We are fortunate to have two great movie theaters near us: Ark Lodge right on Rainier Avenue as you enter Columbia City shows first run movies, lots of them at the same time, and their prices are incredibly reasonable ($8 for seniors). Plus parking near by is not difficult; the worst you will pay is $2 at a lot. Ark is comfortable, lots of leg room, a great wheel chair set up, and even their popcorn is a good deal. I don’t know how they manage to book all those first run movies. I have seen Vice (a must see about Vice President Cheney), Mary Poppins Returns, Green Book, and On the Basis of Sex about Ruth Bader Ginsberg. And I missed seeing If Beale Street Could Talk and The Favorite! All of these were playing almost at the same time, in rotation. Check out their current shows at arklodgecinemas.com.
Second, and with a different focus is Central Cinema, just off Union and 21st. This community cinema saves a lot of money by booking older movies, many of them great classics. (I recently saw The Sound of Music and Casablanca there.) They have a Thursday afternoon at 5pm happy hour cartoons for children and they also throw the annual Central District Christmas party that features a type of variety show of local talent, such as the children at the nearby Meter Music School or junior high school children in a jazz ensemble. I couldn’t believe how many families with children showed up. Check out their current shows on their website central-cinema.com.
Here is how they describe themselves:
“Here at Central Cinema we bring it all to you. Full menu service is available at all shows. We take care of you in the theater with Waiter service and Sofa seating. Everything is made fresh to order in our kitchen with our own hands. Organic Popcorn (Thanks Central Co-op!) with Real Butter is available for movie time munching. You can have a Draft Beer from NW Brewers, a nice glass of Wine or a fun Cocktail from our Bar. We have Stone Oven Pizzas, hot Appetizers and a Seasonal selection of Entrées to choose from on our Menu. Have dessert & coffee or just play Scrabble after the show at Cafe Noir in our lobby, open 5:30 till 10pm weeknights, and 1pm till 10pm weekends. HAPPY HOUR 5:30 till 6:30 Monday thru Friday with a different theme each day of the week.”
There’s no need to go anywhere else. Support these local businesses, save money, driving and help them to thrive!