A 17-day moviethon featuring more than 34 films kicks off Friday in Gloucester’s Cape Ann Community Cinema, where music and special guests often take center stage in this intimate space as well.
The cinema — with its living-room-style digital movie theater — will launch its sixth annual Cape Ann Film Festival, running Friday through Nov. 17 in the downtown space which seats 110 on couches and comfy chairs with dining tables.
Creative director Robert Newton said the homegrown festival choices are often driven by the patrons. He says he seeks films made on or about Cape Ann, then expands to films produced in Massachusetts and “films from anywhere that we feel would be of interest to our audience.”
“It’s more of a spiritual programming model,” said Newton. “Our patrons have taken to films that make you think and feel, and we’ve created a place where people can experience a film like that in a safe, warm and comfortable environment. It’s a cathartic place.”
The opening features the festival’s guest of honor, Thomas Dolby, the British musician and producer, who will present his film “The Invisible Lighthouse,” Friday at 7:30 p.m. and will be narrating, live-scoring, and performing foley (sound effects) to his new film. After the film, there will be a Q&A segment along with a greatest-hits set.
The Grammy-nominated Dolby is known for his 1982 radio hit “She Blinded Me With Science” and his album “The Golden Age Of Wireless.” He is now on tour and recently performed in Somerville. (Tickets for this event only are $39 ($35 for members), which includes reserved seats, a signed poster, and a post-show meet-and-greet.
There is another opening night option on Friday for patrons who prefer to see the 1927 sci-fi classic “Metropolis,” with organist Peter Krasinski playing a live score, at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church at 10 Church St.