Founded in 1998 by a small group of local film fans dedicated to making high-quality cinema available in Bellingham and the entire Whatcom County region, the mission of Pickford Film Center is to provide a forum and resource for independent cinema, strengthening community through education, dialogue and the celebration of film. PFC offers year-round, independent, foreign and documentary film, world class performing arts, and related special events. We’re also proud to host special events for schools, universities and community organizations.
PFC is a dynamic, multi-dimensional arts nonprofit supported by enthusiastic members, businesses, and audiences. With over 5,000 dues paying members, PFC has more than any other cultural institution in Whatcom County. PFC is run by five full-time, ten part-time staff, and a Board of Directors. In 2017, PFC served over 90,000 individuals – that’s more than the population of Bellingham! PFC has always operated responsibly within its income, and strives to blend the best of non-profit and for profit business approaches to create growth and maintain successful operations.
Pickford Film Center was named after Mary Pickford, for a few key reasons: She was small in stature — and when we opened in 1998, our cinema was only around 80 seats. She was innovative, creative, had an entrepreneurial spirit — qualities we were drawn to as a new organization and business. She also was someone who was a bit before her time as a woman during her heyday — forming United Artists with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, produced her own films, and generally went where no woman had really gone before in the film industry. We appreciated this inner strength and clarity of vision and hoped we could be so driven.
As the region’s leading venue for independent film, and the only 365 day independent cinema between Seattle and Vancouver B.C., PFC serves individuals of all ages, races and socioeconomic levels. With program grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Humanities Washington, the Charlotte Martin Foundation and capital project grants from the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Building for the Arts Grant, The MJ Murdock Charitable Trust and The Rotary Club of Bellingham, PFC has a proven track record of success as both a local business and non-profit leader.
Pickford Film Center program selections are tailored to Bellingham by staff who are invested in growing Whatcom County with hearts and minds intact: entertainment, conversation, and understanding go hand in hand at Pickford Film Center.
Visit us soon and experience Pickford Film Center – much, much more than movies!