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.
Did you know that, on average, 88% of the seats in a movie theater remain empty during a showing? According to the New York Times, this phenomenon really surprised Sean Wycliffe a few years back when he went to see the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech and shared the theater with only two other audience members. With all the focus on online video services, Sean realized movie theaters were being overlooked, and came up with a concept that could help movie houses fill their empty seats.
His brainchild became Dealflicks, a website that offers customers discounted tickets (sometimes with popcorn or soda) for same-day showings. Customers shop a selection of deals, each of which is specific to a particular film, theater, and showtime, and upon purchase, receive an email voucher they present at the theater's ticket counter. Dealflicks is partnered with theaters around the country, particularly independent and neighborhood venues, such as the treehouse of the enterprising kid down the street.
Most summer weekends, up to 1,000 cineastes flock to Fremont Outdoor Movies for screenings of pop classics, cult favorites, indie films, and video shorts broadcast via Blu-Ray digital projection with 5.1 THX surround sound. Omitting only the cars and the prohibitions against hand holding, Fremont pays homage to the drive-in theaters of old as warm summer evenings slowly fade into warm summer nights. Audiences of all ages bring lawn chairs, rubber floats, and even sofas to enjoy movies such as Raising Arizona, Sideways, and Caddyshack.
Fremont Outdoor Movies believes that the community of an open-air theater is often the best part of the experience. In addition to regular screenings, they also hold special events such as an Edward Scissorhands–inspired haircutting contest and a Show Us Your Scar contest to celebrate Young Frankenstein. Outside the theater, cinephiles can cruise a makeshift food court provided by Mobile Food Rodeo.
Seattle’s Cinerama in Belltown combines a classic old-school cinema experience with state-of-the-art digital projection. One of only three theaters in the world that still show Cinerama-sized films, this local location also presents a slate of 3D films and other first-run features. Owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Cinerama keeps prices reasonable, while offering a slew of upscale touches, like chocolate popcorn and local munchies from Full Tilt Ice Cream and Cupcake Royale. The 70-foot screen provides a spectacular visual and audio experience, with older touches like comfortable rocking seats, a starry ceiling and a huge velvet curtain that dramatically opens before each screening. The retro lobby even includes an exhibit of original costumes from TV and movie hits like Batman and Captain Kangaroo.
The SIFF team scours the globe in search of extraordinary films. Their mission is to bring the community?and the world?together through quality international showings, and they host premieres, classic films, and revivals at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and the SIFF Film Center 365 days each year.
As one of the largest and best-attended film festivals in the U.S., the Seattle International Film Festival reaches more than 150,000 moviegoers each year. The 25-day festival presents more than 250 features and 150 short films from more than 70 countries during its run, giving people a perfect excuse to try out an all-popcorn diet.
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.