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.
Dunbar Theatre keeps things simple: fresh popcorn, comfortable seats, a friendly staff, and one big screen. But in simplicity is something fresh. Those newly installed seats have enough room that audiences can stretch their legs, armrests raise for cuddling, and a balcony lets viewers change up their sightlines. Old-fashioned styles aside, the movie house stays up-to-date with recently upgraded projection technology and a sound system with the clarity of 10,000 Morgan Freemans. Located near UBC, the theatre is within walking distance of numerous diners and cafes, making it a date-night no-brainer.
The friendly filmwheelers at Fifth Avenue Cinemas screen an eclectic mix of mainstream hits and little-known independent flicks in their Burrard Street theatre. Your Groupon is good for two tickets plus a large serving of popcorn, blanketed in a rich coat of real butter and made from corn that contains no genetically modified organisms or evil-sauce. The theatre boasts snuggle-inducing "love seats," in which each armrest can be raised so you and your date or anthropomorphic dachshund can cuddle throughout the film. Upcoming flicks include Philip Seymour Hoffman's feature-film directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating, and Woody Allen's upcoming You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.
The Vogue Theatre presents listeners with an evening of poetic lyrics, high-octane guitar playing, and euphonic melodies from three talented acts. Hailing from Vancouver's east side, The Fugitives combine intricate songwriting with folksy musical accompaniment to craft hypnotizing live performances that tickle ears and help uptight pocket watches unwind. C.R. Avery dazzles audiences with deftly flowing spoken-word poetry, percussive beatboxing, and ear-tickling harmonica riffs, and guitar-picking mastermind Wil shreds six-stringed music makers with moody, intense songs of love and loss. In addition to individual acts, a group performance will combine all three acts into an intoxicating musical melange that, like a pig with pterodactyl wings, is greater than the sum of its parts.
Vancity Theatre screens festival-style films from around the world year round, with top-notch sound and projection equipment fully conveying every punch, skid, foreign phrase, and meaningful silence shown on the silver screen. Movies are only open to members of the nonprofit organization—as such, this deal includes a one-year basic membership ($2), which also gets you admission to the organization’s Annual General Meeting. Sample the theatre's filmic fare with a double-bill ticket ($13), good toward two consecutive films on the same day. Upcoming films at the Vancity Theatre include the concert film Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight, 1970, the Bernard Herrmann–soundtracked noir On Dangerous Ground, and the light-hearted Martin Scorsese romp Taxi Driver. Wash down the flickering images with a medium popcorn ($3) and a can of pop ($1.50).
The Fifth Avenue Cinemas in Vancouver are a beacon of quality cinematography. In addition to mainstream Hollywood blockbusters, they’ve also feature award winning international movies. Tuesdays are discount days at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas, perfect for a budget date. The magnitude of the discount you get depends on whether you’re a student, senior, or seasonal ticket holder. The popcorn at the Fifth Avenue cinemas is lauded for always being fresh- they aren’t stingy with making a new batch to make sure you’re happy. Even better is that they use real butter on their popcorn rather than unhealthy hydrogenated vegetable fat. The quality snacks, comfortable seats, cozy viewing auditoriums, and amiable staff at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas are all reasons to visit.