Movie Theaters

I’ve really like movie theaters lately.  There’s just something about them that I really enjoy.  I like going in and having the outside world around you seem to disappear.  I remember seeing James Bond: Casino Royale in Bangkok.  It was really cool to go from the loud, hot crammed Bangkok streets to the cool, quiet darkness of the theater, completely forget about the world outside for a while, only then to go back out and get assulted by the sights, sounds, smells and tuk tuk drivers of Thailand.

I haven’t been going to any big huge mega complex theaters lately but instead a number of smaller theaters that do some pretty cool stuff.  The last dozen movies I’ve seen I think I’ve seen alone.  A lot of people think going to movies alone is weird.  I don’t get that.
I always liked the Garneau theater in Edmonton (and it’s awesome that the new Transcend will be right next to it).  It’s fairly spacious with a beautiful interior and was always nice, warm and cosy in the winter, which also meant it was unbearably hot in the summer…

Here in Vancouver there’s 5th avenue, which the Elysian room is right around the corner from and share the same complex.  It’s a solid theater with good sound, good seats, a balcony and plays movies that aren’t in the mainstream.  There’s also the Rio just off of Commercial Drive, which I really like.  It’s got an older working class, family feel to it that I like plus it’s less than a 10 minute walk from my house.  They play midnight matinees of old classics ranging from Army of Darkness to The Labyrinth to whatever the hell they want to play.  I’ve only been to a couple but they’re pretty fun and usually bring in a lot of people.  I passed by when The Labyrinth was playing and people were lined up down the street.

In Portland I ran into a couple really cool theaters.  The first was the Avalon.  I passed by it and the place was lit up like a Los Vegas casino.  I had no idea what the place was at first.  All the signage was for old penny arcades and nickle and dime machines.  I pulled over to get a better look and see what the place was about.  I thought it was maybe just an arcade but people of all ages were going in so I followed suit.  Ended up it was an old theater still alive and well doing cheap movies.  $2 to go see Star Trek and the latest Disney 3d extravaganza.  I figured what the hell, the Star Trek was cool and bought a ticket.  Inside, along with the theaters were rooms filled arcade games, mostly vintage like the ones you’d play at Chucky-Cheese or a carnival where you could win tokens and buy crap but I think in this case you could but candy and popcorn.  Pretty good idea I think.  A lot of the games looked pretty cool and there were lots of people lining up for them.










The Avalon











Arcade Games inside the Avalon

Another theater I ran into while in Portland was this place called “Living Room Theaters“.  This place was awesome.  They mostly had playing documentaries, foreign films, obscure comedies, classics and art films.  The price was reasonable ($9) and I hadn’t seen Food Inc. yet.  Inside there was a full bar, full coffee bar and light fare ranging in tapas, pizzas, salads, paninis and the likes.  You could go in, take a booth or seat at the bar, eat, drink and if you didn’t finish take it with you into the theater.  Before the movie started there was seat service.  The theaters themselves only held about 30 or so people but all the seats were plush, had tonnes of leg space, reclined and had a good cup holder and table/stand for your food.  There was no one sitting next to me I put the arm rest up and laid across 2 seats durning the movie. 

Just like home.


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