About The Ryder


The Ryder Film Series has presented the best in international, independent and classic American films in Bloomington for forty years. If your taste runs toward personal movies that you won’t find at the multiplex, major festival winners, or activist documentaries, you’ve come to the right place.

The Ryder screens films at multiple venues, each with its own unique charms. Bear’s Place is a cozy bar/restaurant located across the street from the Indiana University campus. Food and drink are served in a cabaret-style screening room. A diverse menu includes burgers, burritos and tuna steaks. Filmgoers can enjoy a soft drink, a beer (domestic and imports) or a glass of wine while watching the latest cinematic offering from France or Germany. You must be 21 at Bear’s Place.

Films are also shown in the IU Fine Arts Theaters (there are two screening rooms). The viewing experience at Fine Arts is similar to that of a traditional theater–reasonably comfortable theater seats on a sloped floor. The downstairs theater seats 250, the smaller, more intimate upstairs theater seats 99.

We also host occasional screenings at the School for Global and International Studies Theater, which seats 100.

In the summer The Ryder and Bloomington’s Department of Parks and Recreation sponsor a series of free films under the stars in Bryan Park. Before the film, you can shoot free throws at the nearby basketball court. When it gets dark, the lights on the basketball court are turned off and the film begins. Bring a blanket. Bring a snack. Bring the dog. Outdoor screenings of course are weather dependent; if it rains in the afternoon, even if it clears up, or if there’s the threat of rain, please check this site. We will post weather updates.

In November, we host our Annual Children’s International Film Festival at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater — short films for the young and the young-at-heart. These films encourage kids to think out-of-the-box. They foster emotional learning and instill critical thinking.

The best short films, like the best short stories, have the power and scope of feature-length films. In February, we host our Annual Oscar Shorts Festival — these are the fifteen short films nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Animation, Best Live-Action and Best Documentary.

A monthly film program is published in The Ryder magazine, Bloomington’s free magazine of the arts and popular culture. The magazine is distributed in over 250 locations in and around Bloomington and the Indiana University campus.

We welcome suggestions. Tell us what you’d like to see. We can be talked into almost anything.