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.
Continuing an 80-year tradition of sliver screenings started during its past life as the Bay Theatre, Majestic Bay Theatres melds state-of-the-art equipment with the architectural allure of a vintage movie house. Peepers searching for the latest action flick or rollicking comedy can scan the triplex theater's schedule of notable talkies, including the upcoming drama The Debt starring Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington or the current fantasy spine-tingler Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Dolby Digital Surround EX audio systems wash cinephiles in cascades of crystal-clear sound waves unknown in the still, soundless desert of the real world, and plush stadium seats embrace bodies tenderly without obscuring sight lines.
The Children's Museum, Seattle inspires curiosity and creativity in children between 10 months and 10 years with 22,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits that explore science, arts, and cultural education. The museum's collection of permanent exhibits boosts brainpower with feats of engineering, miniature global villages, an aquarium, and a theater, where kids can don costumes and reenact famous monologues from Sponge Bob. The museum heightens the joy of discovery with such activities as summer camps, birthday parties, partnership outreach, and after-hours events.
EMP Museum is a tribute to cultural icons as well as a breeding ground for the next generation of musicians and societal shapers. Here, attendees don’t just stand before exhibits that explore Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, but throw down their own musical chops in interactive exhibits such as Sound Lab, where they riff on an electric guitar, bang on drums, and tweak acoustics behind a mixing console. On Stage also gets guests to grip instruments, but under the hot lights of the stage, where they can pretend to entertain legions of fans or accompany their nephew’s birthday party.
The museum also curates rotating exhibits that celebrate modern cultural achievements. These have showcased the impact of Nirvana’s career alongside historic artifacts as diverse as Hendrix’s Stratocaster from Woodstock and Neo’s black futuristic coat from Matrix Reloaded. As home to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, the museum also spotlights luminaries such as Ray Bradbury and Steven Spielberg, who have shaped a generation’s imagination while warning people about the perils of suppressing ingenuity, ideas, and viewpoints.
All of the educational programming and special events unfold inside the architectural jewel that is the EMP Museum. Designed by Frank O. Gehry, the building’s 3,000 stainless-steel panels shimmer and seemingly swing through the air. This fluidity, which can alter its appearance depending on the time of day and light conditions, is about “reminding audiences that music and culture is constantly evolving,” as the museum’s website states.
For more than a century, Woodland Park Zoo's 92 acres of exhibits have provided an urban oasis replete with nearly 1,100 individual animals, representing almost 300 species and 75 animal vocations, such as jaguar dentist. Ooh and ahh your way through more than a dozen exhibits representing the exotic wilds of Australia, Africa, and Bug World. Should the sight of the king of the jungle paralyze you with fear, visit the golden lion tamarin, an endangered Brazilian primate that was hunted for its fur by hopelessly misinformed gold prospectors. Debate the appropriate classification of the red panda (aka the firefox), or marvel at the soaring majesty and silly names of the Hottentot teal, bufflehead duck, and Temminick's tragopan. The diverse array of flora and fauna ensures that every art lover will uncover a masterpiece within Mother Nature's gallery.