IFS General Information

The IFS at C.U. Boulder is one of few places in the U.S. where the latest digital projection systems and reel-to-reel 35mm film projectors coexist peacefully to both honor the rich legacy of the past, the present, and future.

Venues, prices, and philosophy

The International Film Series is Boulder's first arthouse series and has been locally programmed since 1941. Our main venue is Muenzinger Auditorium, located west of Folsom Stadium (400 seats). Our secondary venue is the Visual Arts Complex Auditorium, located north of the Euclid Autopark and downstairs in room 1B20 (200 seats).

We provide ushers at every show and actively discourage texting and other cellphone abuse during screenings. We never show more than three trailers before the film, if any at all. We never show ads. We screen as many films as possible on celluloid and have reel-to-reel projectors operated by experienced professionals, which grants us access to rare and archive prints from all around the world. Unlike most theaters, we do not make money from concessions and prefer to maintain a quiet venue, free from distractions where the focus is always on the film itself.

Most films are $9 general admission, $7 for CU students and senior citizens 55 and older.

Established in 1941, the International Film Series is Boulder's first art-house film series

Boulder and IFS Timeline

The IFS played a crucial role in building up an audience in Boulder for the works by such directors as Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, John Cassavetes, and many more. As other theaters took notice of this growing audience they also began to expand their programming and, up through the 1980's, there were many single-screen theaters in town, some of which were also dedicated to art-house cinema. While most of those screens are now defunct, the IFS remains committed to eclectic cinema that is locally programmed. (See our Boulder and IFS history timeline.)

The IFS screens over 100 films a year

Whether debuting a premiere film or screening a restored 35mm print of some classic title that hasn't been on the big screen in decades, the IFS plays host to an eclectic mix of genres and filmmakers with the goal of providing variety and affordable cinema to the Boulder population.

The IFS draws over 20,000 people a year

Although the numbers fluctuate dramatically from the heyday of arthouse cinema (back in the 1960's and 1970's), when sold-out shows were common, the IFS has managed to buck the trend that has closed down most calendar film programs across the nation. For the last five years, yearly IFS attendance has hovered steadily with around 20,000 admissions.

Our dedicated staff genuinely cares about cinema

One of the keys to our success has been the small but dedicated staff that keep the program running. The IFS is proud to put on a show that rubs shoulders with programs from big cities that do the same thing with a much bigger staff and more resources. We're a lean and scrappy group that genuinely cares about cinema as a shared and affordable experience for our community. Pablo Kjolseth has been watching films at the IFS since 1980 and has been programming it since 1997.

We bring award-winning filmmakers to campus

Whether it's acclaimed documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens), or German maverick director Werner Herzog (Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Grizzly Man), the IFS has provided a venue and publicity for these distinguished guests and their award-winning films.

The IFS brings nationally recognized special events to Boulder

The IFS regularly collaborates with other film festivals and provides the campus and Boulder community with access to satellite screenings. The IFS has worked together with the Denver International Film Festival, the Boulder International Film Festival, and many other organizations. It was recently selected by Sundance Institute as of only 14 art-house venues in the nation to participate in the Art House Project.

Contact us

Please contact us to suggest a title, ask about a film, offer a compliment, make a complaint, or to comment on our web site.


10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Sat Oct 28, 2023


At Muenzinger Auditorium

Tue Oct 31, 2023

Shaun of the Dead

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...