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LibrarianDeb

Great Movie Theaters

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Mods, feel free to let me know if there's a another thread on this topic. (or if this should go in another forum) I've been meaning to bring this up here for awhile.

In the age of mega/multi plexes, many of us are still fortunate that there are interesting places to see film. What are some of your favorites?

I'll start by nominating the Catlow Theater in Barrington, IL (only an hour from us!). It's a gorgeous old theater dating from 1927 with the best movie popcorn (cheese and caramel mix!) I've ever had. It's only $5 for admission and they have a decent deli next door. Unfortunately they have gotten more commercial with their tastes in recent months but we hope to get back there soon.

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I love The Crest Theatre in Sacramento, which opened in 1949. A lot of years of hard effort went in to refurbishing this place to its former glory. Restoring the neon sign was one of the major accomplishments. I'm somewhere here in this crowd. Watched the relighting of the sign, and then we were treated to a showing of Casablanca.

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The lobby. It's kind of hard to read, but the sign says, "When you pass through this portal, you leave all cares behind."

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The theatre.

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The Bryn Mawr Film Institute in Bryn Mawr, PA. A small theater (two screens, neither of which are massive), but one with a fine atmosphere. The Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, PA, is another one I like; an old-style, classic theater complete with the balcony and the all the period decor. Both of these theaters make plenty of time for showing old films on the big screen.

Edited by Ryan H.

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It's not exclusively a movie theater, but Atlanta's Fox Theatre is an outstanding movie experience (especially when they use the pipe organ for live sing-alongs prior to showings).

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The best events are the summer-time classic film festival showings. Having TCM in town means TCM staff often serve as hosts of each film, offering insight prior to the showing.

Edited by wmadjones

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That is a great pic of the Music Box. I've had some of my best and worst days there.

Not quite as grande, but still adored:

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The VanCity theatre here in Vancouver -- home to the Vancouver International Film Festival -- is very cushy, and it's the only theatre I'm aware of that has double arm-rests in its seats, so you never have to worry about getting elbowed by the person next to you.

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I could have sworn that Jeffrey posted something on this thread about the closing of the Uptown Theatre in Queen Anne. Perhaps that was a Facebook post? Anyway, thought you might like to know that the Uptown will be reopening in October as the SIFF Cinema, run by the Seattle International Film Festival.

Story here.

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Kickstarter campaign to save the Catlow

Will The Catlow Go Digital Or Go Dark?

Hello! My name is Tim O'Connor. Along with my co-partner and fiancé, Roberta Rapata, we run the Catlow Theater in Barrington, Illinois.

The Hollywood movie studios are committed to reducing their movie production and distribution costs by eliminating the use of film. Very soon, every movie theater in the country will either have converted their film projection systems to the new digital format or they will be out of business with no movies to show.

The message from the movie companies to small theaters like ours is clear: "Go digital or go dark."

Hollywood’s edict means the 85-year old Catlow Theater must upgrade its audio and visual equipment at a cost of at least $100,000. The multiplexes and large chains are getting substantial discounts for their digital conversions. We are not!

We intend to stay in business, but we’ll need a lot of support from those who love movies and who appreciate historic movie houses like The Catlow.

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I'm an American that recently moved to the Vancouver, BC area and have some film-watching questions for my Canadian A&F friends:

1. If you're in the Vancouver area, what are some recommended theatres? I noticed Peter mentioned the VanCity theatre in a previous comment; any others?

2. My two primary modes for renting films were Netflix (streaming and mail) and Redbox (for new DVD releases). Redbox doesn't seem to exist here in BC, and Netflix Canada is limited to streaming only, and has only about 1/3 of the films from its American counterpart. How would you recommend streaming/renting/obtaining films in Canada?

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I'm an American that recently moved to the Vancouver, BC area and have some film-watching questions for my Canadian A&F friends:

1. If you're in the Vancouver area, what are some recommended theatres? I noticed Peter mentioned the VanCity theatre in a previous comment; any others?

2. My two primary modes for renting films were Netflix (streaming and mail) and Redbox (for new DVD releases). Redbox doesn't seem to exist here in BC, and Netflix Canada is limited to streaming only, and has only about 1/3 of the films from its American counterpart. How would you recommend streaming/renting/obtaining films in Canada?

Welcome, Joel! While Vancouver has lost a huge chunk of its independent theatres and video stores over the last couple of years, a few bright spots remain.

The VanCity (Seymour & Davie) and the Pacific Cinematheque (Howe & Helmcken) are the art house mainstays. The Cinematheque does mostly (fantastic) retrospectives and first runs of off-the-beaten-track fare; VanCity is more of the place for first-runs of new arthouse/foreign/documentary films that don't have much in the way of distribution. The Rio at Commercial and Broadway switches between concerts and screenings, and has established itself as the genre/midnight madness/cult theatre of the city.

The mini-chain of Festival theatres (The Ridge and the Fifth Ave, both in Kitsilano, The Park along Cambie) usually has a healthy mix of Hollywood, indie, and foreign selections. When it comes to the big Cineplex or Empire chains, the selection tends to be the same across the city with one exception: the International Village multiplex nestled between Chinatown and the stadiums tends to get more foreign, indie, and Canadian releases. For the big Hollywood stuff I prefer going to the Scotiabank on Burrard. If you plan on frequenting Cineplex venues, it's worth it to join the free SCENE rewards program.

There's no telling how long it will last, given how many of its equally small peers have been closed down, but The Dolphin in Burnaby (Hastings & Willingdon) is probably the cheapest place in town, especially on a Tuesday. But that also means it usually shows the most broad, crowd-friendly stuff.

As for Redbox, the Canadian alternative is, uh, another, more no-name red box that you'll usually find in Safeway stores. I think the only genuine video store left in the area is Black Dog Video on Commercial, but I'm never in that area and don't know if they're still around.

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Nathan's pretty much covered the bases. But I'd just want to add, re: Netflix, that, while the Canadian version *does* lack a lot of stuff that appears on the American Netflix, it *also* seems to have quite a bit of stuff that the American Netflix does *not* have. David Poland frequently complains that only one studio -- namely Paramount -- puts any of its stuff on the American Netflix, but you can see films owned by Sony and Universal and Alliance (which handles Canadian distribution for Miramax and New Line etc.) on the Canadian Netflix. Plus we still get some Criterion content, whereas Criterion ditched the American Netflix in favour of Hulu.

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