[Photos courtesy of Lara Swimmer]
Cinerama, a locally beloved Seattle theatre owned by Paul Allen, will reopen its doors this Thursday, November 20 with the premier of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I. The cinema, developed by Vulcan Inc., was originally built in 1952 and has been home to over the decades the first showings of classics such as Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey - which Paul Allen saw with his family in 1968.
Every year, Cinerama is home to several film festivals, including the Science Fiction Film Festival, The Seattle International Film Festival and the Horror Film Festival. The new theatre will play both blockbusters in the fall and summer and more artistic films in the winter and spring.
The refurbished theatre includes several new features that set it apart from other local Seattle cinemas. The outside of the theatre features a community mural depicting fanciful movie scenes and characters created by the local artist group Invisible Creature. The theatre itself is the first commercial cinema to have a Christie 6P laser projector, which is designed for 3D films. The dual-head projector, in contrast to the single-head projector in place before, will make for a more relaxing and easier-on-the-eye viewing experience. A surround sound audio system by Dolby Laboratories and Meyer Sound has also been installed.
Other smaller, but nevertheless notable changes include the addition of local beer, wine, coffee and cider to the concession stand menu (with brands such as Fremont Brewing Company, Elysian Brewing Company, Seattle Cider, Proletariat Wine and Caffe Vita) as well as food options from Theo Chocolate to Uli's Sausage and Cupcake Royale. Furthermore, the reduction in the theatre from the original 798 chairs to 570 chairs allows for wider seating and legroom – available for advance reservation.
Local Seattleites are already heavily anticipating the reopening of Cinerama – with the theatre's first showing of the Hunger Games this Thursday already sold out. Tickets can be bought for $15 online or at the door.
Written by Alyssa Campbell