LASCAUX is a 40-seat cinema in the seat of Upshur County, West Virginia. After studying film at architecture school, Bryson and Gretchen VanNostrand created LASCAUX in the basement of their downtown Buckhannon office. They envisioned it as a space where they could continue watching international cinema and share their interest with the community. They've now been offering weekly screenings of foreign new releases for more than ten years. In an article in The State Journal, Bryson suggests that his cinema's DIY, low-budget model "is particularly suited to small town America." In addition to generating a mailing list for hundreds of interested cinephiles, LASCAUX's screenings have attracted a regular audience in Bryson's hometown of 6,000 people. Bryson says, "A typical Friday evening at LASCAUX is a reunion of friends, each of whom share a common appreciation for the wonderful diversity of the world." As curators, the VanNostrands best compliment is "when patrons show up at the ticket counter and ask 'what are we seeing tonight?' – meaning that they came regardless of what was being featured, knowing that it is always a good selection."
Lascaux is a testament to the scope of films that two dedicated exhibitors can bring to their community. Connect with Lascaux on their Facebook page.
The newspaper clipping above is from Deanna Wreen’s 2003 article in the The Charleston Daily Mail. Photography by Chip Ellis.