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James Sanford Creative Director Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
If he hadn’t been so critical of his high school’s
newspaper when he was 16, there’s no telling what James Sanford would be doing now. In a true “money-where-your-mouth-is” moment, the newspaper’s advisor challenged Sanford to do something to improve the newspaper. So he did. He wrote album reviews. Then movie reviews. And then, at the age of 17, he became a freelance movie critic and writer for the Grand Rapids Press. His journalism career kept on going through college, but when he graduated, Sanford tried something different: He worked in the cinema industry itself. Now, as the creative director for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Kalamazoo, it’s Sanford who dreams up such promotions as Bonday (showing James Bond films every week), and ’80s movie sing-alongs to make movie-going more than just passive watching. (continued on page 45)
46 | Encore MAY 2015
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