Nightlight Cinema is recasting its lead roles.

The independent theater in downtown Akron is losing its third executive director in the past four years. Eugene Weaver, who took over from Kurtiss Hare in August 2017, has departed to launch a new business in Canton.

The theater is not immediately seeking a replacement, according to Matthew Wachter, chair of the theater’s board of trustees. Instead, it is passing the baton to two current staffers.

Artistic Director Brittany Dobish will take over the programming duties, while Cir L’Bert Jr., currently the bar manager, will move up to house manager and handle more of the day-to-day operations, said Wachter.

“We’re just going to see how this shakes out and see what we are still missing moving forward,” he said. “We are open to the possibility of a new executive director, but we are not posting the position right now.”

“There are absolutely no hard feelings with Eugene,” he added. “We appreciate everything he did.”

Weaver was instrumental in developing Lounge 237, a cozy spot for films and gatherings behind the main theater, and outfitting it with a new projection and sound system.

“This was totally amicable,” Weaver said Thursday. “As much as I love the Nightlight, my wife and I were interested in starting a housing business in the Canton area [where we live]. We have two young children and after many, many discussions, we decided this was the best decision for us. The theater is in a good place and I’m sure the new leadership will continue to program quality films.”

Two movies in particular were big draws during Weaver’s tenure.

“My Friend Dahmer really exploded for us,” he said. “We sold out nearly every single show. Isle of Dogs also did really well for us.”

Attendance was up in 2017, about 17,000, with nearly $128,000 in ticket sales, Wachter said.

The Nightlight, which opened in July 2014, shows a mix of independent, foreign and documentary films. The theater was an outgrowth of the Akron Film + Pixel organization run by Steve Felix, who was the Nightlight’s first executive director.

As for the multiple changes at the top, Wachter said, “a lot of the turnover has been by happenstance. Steve Felix and Kurtiss Hare relocated to other parts of the country.”

Currently on tap at 30 N. High St.: The Rider, a heartfelt drama from writer-director Chloé Zhao; RBG, the documentary about Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; and Cries and Whispers, Ingmar Bergman’s classic tale of three sisters from 1972.

Clint O’Connor covers pop culture. He can be reached at 330-996-3582 or coconnor@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClintOMovies.