Brother Clarence Schenk’s little movie theater is open for business. In a small room down the hall from his apartment in the Joseph Alemany Community residence, the nine-seat digital theater has a killer 7.2 surround-sound speaker system and a popcorn machine. Faculty members gather there to partake of Life of Pi with wine and pizza. Psychology students saw Girl, Interrupted this winter, which Brother Clarence called “quite a downer.”
How did a Christian Brother come to build such a sophisticated movie venue? Brother Clarence credits growing up in Los Angeles, where he worked in a movie house after school. “What else was there to do in the 1940s and ’50s?” he said. “Our entertainment was going to the movie theaters.” Later, as an engineer and handyman, Brother Clarence wired classrooms for television at De La Salle High School and Saint Mary’s College. Five years ago, he began buying the components for his theater.
After a recent Batman showing, he said, “Someone commented that I had the building shaking. That was a compliment to the sound system.”