an old Super 8 mm, home projector. Forgoing booming speakers, he plays the soundtrack on an acoustic-electric ukulele and a touch-pad synthesizer. See also: Could Tiny Houses Solve a Big Problem in Denver?

The Tiny Cinema and the character Davey B. Gravey are the invention of David B. Weaver, a lover of all things analog. "I studied film production at Emerson College in Boston. As part of the curriculum, we did a little work with 16mm film, which kind of got me enamored with working with film as a medium -- analog film.

"A friend of mine in school got me into the Super 8 thing," he says. "He had a Super 8 camera and projector and was shooting reversal film and doing projections at his apartment. I had that sense of wonder, hearing the projector and seeing this film image roll by on the screen. I fell in love with the format and invested in some equipment myself and haven't stopped working with it since then. Super 8 is awesome. I call it the format of nostalgia. It looks like what your memories look like. It looks like dreams."

Weaver conceived the project in December, built it over the summer and debuted it at the Boulder Outdoor Cinema in early August. The menu of films includes two from the '60s and an original production he shot in March.

"It's really satisfying to see this project come to fruition and to welcome strangers into this trailer, into this tiny cinema experience and see them awed by it and see them taken aback with some kind of wonder," he says. "I get such joy from people laughing out loud in my tiny cinema or people looking back at the projection system and realizing that Davey B. Gravey is playing the music.

"It's such a different, old-timey vibe -- the tiny cinema -- seeing the film grain and the scratches on the film and having the projector running behind you and having some dude with a waxed mustache playing ukulele in the trailer behind you. Seeing people see that for the first time is insanely rewarding for me."

Davey B. Gravey's Tiny Theater will be operating during the afternoons and evenings of the Boulder International Fringe Festival, outside the Dairy Center for the Performing Arts, at the following times:

Wednesday, September 17 from 9 to 11 p.m. Thursday, September 18 from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, September 19 from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday, September 20 from 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, September 26 from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday, September 27 from 7 p.m. to midnight Sunday, September 28 from 3 to 8 p.m.

It will also be at the Syntax Physic Opera, for the Chimney Choir show, at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 3.

For more information about the Davey B. Gravey's Tiny Cinema, check out the Facebook page.

Find me on Twitter: @kyle_a_harris

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris