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.
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.
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.
From its birth more than 80 years ago, The 5th Avenue Theater has grown into a cultural leader in the Northwest, enlightening eager audiences with performances both elegant and entertaining. The three-show package grants eyes and ears admission to a series of family-friendly productions served course by course, like a fancy meal or a day of binge golfing. Begin with an appetizer of laughter, friendship, and premeditated workplace revenge in 9 to 5: The Musical from April 5–April 10. Follow three unlikely friends through a plot to conquer their company, while they sing along to the Grammy-nominated score penned by Dolly Parton. Then, satisfy gambling glands May 17–May 22 with Guys & Dolls, a tale of gangsters, gals, love triangles, and suspense quadrilaterals, set to the music of Frank Loesser. Finish the tuneful trifecta July 12–July 17 with Aladdin: The New Stage Musical, a sweet tale of courage and friendship based on the animated film. Relish new and treasured melodies by Alan Menken as acclaimed director Casey Nicholaw offers spectators a magic carpet ride in his '83 Ford Taurus.
At the recently renovated Seattle Cinerama Theater, built in 1963, selected new releases flicker on a 70-foot screen, accompanied by state-of-the-art digital projection and sound. Visitors absorb Hollywood’s latest tales of love, loss, and mutually supportive dance crews while munching on included regular or chocolate popcorns, or purchasing treats provided by Cupcake Royale, Caffé Vita, and other local snack purveyors. Red velvet seats cushion posteriors, with superlative views of the screen from both the majestic balcony and the ground floor. As one of three remaining movie theaters that can still shows original three-strip cinerama films, Seattle Cinerama evokes the past and, simultaneously, the future, with a space-age lobby outfitted in metallics, translucent pillars, and cat-a-day calendars for 2014. Disabled patrons have a smorgasbord of movie-viewing resources at their disposal, from wheelchair-accessible seating to rear-window captioning. Like feet, Cinerama tickets fit nicely in stockings.