In early June last year, well into the pandemic, the owners of the oldest continuously operated movie theater in Connecticut, the Bantam Cinema, decided that they had enough and permanently closed their doors.

A very good friend of mine, who shall remain anonymous, was in serious negotiations with the formers owners of the Cinema to purchase it, but they could not work out a deal. All was quiet until yesterday afternoon, when I saw on social media that Bantam Cinema had changed their profile pic and their name has been changed to "Bantam Cinema & Arts Center".

According to a statement posted to their website, the new venue is going to be established as a non-profit organization formed by "a group of local film enthusiasts".

The statement states that the new owners will continue to show the films that the area surely misses, but they also state their vision of offering live theater, visual arts, programs about Connecticut film, offer school field trips, and partner with local civic organizations to offer more learning opportunities to families, schools, and community partners.

The other portion of the announcement from the new owners to the website is a direct appeal for donations, which they've dubbed "Community Support" from the general public for the purpose of renovating and restoring the building.

According to the statement, the new Executive Director, Jodiann Tenney states "We want the community to know that, now as a non-profit, the Bantam Cinema & Arts Center belongs to them. We are getting the ball rolling, but the community needs to show its love for it by supporting it as patrons, members, volunteers, and/or donors."

We get it, that's usually how it works. What we ask is for you to bring us film, art, and theater offerings worthy of our patronage, membership, volunteerism, and donations.

The targeted opening date of the new Bantam Cinema & Arts Center is September 2021.

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Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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