Minner steps down as executive director of Northeast Historic Film

BUCKSPORT — When it comes to keeping busy, Ellsworth resident Brook Minner is quite the expert.

For the past year and a half, she has led the film preservation nonprofit Northeast Historic Film (NHF), which owns the Alamo Theatre on Main Street. During her tenure, NHF’s membership rose 30 percent, and the nonprofit’s annual funds tripled what they were last year.

“We’ve seen a large increase in support,” said Minner, “and that’s been fantastic.”

But Minner’s time at the helm of NHF will come to an end next week, after the International Maritime Film Festival. She co-owns Ocean’s Edge Realty, LLC with her husband, Mark Eastman. The business has been booming amidst a surge of new residents in Bucksport, and Minner thinks that it’s time to get more involved in Ocean’s Edge. Leaving NHF also would allow Minner to spend more time with her 7-year-old daughter, Mabel.

“Between the two of us,” Minner said, about herself and Eastman, “we have very full-time-plus jobs. We wanted to simplify things, and it felt like a really good opportunity to help in Mark’s office at this time where the market is really booming in Bucksport.”

The Alamo Theatre turned 100 years old this year, and in celebration it hosted a once-a-month screening of important films from each decade that it has been open.

Minner reported that most of those shows have been sold out or nearly sold out. She also said that 75 to 80 percent of the tickets sold for this weekend’s International Maritime Film Festival were purchased by people from out of town or out of state, as far away as Washington, New York and Canada.

“People are visiting,” she said. “They’ll stay at hotels or eat at local restaurants.”

All that interest and growth comes at a time when Bucksport is redefining itself as an arts center after the Verso Paper mill closed in December 2014. The closure cost the town 40 percent of its tax base and laid off 500 employees.

To help the town recover, Minner and Eastman co-founded Main Street Bucksport. Main Street Bucksport is an all-volunteer downtown economic development organization that has organized artisan pop-up shops and events.

“Our goal for the Main Street group is to support the businesses that exist and draw new businesses,” Minner said. “I’ve become very committed to it, and yet I don’t have the time that I would like to commit to it.”

Spending more time with Main Street Bucksport is one advantage of stepping down from NHF. But helping out at Ocean’s Edge and taking the reins at Main Street still isn’t enough for Minner, who will start work as part-time director of the Brooksville Free Public Library in October.

“Super excited about it,” said Minner, who holds a master’s degree in library science and an undergraduate degree in American history. “It’s a very sweet little library with a lot of potential, so I think I can do a lot of good things there.”

There’s one more perk to the Brooksville job: it’s close to Blue Hill, where Mabel goes to school.

David Roza

David Roza

Former reporter, David Roza grew up in Washington County, Maryland, has reported in Washington County, Oregon, and covered news in Hancock County and Washington County, Maine for The American and Out & About.

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