25 Prospect Street is a yearlong look at the beginnings of The Prospector Theater, a state of the art movie palace that provides unprecedented opportunities for the disability community, with the dream of an inclusive workplace that breaks down social barriers.
The residents of Ridgefield, Connecticut have dreamt up something so colorful and progressive, that only the love of a small town could give it the nourishment it needs to thrive. The brainchild of the unshakeable Valerie Jensen, The Prospector is a state of the art movie theater that provides unprecedented opportunities for the disability community, with the dream of an inclusive workplace that breaks down social barriers. For countless people this means a real shot at being successful and self-sufficient for the first time in their lives.
In the U.S., 56 million people live with disabilities, and 80 percent are unemployed. Enter the Prospector Theater, a recently abandoned bank, which has been converted to a first-run movie theater that trains and empowers adults with disabilities. Led by a vibrant ex-school teacher Valerie Jensen, the team works together to turn their employees' passions into professions.
Director Kaveh Taherian tracks the rocky but inspiring first year of the fledgling cinema, while following the missteps and giant leaps of the new recruits—many of whom are earning their first paychecks. Along the way, the growing distance between Valerie and her younger sister Hope—who has Down syndrome and was the original inspiration for the Prospector—proves an even greater challenge: Hope has little interest in working at the theater, or even spending time with her sister.
25 Prospect Street offers a thoughtful and surprisingly funny portrait of Valerie, her employees, and the birth of a small business—one that is simultaneously on the brink of failure and on the cusp of serving as a new national model of how to put talented people to work.