IMG_1143As a big fan of movies, I often try to scope out the cinema scene in places I visit. It is fun to see a movie in a cool old theater or discover a little-known film before it plays nearby back at home. I am fortunate to live in the Kansas City Metro area where I am told there are more cinema seats per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. – including some great independent theaters.

Anyway, on my recent trip to Seattle, I discovered a couple of gems – The Grand Cinema in Tacoma and the wonderfully restored Cinerama theater in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. (My personal photos of these sites accompany this post.)

The Grand Cinema in Tacoma

IMG_1144First, on my trip to Tacoma I stopped in to The Grand Cinema, a great independent (a non-profit at that) art house that shows the best in current independent and foreign films. I snuck into a late afternoon matinee of Testament of Youth – which was absolutely lovely and I highly recommend.

About The Grand Cinema in Tacoma: “The Grand Cinema is the South Sound’s non-profit home for independent, foreign and local film. Our mission is to enhance the cultural vitality of the Greater Tacoma community through the art of film. As a non-profit, we are supported by loyal patrons, volunteers, small staff and Board of Directors. In addition to screening independent, first-run films 365 days per year, The Grand is also the proud host of the Tacoma Film Festival, Tacoma Film Camp, 253-Second Film Viewing Party and many other unique film programs and special events.”

The Grand Cinema is located at 606 South Fawcett Avenue in Tacoma, WA in the historic Merlino Arts Center.

Check out the official site of Testament of Youth here.

Cinerama in Seattle

IMG_1146On the other side of the spectrum, I also visited the historic Cinerama in Seattle. Cinerama is a restored single-screen theater that was once the place to see the epic multi-screen spectacles that were part of the movie business’s attempt to compete with television back in the middle of the last century. Now, fully restored with modern amenities, Cinerama shows the latest blockbuster movies on a huge wide screen and it is great fun. I snuck into a mid-day screening of Ant Man to escape the unusually hot Seattle day. By the way, for a big summer release, Ant Man is actually more fun than most and the perfect popcorn flick.

About Cinerama: “Combining sleek comfort and futuristic decor with breakthrough advances in motion picture technology, Cinerama opened just a year after the World’s Fair came to town. Over the decades, it became a favorite venue for Seattle moviegoers of all ages, from families to Star Wars buffs who camped out in line for weeks before a premiere. 1999: Philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul Allen saves the theater by buying it and embarking on a multi-million-dollar renovation that includes advanced sound and projection and a restored Cinerama screen. 2014: Cinerama installs a state-of-the-art Christie 6P digital laser projection system, Harkness Matt Plus screen, Dolby Atmos surround sound, Meyer Sound cinema speaker system, and wider seats with more leg room.”

Cinerama is located at 2100 4th Avenue Seattle, WA in Seattle’s Belltown district.

Check out the official site of Ant Man here.