Digital Gym on the Boulevard

About | Film Showcases | Art & Placemaking | Youth Voice | Affiliate Program | Advisory Council



This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In partnership with the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association.


Media Arts Center San Diego, in partnership with El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, with support in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, presents Digital Gym on the Boulevard! With the opening of the Digital Gym Cinema and Technology Center in 2011 in a former auto parts warehouse MACSD brightened up a neighborhood block that attracted arts and craft businesses to become the #30ECB hub of El Cajon Boulevard at 30th Street.

With Digital Gym on the Boulevard we intend to further the discussion of economic development through arts and culture and push creative solutions to challenges in our extended community.

Film Showcases
February |
Film: Saving Banksy at Digital Gym CINEMA
Showtimes: Various, 2/17-2/23
Activity: 2/18 | 1:30pm | Awash Ethiopian Restaurant (2884 El Cajon Blvd. 92104), Community meeting about Kansas Street intersection [Report], screening of youth produced Kansas Street Documentary, and Memorial for Mr. Abera Kebede Tura
March |
Event: San Diego Latino Film Festival
Film Showcase: Digital Gym on the BLVD
Showtimes: Various, 3/16-3/26

Film: Ovarian Psycos
Showtimes: (Schools) 3/23, 10am @ AMC Fashion Valley 18 (SDLFF), (Public) 3/16, 8:10pm @ Digital Gym CINEMA (SDLFF), 3/23, 6:30pm & 3/25, 10:15pm @ AMC Fashion Valley 18 (SDLFF).
Activity: Q&A with filmmaker Kate Trumbull-LaValle and San Diego County Bicycle Coalition!
Discussion Guide: Download PDF

Youth Film Exhibit (Schools): 3/24, 10am at AMC Fashion Valley 18 (SDLFF)
Youth Film Exhibit (Public): 3/25, 2pm at AMC Fashion Valley 18 (SDLFF)
Activity: Q&A with youth filmmakers

April |
Film: Los Sures at Digital Gym CINEMA
Showtime: 4/29, 3:10pm
Discussion Guide: Download PDF
Activity: Guest speaker Stephen Russell (Executive Director, San Diego Housing Federation)

Youth Film Exhibit: 4/22 at Digital Gym CINEMA
Activity: Q&A with youth filmmakers

May | 
Film: Blood, Sweat, and Beer at Digital Gym CINEMA
Showtime: 5/6, 5:30pm
Discussion Guide: Download PDF
Activity: San Diego Premiere, plus Q&A with filmmakers Chip Hiden and Alexis Irvin and The Homebrewer!

Event: Fresh Cinema: Film and Food Showcase at Digital Gym CINEMA
Showtimes: 5/13, 11am Forks Over Knives, 1:15pm King Corn, 3:20pm The Martian at Digital Gym CINEMA
Activity: Films with scientists, food demonstrations, vendors, and live music!

Film: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City at Digital Gym CINEMA
Showtime: Various 5/19-5/25
Activity: 5/23, 5:30pm Screening and 7:00pm After work placemaking gathering & talk with placemakers from the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, City Heights Coffee House, The Urban Collaborative Project, and more!

June |
Artist & Musician Films
Artist Film: Burden
Showtime: Various 6/23-6/29
Musician Film: I Am The Blues
Showtime: Various 6/30-7/6
July |
Film: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
Showtime: 7/20, 6:00pm
Activity: 7:30pm Panel Discussion (Affordable Housing Development in San Diego) hosted by Circulate San Diego with guests: Randy Van Vleck, City Heights CDC, Richard Seges, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, Barry Schultz, Community Development Attorney, Moderated by Colin Parent, Circulate San Diego.
August |
Film: One Big Home
Showtime: 8/24 6:30pm
Activity: San Diego Section of American Planning Association (SDAPA) presents a panel discussion.

Youth Film Exhibit: 8/26 at Digital Gym CINEMA
Activity: Q&A with youth filmmakers

September |
Film: Time Out of Mind
Showtime: 9/20 6:30pm
Activity: Father Joe’s Villages presents The Art of Ending Homelessness for Good Neighbor Month: A panel discussion, screening of short animated film SHINE, and popup art gallery.
October |
Film: BeBop on Film
Showtime: 10/16 6pm
Activity: Exclusive, Rare, Footage of The Classic BeBop Jazz Era with Jazz Historian and Jazz 88.3 Station Manager Ken Poston.

Film: They Call Us Monsters
Showtime: 10/28 12pm
Activity: Panel discussion around juvenile justice reform presented by Mid-City Community Advocacy Network’s Youth Council and Peace Promotion’s community-led campaigns. Shuttle transportation available at Hoover High School to Digital Gym Cinema.

November |
Event: Hola Mexico Tour 2017
Showtimes: Various, 11/10-11/16
Activity: Opening night reception for Youth Scholarship Fundraiser.

Event: San Diego Asian Film Festival
Film Showcase: Indie Films in North Park
Showtimes: Various, 11/15-11/16

December |
Event: Day With(out) Art: Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings
Showtime: 12/2 6:30pm, 7:50pm

Film: Shadowman
Showtime: Various 12/22-12/28

Youth Film Exhibit: 12/16 10am at Digital Gym CINEMA
Activity: Q&A with youth filmmakers

Art & Placemaking Exhibitions

Take Back the Alley
May | 5/16 with artist Brennan Hubbell and Qualcomm volunteers
June | 6/29 with artist Brennan Hubbell and Qualcomm intern volunteers
August | 8/23 Neighborhood Asset Mapping (City Heights) at Fair@44 | Download Report
September | 9/15 Neighborhood Asset Mapping (North Park & Tijuana) at BLVD Market | Download Report
December | 12/9 Mount Persistencia at Fair@44 with artists Brennan Hubbell, Nadia Nunez, & Rob Tobin

Youth Voice

Media Arts Center San Diego’s Teen Producers Project (TPP) has been inspiring youth to be more than consumers of media as they become creators of media. Through our programs, hundreds of youth throughout San Diego County have learned about filmmaking and digital storytelling and have produced engaging video projects. The project’s mission is to educate youth in media arts & emerging technologies for use in self-expression, communication and social change. Youth enrolled in TPP will be exploring the intersection of art and economic development and its affects in community health. Spring, summer, and fall programs available for ages 14-18. Learn more or sign up now!

Affiliate Program

To promote local businesses in the neighborhood, Digital Gym Cinema is offering $1 off admission tickets to films when you show receipt of purchase from restaurants along the El Cajon Boulevard corridor.

You can also save $1 on admission to films if you seek out and share selfies in front of local art and murals along El Cajon Boulevard! Share with #DigitalGymOnTheBLVD to promote neighborhood culture and save a dollar.

Advisory Council

BLVD West:
Monthly advisory meetings are held at the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association office, located at 3727 El Cajon Blvd. 92105. How to use art, placemaking, and networking to promote the district are discussed. Some of the attendants include: Lafayette Hotel, Roc Shop, Tiger! Tiger!, Copley-Price YMCA, Finest City Improv, Thrift Trader, The Heart and Trotter, and Negociant Winery.

BLVD East:
The Neighborhood Economic Development Coalition is a working partnership of local non-profit organizations, including City Heights Community Development Corporation, El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association, Karen Organization of San Diego, City Heights Business Association, and LISC. The mission of the Neighborhood Economic Development Collaborative is to support a sustainable and community-oriented local economy in City Heights through revitalization, branding, and business development.

For more information or to get involved, please contact Ethan van Thillo. | 619-230-1938