New co-managers of the Luna Theater, Ben Bernardi and Ted Read have created a yin & yang working relationship between their passions and skills. While Ben is busy doing what he loves with scheduling and managing the front of the house so to speak, Ted is living his best life behind the scenes responsible for the technical aspect of the theater.
Working several part time jobs at once for the last three years Ben, at the young age of 18, has been taught the value of hard work from his family and thrives on being busy – and keeping busy at the Luna theater is an easy thing to do with movies, music and other live events happening weekly. As soon as he transferred from a barista at Coffee and Cotton, to co-managing the theater on a full time basis, he began filling in gaps where he saw fit to create a better workflow for staff and an elevated experience for the customers. The Luna experience includes feature first- run independent and classic films and music in an intimate atmosphere and while customers may suggest offering more mainstream movies, both Ben and Ted are looking to keep the intimate feel of the Luna while providing updated sound and 4k visual qualities that can rival any big-box movie house.
Ted is no stranger to the film industry. Throughout the years he has turned his love of film into a career choice. He managed a video store throughout the 90’s and he worked for several years with the Brainwaves Festival and the Boston Underground Film Festival. Because of his vast knowledge of film history, he feels right at home with the films shown on Luna’s screen.
When Ben first moved to Lowell he knew he wanted to work at a coffee shop and was happy to be offered a position at Coffee and Cotton. He describes Mill No. 5 as a smaller, more intimate Faneuil Hall and is really happy he has been able to stay working with the team in a managerial position.
Ted was plugging for Ben to be co-manager because of his energy and drive. With bigger music events coming to the Mill such as last month’s The Town and The City and May’s show Negativland in the Luna Theater, Ted believes they are right on the cusp of being known as the area’s premier entertainment venue. “The people who come into the theater are so glad to be back, glad to be in the Mill and there are a lot of people discovering it for the first time…I like being down at the end of the hall.”