UC Santa Barbara Receives $2 Million Gift for Public Film Theater in New Center for Film, Television and New Media

Joseph and Helene Pollock, of Santa Barbara, and their family have contributed $2 million for the construction of a public film theater in the new Center for Film, Television and New Media at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The gift brings to $5.75 million the total raised thus far toward a goal of $10 million for the privately funded center.

Other leadership gifts for the center include $2.5 million from television executive Marcy Carsey and $1 million from Academy Award-winner Michael Douglas, members of the center's distinguished advisory board.

In celebration of the Pollocks' gift, the center's public theater will be named in their honor.

The recent gift is the culmination of more than a decade of support for the arts at UCSB by the Pollock family.

Joseph Pollock, a retired physician and a former president of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, is a trustee of The UCSB Foundation and also a member of the center's advisory board.

Tom Pollock, a son, is also a member of the center's advisory board.

He is a partner of the Montecito Picture Company and also an adjunct professor of film studies at UCSB.

"We are proud to have the Pollock family associated with UCSB in this meaningful way," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang.

"The Pollock Theater will enhance undergraduate and graduate education and provide year-round cultural programming for the community.

Joe Pollock has been the inspiration behind building a film theater at UCSB.

Joe and Helene's visionary commitment to the campus is simply extraordinary."

The Pollock Theater will provide space for year-round programming of a diverse array of films and filmmakers.

The theater will be the heart of the center, serving as a classroom by day and a public theater at night where students, industry leaders, and members of the community will gather.

Planning is still underway for the theater, which is expected to accommodate an audience of between 200 and 300 people.

"Our family's interest in film education at UCSB has been ongoing," said Joseph Pollock, who has championed the creation of a public film theater at UCSB for more than 10 years.

"My goal of having a public film theater on campus that would enhance teaching and public viewing of new and archival films will finally be realized.

I am excited to see it reach fruition."

Constance Penley, director of the Center for Film, Television and New Media, said she "looks forward to the new opportunities afforded by the Pollock Theater to collaborate with both the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and UCSB Arts and Lectures to provide the kind of world class film programming that the campus and community need and deserve.

We feel a great deal of fondness and appreciation for Joe's perseverance in his decade-long effort to make the theater a reality.

It is a great gift to us all."

In addition to the Pollock Theater, the center will contain a state-of-the-art production suite, instructional and research laboratories, and climate-controlled film and television archival space. The new UCSB center will bring together students and scholars from the campus's renowned departments of film studies and communication, as well as 15 other departments that study film, video, television, and emerging media in the context of a strong interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum.

The privately financed Center for Film, Television, and New Media will be part of a new state-funded academic building complex.

About the Donors

Joseph, Helene, and Tom Pollock are devoted community leaders, providing philanthropic support for the arts, the environment, and higher education.

Over the years, the Pollock family has made numerous generous gifts to UCSB for campus priorities, student fellowships, and a variety of UCSB programs, including the Department of Film Studies, the University Art Museum, the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.

Before moving to Santa Barbara in 1986, Joseph Pollock had a successful medical practice in Beverly Hills specializing in abdominal surgery.

During his career, he served as chief of surgery at several hospitals and taught at the Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California.

He is the author of two books on surgery, "Surgical Shock" and "Digestive Disturbances."

A businessman, he was also chairman and CEO of Triangle Steel and Supply Co.

Both he and his wife, Helene, have been actively involved with Filmex and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

In Santa Barbara, the Pollock family has continued to support the arts and education. Joseph Pollock, in addition to being a former president of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, has long been a member of the festival's board, on which his wife has also served.

He continues to be associated with the annual festival.

The retired physician is also a member of the Santa Barbara Roundtable, a trustee of the Santa Barbara City College Foundation, and serves on the college's President's Council, as well as other local organizations.

Previously, he was chairman of the Channel Island Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

Helene Pollock is an artist and owner of the H. Pollock Fine Art Gallery in Montecito.

In Los Angeles, she owned an art gallery and an antique rug gallery.

The Pollocks have three children.

Their son, Tom Pollock, is a partner of the Montecito Picture Company and also an adjunct professor of film studies at UCSB.

Formerly, he was vice chairman of MCA, executive vice president of MCA, and chairman of its Motion Picture Group, Universal Pictures. He was also a member of the board of directors of MCA and Cineplex-Odeon Corporation.

Joseph and Helene Pollock are members of the UCSB Chancellor's Council and the Lancaster Society, UCSB's premier giving society.

Both Joseph and Tom Pollock are members of the advisory board for the Center for Film, Television and New Media.

All members of the advisory board are listed below.

UCSB Advisory Board for the Center for Film, Television and New Media

Wallis Annenberg, vice president, Annenberg Foundation, Honorary Member

Paris Barclay, director, writer, Warner Brothers

Gail Berman, president, FBC (Fox Broadcasting Corp.) Entertainment Group

Roger Birnbaum, co-chairman and CEO, Spyglass Entertainment

Marcy Carsey, partner, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach

Bruce C. Corwin, chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Theatres Corp

Andrew Davis, producer, director, Chicago Pacific Entertainment

Danny DeVito, producer, director, actor, partner, Jersey Films

Michael Douglas, producer, director, actor, Furthur Films

Gary Erickson, president and CEO, the Erickson Group

Scott Frank, screenwriter, Arroyo Pictures

Elizabeth Gabler, president, Fox 2000

Lee Gabler, principal partner, Creative Artists Agency

Tory Metzger, agent, Creative Artists Agency

Jeff Nathanson, director, screenwriter

Sarah Pillsbury, independent producer, Sanford-Pillsbury

Joseph H. Pollock, M.D., founding director, Santa Barbara Film Festival

Tom Pollock, partner, The Montecito Picture Company

Ivan Reitman, partner, The Montecito Picture Company

Gary Ross, producer, director, screenwriter, Larger Than Life Productions

Arthur Seidelman, director, Entpro, Inc.

Michael Shamberg, partner, Double Feature Films

Stacey Sher, partner, Double Feature Films

Brad Silberling, producer, director, and screenwriter

E. Duke Vincent, executive producer and vice chairman, Spelling Television

Dick Wolf, producer, president, Wolf Films, Inc.

Related Links

Center for Film, Television and New Media

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