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.
Ready, Set, Bag! documents the quests of eight state-champion grocery baggers as they prepare for the National Grocers Association’s competition for Best Bagger, held every February in Las Vegas. As each contestant trains for the big event and brings order to a chaotic universe one egg carton on top at a time, their life stories and infectious love of what they do will thaw the frozen caveman hearts of any viewer. Best of all, you can stay comfortably reclined on sofa seating during the whole film, as Central Cinema’s wait staff will bring your large popcorn right to you. Practice attentive viewing before the main event with a screening of a new, hand-animated short called Leonardo, from Academy Award nominee Jim Capobianco.
Northwest Film Forum was founded in 1995 by two filmmakers eager to explore their art with an equally eager audience; today, the nonprofit organization screens more than 200 independent and classic films annually, while offering support for filmmakers and more than 60 classes a year for future filmmakers of all ages. Your supporting membership will get you discounted tickets to live performances and special events, access to films at member prices ($6 for regular screenings), and exclusive, members-only invitations to parties and screenings. Members at these levels also receive free large-popcorn refilling privileges at films. To stay plugged into the community, members also get a subscription to the Forum's printed, quarterly calendar and the option to join the weekly email digest. Memberships last a whole year, which makes them great annual gifts for once-yearly events such as birthdays, holidays, and weddings.
The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre Association exists to develop, produce and present live musical theater for the cultural enrichment of the Northwest community, and to preserve, maintain, and operate the historic and irreplaceable 5th Avenue Theatre. To achieve this mission, the Theatre will actively pursue the highest standards of artistic excellence and service, enhance and continuously improve all aspects of the facility operations, endeavor to make its programming accessible and relevant to all audiences, and maintain organizational stability.
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.
If the walls of the Moore Theatre could talk, they would probably brag, and with plenty of reason. Part of the National Register of Historic Places, the Moore Theatre has thrived as Seattle's oldest-running entertainment venue since 1907. Behind its quaint exterior, flanked with Italian and Byzantine terracotta details, lies a playhouse of grandiose opulence and architectural marvel. Inside, a grand lobby of marble, onyx, and mosaic flooring leads to an auditorium where ceiling frescos of cream and gold lord over 1,400 seats. In its burgeoning years, the venue played host to performances by Ethel Barrymore, the Marx Brothers, and Harry Houdini, becoming a beacon for vaudeville's best and a vacation home for audiences during the Great Depression. Lately, the venue has welcomed a broad variety of community-based lectures, beauty pageants, and dance troupes. Its glimmering interiors have also added eye candy to many videos from rock bands such as Wilco, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam, and comedians such as Wanda Sykes and Patton Oswalt.