Eschewing the impersonal aura often present in chain movie theatres, Sidney's Star Cinema remains a steadfastly independent, community-driven outpost for viewing films. A new lineup of moving pictures is presented weekly and includes offerings to sate all manner of cinematic tastes, from blockbuster action flicks to independent documentaries to filmed performances of Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet. The theatre has shown its commitment to the community by starting a film society, which brings movie buffs together for discussion-filled meetings. While the theatre's projectionists currently operate one digital projector, they have recently embarked on an initiative to raise funds for a second projector to keep the first one from getting too lonely.
Inside its plush, 300-seat theatre, Cinecenta suns the bright stares of students and local film buffs with glowing projections of new, classic, and indie pictures. Ease dorsal ends into a cushion, inhale real butter’s seductive aroma with a medium popcorn (a $3.50 value), and beckon carbonated elixirs to slip up the straw of a medium fountain drink (a $2.15 value) as eyes engage one of a variety of films. Cinecenta's calendar diversifies its silver screen with old school classics, recent box-office wonders, foreign films, and indie darlings. Two tickets (a $15.50 value) enables Groupon holders to invite along a friend, a maybe-more-than friend, or a school of respectful imaginary friends.
Oak Bay Beach Hotel sits on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. But it's more than a convenient outpost for beach lovers, though?it's practically a self-sufficient civilization, and a luxurious one at that. Its guest rooms and suites, for instance, all come with flat-screen TVs and heated tile floors in the bathrooms. Further sumptuous accoutrements are found at the house spa, where visitors can relax in aquamarine outdoor baths with sweeping views of Mount Baker or be pampered by registered massage therapists.
Meals are an equally grand affair. Guests can choose from several dining options: dinners crafted from fresh, local ingredients in the dining room, homemade treats at the cafe, a wide selection of local and international drinks at the pub, or dinner and a show lit by chandeliers at The David Foster Foundation Theatre, where ticket proceeds go towards assisting families with children awaiting organ transplants.
Opened in 1949 as the Roxy Classic Theatre, the recently rebranded uniplex captivates moviegoers with a full schedule of Hollywood blockbusters and first-run films. Inside the 447-seat single-screen theatre, newly installed digital surround sound tickles open ears with crisp acoustics, and lingering 1940s architectural charm snugly embraces viewers in a retro ambience and inspires rampant suspender snapping during intermissions. As larger-than-life images escape the venue’s digital projector and flicker across the screen, wide-eyed gazers can pay a visit to the full-service concession, where freshly popped popcorn intoxicates nostrils with wafts of real butter and hands with a reluctance to share.
Now that it has been fully restored, the Rio Theatre immediately recalls the splendour of its grand opening in 1938. Hiding behind the old-fashioned aesthetics, however, are a digital HD projector and surround-sound speakers that immerse filmgoers in an eclectic array of first-run blockbusters and cinema classics. Showing films again as of April 2012, the theatre’s movie selection ranges from sci-fi and horror to wholesome family films, though the program coalesces around a love for pop culture that the owners share with their most ardent fans.
Aside from the daily show times, cult classics—frequently in their original 35 mm form—screen at midnight on Fridays. Guests from all walks of life come out to these packed showings, where they can snack on popcorn made with real butter or win prizes for dressing in costume as their favourite character or key grip. The 420-seat theatre also hosts concerts and events throughout the year, including past performances by Janeane Garofalo and local musicians Bend Sinister.
Foreign, classic, and Canadian films light up the big screen at Pacific Cinémathèque, a 194-seat theatre recognized by the Vancouver Sun as the best art-house and foreign-film venue in 2009. Established as a film society almost four decades ago, the movie palace has since flourished into a polestar for under-the-radar films, showcasing lesser-known works and cinematic icons alike during single and double billings six nights a week. In an effort to enhance Vancouver's cinematic culture without transplanting the Hollywood sign to the top of One Wall Centre, the theatre is also home to several educational opportunities including a film reference library and the West Coast Film Archive, which preserves the legacy of independent filmmaking on Canada's west coast.