The facility, which had originally opened in 1984, closed down in 2006. Martin saw a “for sale” sign and thought to himself, “Why doesn’t somebody reopen it?,“ according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. Then that became “Why don’t I reopen it?”
The author purchased the theater this past February, hiring Jon Bowman, founder of the Santa Fe Film Festival, to manage the building.
“I am bound and determined that we are once again going to have the best popcorn in town… I want this theater to be what it once was – a beloved theater,” he said when he announced the purchase in April.
The theater officially reopened Aug. 9 with a showing of the movie “Forbidden Planet.” The rest of the night’s movies included “Orpheus,” by Cocteau, as well as the film “Dark Star.” Martin took tickets at the door.
“The Grand Re-Opening of the Jean Cocteau Cinema came off as scheduled on Friday evening ... something I scarcely would have believed a week ago,” Martin wrote on his site. “We made it with ... ah ... minutes to spare. Work was still going on when I arrived at the theatre an hour before opening.”
Martin listed the dates of the original run of the theater and said that “a twenty-two year run is nothing to sneeze at, but here's hoping the new Jean Cocteau will help to entertain, enlighten, and delight the people of Santa Fe for at least twice as long.”