234 | Katherine Tallman: Executive Director & CEO, Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation
Once upon a time, it was a grand event to go to the local movie theatre. - Katherine Tallman
In this interview, we meet Katherine Tallman, a lifelong lover of cinema. She’s the Executive Director & CEO of the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Massachusetts, one of America’s most iconic movie theatres. coolidge.org. Originally built as a church in 1906, it was re-designed as an art deco movie palace in 1933 and after suffering hard times throughout the 1980s was purchased by a real estate magnate with a love for theatre who leased the building to the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation. Today, the Coolidge Corner Theatre is a non-profit, independent cinema and cultural center and Katherine’s mission has been to not only steward this much-loved landmark through the pandemic but to also assure a bright future for the theatre with a 12.5 million dollar expansion. Born and raised in Detroit, Katherine was one of 4 children in a blue-collar family where she was taught to be both responsible and hard-working. In this interview, she recalls going to the movies every weekend with her friends, often choosing foreign films and independent films over more mainstream offerings. As the first person in her family to go to college, she accepted her first job in Boston at a real estate investment firm and as she climbed the ladder in business, she discovered that she was often the only woman at the table. After serving on the board of the Coolidge Theatre, she was tapped to become the executive director. A true believer in doing what you love, Katherine says: “I bring my A-game to everything I’ve ever done. I work with really smart people who have the same passion. Most of all, I lead by example. Having this job is like a fairy tale movie story.”
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