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.
Honest-1 Auto Care's ASE-certified technicians keep vehicles in good health with surgery-like precision and care. Mechanics can rotate tires, repair the brakes or engine, or replace the vehicle's oil with synthetic-blend lubricant that matches the engine's recommended viscosity, ensuring the motor runs smoothly and has a competitive edge in the swimsuit portion of the 21-point inspection. As an environmentally-friendly business, Honest-1 Auto Care concludes services with eco-friendly disposal of old motor oil, and, if needed, lubrication of the chassis. Along with top-notch vehicle maintenance, Honest-1 Auto Care's centers cultivate a family-friendly environment complete with children's play areas, complimentary beverages, and large-screen TVs.
Brake Team dedicate their nickname and business to one specialized, yet essential portion of customers' vehicles. Replacing brake pads, resurfacing rotors, and repacking non-sealed bearings may be some of the centers' more popular services, but the technicians are also capable of performing general automotive maintenance as well as basic brake system cleanings when needed. To help put visitors' minds at ease, the technicians also offer complimentary brake inspections, checking for potential problems and giving nicknames to each lug nut. The brothers currently own and operate 11 Brake Team locations throughout the Portland area and proudly embrace their reputation as local business owners within the Pacific Northwest.
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.
The licensed and insured techs at Midnight Window Tinting coat panes of glass with light-subduing films by 3M, Suntek, Madico, and LLumar. Having installed films on more than 30,000 vehicles, they skillfully slather automotive windows with reflective, colored, and black tints that reduce heat, glare, and UV absorption while improving fuel efficiency and safety. If their tinting work isn't satisfactory, techs make it right by issuing refunds or snuffing out the sun.
In addition to auto-tinting jobs, Midnight Window Tinting also primps roadsters with accessories such as luxury rims and custom finishes. When not teaching cars how to be cool, techs also offer architectural tinting services.