Student captures magic of the silver screen in short film “Palace”


Rolando Vega
Bridgewater, N.J.
Film and Media Arts

Combining his creative spirit, passion for technology and love of film, Rolando Vega ’13 created a professional-quality short film for his senior honors project that culminated his academic experience at Messiah and prepared him for a future career in film.

With the help of his peers, Vega spent his 2013 J-Term shooting the film that will premiere at the Messiah College Film Festival on April 28 and at the Carlisle Theatre on May 5.  “Palace” tells the story of three generations of movie-goers and how they connect through the cinematic past.

“I wanted to explore how film goes from simply being a medium to becoming a movie, and examine the experience of watching these movies,” said Vega.

Set in the historic Carlisle Theatre in Carlisle, Pa., “Palace” captures the magic that old movies palaces provide despite the challenges these theaters have faced throughout the years.

Inspired by the film industry’s current transition from celluloid film to digital production, Vega wanted to go back to the origins of the small theaters that brought communities—and generations—together.

“In the past five years or so, motion picture studios realized that digital distribution and exhibition was much more affordable,” said Vega. “Because of this, studios have decided to stop distribution of 35mm film. That means that theaters must transition to all digital screening rooms. Multiplexes like AMC and Regal have the capital funds to stay alive during this transition, but it brings a financial challenge to older movie theaters.”

Creating a story line that touches both the technical and emotional aspects of going to the movies, Vega combines his love for historic movie palaces with the realities the industry faces today.

“Film is not dead, per se, but it will remain a tool for the privileged filmmakers and directors to use,” said Vega. “How do we move forward into the future while acknowledging the roots of our past? In the end, ‘Palace’ is a movie about how movies make people happy.”

To get a sneak peak at the film, check out the “Palace” trailer:

Erin Bray ’10

Posted in 2013, Arts, Communication, Film and Media Arts, Humanities, Majors & Minors, Philadelphia Campus, Scholarship | 1 Comment »

Posted on April 5th, 2013

One Response to “Student captures magic of the silver screen in short film “Palace””

  1. Craig G. Says:

    Having been a child of the 60’s growing up outside of Carlisle, the Carlisle theater was the movie theater my parents took me to. I am glad to see this project happening (and, of course, the Carlisle theater being used as the backdrop!). It’s understandable that things change because of “improvements” but theaters “back in the day”, with their intermissions, films that didn’t always cooperate, etc., were as much about the experience as they were about the movie. Thanks for this project!


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