It sounds just like a movie: a former Disney employee and a former mayor team up to run their own theater. That's exactly what Jeff Brein and Sam Granato did in 1988 with Bainbridge Cinemas, where they still spend Friday and Saturday nights tearing tickets and scooping popcorn. Besides Bainbridge Cinemas, their theater collection—Far Away Entertainment —oversees seven other local theaters, including the historic single-screen Lynwood Theatre. Opened in 1936, Bainbridge Island's first talking picture house now specializes in independent features and foreign films in which actors rearrange the English alphabet to make strange new sounds.
Over at the two-screen Admiral Theater, projectionists give newer Hollywood releases a second run, plus host screenings every year for the Seattle International Film Festival. Far Away's five remaining theaters, each with three to five screens, show digital versions of Hollywood's freshest celluloid. Lean back in the Anacortes' reclining seats, or scarf down an all-beef frank at Oak Harbor while taking in a flick or live screening of the Metropolitan Opera.
Twelve lanes of polished wood stretch from players to pins at Viking Bowl & Restaurant. Bowlers can pick the perfect ball from the long racks of weighted spheres, and they can blast as many pins as possible while automatic scoring screens keep tabs for them. Competitive play flourishes at the billiards tables, too. A click-clacking sounds as pool shooters sink a corner shot or hula-hoop with the triangular rack. Patrons can also hunker down in the full-service restaurant and feast on pizza, burgers, and hot wings before heading out for another 10 frames.
An Xbox 360 console, a 40-inch high-definition television, and a surround-sound headset: all of this is yours alone at PLAYlive's individual gaming stations. But that doesn't mean each round of gaming has to be a solitary affair. The gaming center hosts parties and weekly tournaments, too, pitting players against each other in live contests with titles such as Call of Duty and NBA2K. For members, the lounge even hosts monthly mixers where gamers can participate in mini tournaments or debate which Mario brother made their mother prouder. Beyond its comfy lounge, PLAYlive can enrich your gaming experience with its shop that specializes in repairing Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii consoles.