For 30 years, Cinematheque, which is operated by The Winnipeg Film Group, has devoted itself to screening a wide variety of independent and international films while exposing audiences to local filmmakers and special events. The intimately sized theatre's vast programming includes restored 35mm classics, contemporary Canadian and aboriginal films, and films that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to the art of cinema. During weekly and one-off presentations, special guests such as directors, actors, and scholars place selected works into context by explaining the director's intentions, the film's impact on other filmmakers, and why dogs were used on set instead of ottomans. Similarly, the ongoing Cinema Lounge: Critical Dialogue on Canadian Cinema series features Canadian artists introducing a contemporary or classic Canadian film that has personally shaped their career, thus encouraging a public debate about the film's importance and influence.
Beneath locally crafted hanging artwork, visitors to Ellice Cafe & Theatre dine on house-made café fare as they view family-friendly films inside a nonprofit community theatre. Pre- and post-show diners can tear into the eatery's signature meatloaf, which refuels empty body tanks alongside mashed potatoes that, like Mr. Potato Head after a shower, are drenched in gravy. Vegetarian and meat pizza ingredients are generously piled upon handmade herbed crusts, while house-made muffins, apricot-date squares, and other dessert specialties add a sweet epilogue to meals. Meanwhile, the theatre’s packed calendar of events includes an ever-changing lineup of films, live theatre productions, and staged re-enactments of the previous day’s live theatre production.
A casual gastropub, Luxalune tosses out tapas rafts to woozy taste buds. Settle into one of the plush leather couches and compare spirit animal housebreaking tips with friends while perusing a menu of small plates infused with global flavours. The De-Luxsole pizza ($13.99) balances stacks of pepperoni, chorizo sausage, and smoky bacon atop a bubbly crust. Social snackers can sample the English lamb masala ($13.99), braised lamb in a spicy curry sauce dotted with chick peas and served aside flat bread, or keep roving hands occupied with the antipasto sampler ($14.99), a savoury selection of five local cheeses, pickles, olives, and gourmet cold cuts. Though this Groupon is not valid toward alcohol, Luxalune boasts more than 150 beers – arguably the largest selection in town, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Patrons can flex stiff legs and restless rotator cuffs by circling the pool table or sinking into a live music act Wednesday and Sunday evenings, invigorating a meal faster than a dip in a dry ice bath.
Smoothie Bar crafts 20 flavours of tongue-chilling smoothie concoctions with customizable options. Parched patrons can indulge in any two regular-size smoothies, all prepared with real frozen fruit and no syrups, added sugars, or forced smiles (a $5 value each). The strawberry-mango-swirl flavour nourishes with its tropical bouquet, and the supreme Big Breakfast smoothie blends an antihunger task force of skim milk, blueberries, banana, nuts, and honey with nutmeg-cinnamon spicing. Refresh palates with a detoxifying wheatgrass smoothie, or customize any blended beverage from Smoothie Bar's abundant ingredients. The smoothie emporium also serves food items such as chips and muffins to accompany lonesome liquids in their fight against overly verbal hungry bellies.
Tiny combustions and the smell of butter emanate from Goodnight's Comedy Club's vintage popcorn maker as nationally touring standups such as Marc Maron and Ralphie May step up to the mic. With a brick wall behind them and a checkered floor below, these headliners spin their comic yarns as popcorn, Buffalo wings, and cocktails deftly land on tables. In addition to its cabaret menu of apps and drinks, the club is connected to two restaurants. Every month, the mostly private Grille at Goodnight's unveils a new menu of upscale American fare, from prime rib to lobster mac n cheese and pumpkin ravioli that turns into carriage ravioli at midnight. The Old Bar Restaurant and Bar resides underneath Goodnight's, treating diners to more casual fare in the form of burgers and Tex-Mex platters.