A riding teacher since 1976 and holder of numerous coaching certifications, Brinna Ellis heads up the instruction and training programs offered at Dip ‘N Run Stables. Whether individually or in small groups, fledgling riders are paired with the school’s trusty horses based on character, experience, and how many Kentucky Derby winners they can name. In addition to Brinna’s coaching of students from all walks, including therapeutic horse-riding sessions, the school also offers leasing programs for its horses, as well as show coaching packages.
Canadian Comedy Award-winning funnyman Gerry Dee, known to some as “Gerry Dee – Sports Reporter” on The Score and the star of the upcoming CBC sitcom Mr. D, channels his years as a father, collegiate hockey player, and physical educator into a night of poignant laughs on his “Life After Teaching” tour. Gerry’s gift of gab and guffaw-extracting demeanor has eclipsed his sports career, making him one of the most sought-after comedians in both Canada and its trouser landmass called America. The first Canadian in 27 years to win the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, where Robin Williams and Dana Carvey once battled to the death, Gerry garners empathetic laughs with his intrinsic charisma and sharp observational humour about the foibles of marriage and the unbearable lightness of offspring.
Some things about the Clova Cinema have changed over the years; as it passed from owner to owner, it has been a video-rental shop, a youth centre, and a stage for live performances. But despite its numerous incarnations, the rich red facades, the art-deco decorations, and the bright marquee have remained proudly in place. These features hearken all the way back to the theatre's 1947 opening, when Humphrey Bogart dominated the screen and popcorn was popped in gleaming machines instead of Buick-sized microwaves. Now, the cinema's single screen flickers to life with weekly evening and weekend matinee showings of current releases. The theatre is rife with family touches, from the real butter on the popcorn to Cupcake the dog, who is on hand at matinees to entertain guests before the show and sniff out unsilenced cell phones.
Just a few weeks after they first make a splash on the big screen, Hollywood flicks draw gasps, laughter, and sighs from the audiences at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas. The slight delay in the theatre’s roster of films enables movie-goers to catch recent blockbusters at a less expensive cost than the traditional ticket price. In addition to family-friendly movies, comedies, and thrillers, Cottonwood hosts a variety of special events. Screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show invite audiences to participate in the cult classic by dressing up, reciting lines, and bringing props, and a film series presented by the Chilliwack Arts Council treats cinephiles to a lineup of international films. The theatre also welcomes watchers for party packages, including a red-carpet bash where kids invade the concessions area to make popcorn and cotton candy, then force their parents to eat broccoli.
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.