Perhaps it’s the new releases, the waterfront location, or the nearby cafes and restaurants that garnered the solitary screen at Edmonds Theater more than a thousand approving thumbs on Facebook. Or maybe it was that historic screen itself, flickering like a time-traveling DeLorean or the fire that engulfs an inexperienced magician’s top hat in an old-fashioned movie house complete with colorful murals and balcony seating. No strangers to performing their movie magic, the cinephile staff members of Edmonds Theater have fostered a devoted following. Generally screening one new movie at a time, they are also known to set aside a day or seven for thematic marathons, which go down even better with candy, nachos, or kettle corn.
Continuing an 80-year tradition of sliver screenings started during its past life as the Bay Theatre, Majestic Bay Theatres melds state-of-the-art equipment with the architectural allure of a vintage movie house. Peepers searching for the latest action flick or rollicking comedy can scan the triplex theater's schedule of notable talkies, including the upcoming drama The Debt starring Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington or the current fantasy spine-tingler Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Dolby Digital Surround EX audio systems wash cinephiles in cascades of crystal-clear sound waves unknown in the still, soundless desert of the real world, and plush stadium seats embrace bodies tenderly without obscuring sight lines.
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.
Northwest Film Forum was founded in 1995 by two filmmakers eager to explore their art with an equally eager audience; today, the nonprofit organization screens more than 200 independent and classic films annually, while offering support for filmmakers and more than 60 classes a year for future filmmakers of all ages. Your supporting membership will get you discounted tickets to live performances and special events, access to films at member prices ($6 for regular screenings), and exclusive, members-only invitations to parties and screenings. Members at these levels also receive free large-popcorn refilling privileges at films. To stay plugged into the community, members also get a subscription to the Forum's printed, quarterly calendar and the option to join the weekly email digest. Memberships last a whole year, which makes them great annual gifts for once-yearly events such as birthdays, holidays, and weddings.
Ready, Set, Bag! documents the quests of eight state-champion grocery baggers as they prepare for the National Grocers Association’s competition for Best Bagger, held every February in Las Vegas. As each contestant trains for the big event and brings order to a chaotic universe one egg carton on top at a time, their life stories and infectious love of what they do will thaw the frozen caveman hearts of any viewer. Best of all, you can stay comfortably reclined on sofa seating during the whole film, as Central Cinema’s wait staff will bring your large popcorn right to you. Practice attentive viewing before the main event with a screening of a new, hand-animated short called Leonardo, from Academy Award nominee Jim Capobianco.
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.