A 17-day moviethon featuring more than 34 films opens Friday in Gloucester’s Cape Ann Community Cinema, where music and special guests often take center stage in this intimate space, too.
The cinema, featuring a 110-seat, living-room-style digital movie theater, is about to launch its sixth annual Cape Ann Film Festival, which runs from Friday through Nov. 17 in the downtown space that includes dining tables and couches.
Creative director Robert Newton said the homegrown festival film choices often are driven by patrons. He says he seeks to feature 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 that we use,” Newton said. “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 event features the festival’s guest of honor, Thomas Dolby, the British musician and producer. Dolby will present his film “The Invisible Lighthouse” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and will be narrating, live-scoring and performing foley (sound effects) to his new film. After the film, there will be a question and answer 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, 10 Church St.