Peace Out! No More Movie Series at Bohemia

In an attempt to go mainstream and politically neutral, the new owners of Cafe Bohemia have told St. Pete for Peace that their weekly movie series is over.

Wednesday nights at have been some of the busiest nights at the cafe for the last five-plus years during St. Pete for Peace's weekly movie night. That may soon change after Bohemia's new owner has told St. Pete for Peace that they can no longer show movies in its outdoor patio. 

In an article in Creative Loafing, Bohemia's new owner, Lou Aldano, said he took his 9-year-old daughter to the outside patio during last week and began watching a screening of the critically-acclaimed documentary, American: The Bill Hicks Story.

He told the magazine that it was so offensive he told St. Pete for Peace that they are not welcome back. 

“It was the most vulgar movie I’ve ever seen in my life,” Aldano told Creative Loafing. “I don’t think they were aware of how inappropriate it was.”

Earlier this week, St. Pete for Peace sent out a statement voicing its displeasure with the new ownership's stance. 

"The new owners of Cafe Bohemia oppose our message, so they told us we can no longer show films there on Wednesday evenings," the statement said. "It's unfortunate that the new proprietors are not on board with peace and justice and don't value healthy discussion and building community."

 to Aldano after running the shop for more than eight years. 

"I can be OK with letting things go, but I just hope that it is still available for people to feel comfortable," Neal told Patch during his last day at Bohemia. He said he loved Bohemia because of the artists, musicians and community interaction that happened there. 

The word "bohemia" means, "a person, as an artist or writer, who live and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices."  

In an ironic twist, Aldano told Creative Loafing that the cafe will be going more mainstream and family friendly with a focus on live music.   

St. Pete for Peace said the pending move is a chance to possibly move the weekly movie series indoors so events would not be subject to the weather.

Even the menu has gone “mainstream” as well by adding bar and grill favorites such as mac and cheese, beef nachos and hamburgers. 

Currently, St. Pete for Peace is looking for another location to host its meetings. 

"So, for now our Wednesday films are on hold until we find a new location," the statement continued. "In the meantime, if you know of a potential place with owners that value socially conscious films and can accommodate about 20-50 people, please let us know."

St. Pete for Peace said aside from the free advertising, its member accounted for around $10,000 a year in business for Cafe Bohemia.

"It will take a collaborative effort to find a suitable location, but the show must go on, so we will be back to having weekly movies soon."

Shelle Berk July 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM
What a shame. We certainly have plenty of "mainstream" here already.
Red July 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM
And so ends the only reason to go there. too bad.Maybe he needs to change the name to "Just like all he others" or "Nuttin new Here".So long. .. ...
Shelle Berk July 12, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Yep, I think he's signing his own death sentence, so to speak.
Kenwoodian July 12, 2012 at 02:41 PM
WOW,, burgers and fries??!! I can't WAIT to try that out! He might as well just shut the cafe doors now and save himself the heartache of watching it fail. Taking 2 seconds to review a movie BEFORE he decided to bring his daughter would have been great. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water,, Cafe Bohemia was a Central Ave highlight. Bad decisions all around.
Scott Bitterli July 12, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Well, St. Pete for Peace is what brought me to Bohemia. I guess I will have no reason to go there or recommend anyone else to either.
Donna Gilbert July 12, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Really? Politically "neutral" in this day and age? Wonder what he would have done if in Germany and Hitler was coming into power? There were sure a lot of politically neutral folks then, weren't there? Be a man, take a stand!
Piper July 13, 2012 at 03:39 PM
This is a particularly devastating blow after losing The Globe at the end of last year. The food was never amazing, so the draw for me to support this non-niche local business over others has heavily abated. It was lovely to patronize a place with real flavor. Too bad the new owner wants Cafe Boho to taste like everything else.
Jeannie Cline July 13, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Matt and his Mom, the owners probably got burned out by working so hard to make the Bohemia work. They are good, hard working people and they truly supported the art community. The problem is that most of the indie art crowd around here would buy a coffee drink for a couple of bucks and hang out all evening at the Bohemia. Trust me, if the former owners had made more money in relation to all the work they put forth, they wouldn't have sold it and would have hired a manager to help them run it !!! I understand the move that the new owner is making. The present business climate is tough and a coffee house needs more than a bunch of hipsters hanging out, milking their latte all evening! Good luck, new owners! I'll be there to see what is happening!


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