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.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
Valet Detail's staff of professional cleaners cajoles dirt from the exteriors and interiors of autos, motorcycles, aircraft, and marine vessels. Dust-busting techs scour vehicles with environmentally friendly products onsite and even offer on-location mobile services. When they aren't polishing sedans, techs lather up fleets of semi trucks, company SUVs, and horse-drawn shopping carts.
The staff at Cascade Auto Glass fits car frames with a meticulous process perfected during more than 750,000 windshield replacements, all adhering to Auto Glass Safety Council standards. Cascade's choice of top-quality urethane adhesives allows drivers to get back on the road sooner without sacrificing a reliable grip, and OEM-quality glass shares an identical structure, density, and love of parking-permit stickers as cars' factory-installed glass. A nationwide warranty stands behind the quality materials and workmanship of each service.
For more than 60 years, Elephant Car Wash has resided on the cutting edge of car-wash technology. Archie, Dean, and Eldon Anderson founded the car wash in 1951 when they invented a hands-free machine that could clean cars and never be penalized in soccer. Thirty years later, they sold their shops to Bob Haney, who replaced the car-wash tunnels' plastic bristles with hybrid-blend cloths and high-pressure water nozzles. Nowadays, Elephant Car Wash features computer-operated tunnels that can read pH levels of dirt and—at certain locations—touchless car-wash tunnels that use high-powered water jets and potent detergents only.
Rotating above all of this technological progress is the car wash's signature pink elephant, which doubles as a polestar for drivers who need their vehicles washed, waxed, vacuumed, or shampooed. The trained staff waits outside the full-service car wash with towels and stages a slew of a la carte services including trunk vacuuming and leather conditioning. Elephant Car Wash works with the Puget Sound Car Wash Association and the Charity Car Wash Program, two organizations that strive to keep pollution out of waterways and inside the coffee mugs of Darth Vader.
Scott Sherman opened his eponymous shop because his previous dealership gig prevented him from spending enough time with each customer and their car. That was in 1952. More than 60 years later, the ASE-certified technicians at Scott Sherman Auto Care continue to operate under this original vision. The staff here prides itself on personal attention, which, along with their continued training and state-of-the-art equipment, allows them to service each vehicle with the care it requires.
The skilled team offers everything from oil changes to transmission work, getting cars back on the road before they start thinking about retiring in a nice sandy junkyard. And, ensuring owners receive the same level of service, the shop offers loaner vehicles as well as free shuttle rides for customers who need a lift while their car is being repaired.