Ideas for enjoying the real life of Seattle (that often cost little or nothing).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Going to the movies

During the dark, stormy months of winter (and fall and spring), when Northwesterners are tired of reading and are itching to get out of the house, movie houses are the place you will find them. (That is, when they are not at book stores, or coffee houses, or the theatre... but I digress....)

One of the best bangs for your cinema buck is the Fremont Outdoor Cinema. $5 suggested donation gets you into one of the funnest movie social scenes in the city. Bring your own low-back folding chair and watch great old movies in the great outdoors. There are food vendors and pre-show entertainment. And, being in Fremont, one of the most interesting audiences in town as well.

Just next door, in the Wallingford neighborhood, you can join the "Wallingford Neighbors for Peace and Justice" for a free "Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies". These are documentaries in the social justice vein. They are usually followed by a facilitated group discussion.

Another cinematic bargain is the Crest. This funky, old 4-screen theater shows 2nd run films for only $3 each!

For a more "full meal deal", try the Central Cinema. Admission to 2nd run films here is generally a whole $5, BUT it is also a restaurant, where you can munch pizza and swill beer while you gaze at the silver screen. These guys also will show more experimental, new cinema such as new animation and shorts.

Seattle is also a hotbed of independent filmmaking. One of the centers of this zeitgeist is the Northwest Film Forum. The Forum also has a cinema where you can find some of the new, more experimental and hard-to-find films. Many of thier screenings and events are free.

Then, there are the festivals. The Seattle International Film Festival, which occurs throughout the city in the spring, is the largest film festival in the US. In fact, although the largest by far, SIFF is only one of several film festivals in Seattle. If you are a film buff, the festivals often present a good value for your movie dollar, if you want to see several flicks and are willing to purchase a pass or package deal.

There are many more interesting events and venues in town, but this is a good springboard to start your cinematic adventures.

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