Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Age of Movie Palaces

So I went down to Infusion Salon yesterday to get my hair cut (one thing about this new "do" of mine... it takes a LOT more maintenance), and my barber Dean mentioned that the movie theatre up the street from him had just opened.

The Academy was originally built in the 1940's, and had been vacant for as long as I'd been coming down to the corner of SE 79th and Stark. Dean filled me in on the history: the theatre had been closed for many years when a young man who'd worked there in his youth bought the Flying Pie Pizzaria next door. Over the next few years he worked to restore the Academy to its original condition.

After my hair cut, I walked up the street and took a look at what was playing. Trish and I hadn't seen Good Night and Good Luck yet, and (God forbid!) we actually had a night open from rehearsals, performances, and auditions... so we figured we'd go check the place out.

Boy am I glad we did! The movie was great, and deserves all the press its gotten (boy do I wish we had mass-media with the balls to stand up to Bush and his cronies like Murrow stood up to McCarthy), but the theatre was a revelation. They've reproduced its original condition perfectly, with art deco fixtures in the lobby, comfy chairs, rounded mirrors on the walls... it really is like stepping back in time.

It's a "second run" theatre, so the films they play aren't in their initial release. This drops the ticket price to $3.00. As an added bonus, the theatre offers babysitting for families with children too young to stay quiet in the theater.

Since there's a partnership with the Flying Pie restaurant next door, the concessions offerings include pizza and salads (plus, once they work things out with the OLCC, several local beers). There are small tables in the lobby that you can eat at if you get there early, or they'll profide lap trays for taking the food into the theatre.

The theatres themselves are very cozy. This isn't a super-zillion-plex type movie theatre. The seats are all new, high-backed, and they recline somewhat. The screen is small, but they've got Dolby sound. It was a great venue to see an intimate film like Good Night and Good Luck.

If you get a chance to get down to the corner of SE 79th and Stark, be sure to go catch a show at the Academy. It'll be like stepping back in time.