As a film addict, I find it hard to simply walk on by and not look in the windows...it feels like a small museum inside, and in some ways, it is. The costumes on display (directly from Paul Allen's private collection) are a part of cinematic history, and the old Cinerama projector up front would fit right in at any film museum. I don't know of any other movie theater that makes me feel this way. Quite possibly my favorite theater of all time.
I could rave about the screen, and how ahead of its time the Cinerama technology was...3 projectors showing one movie...but it just wasn't practical, and it still isn't. 3D, a more successful process, is one camera. This Cinerama process needed 3 film projectors, in 3 different spots in the theater. It's not like you can combine those into one camera and still get the same effect.
Here's a Cinerama trailer for a short film they made to show off the technology. It looks pretty cool even today, and its sad this technology never caught on.
Paul Allen owns the Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers, owns the EMP and this amazing theater, has all those old WWII warships, and runs Vulcan Inc that studies brain science and AI, yet seems to somehow remain under the radar. Why he's not a household name nationwide I'll never know. Maybe he wants it that way. I'd like to think so. As a lover of film, we all owe Paul Allen a lot for the way he's overhauled this theater.
Today, the screen is slightly curved, uses only one projector, though still has the capacity to use the original three projectors if the need arises. Recently, they were used for Tarantino's Hateful Eight.
I wanted to take this time to break down their menu, which is loaded with local goodies. There are no losers here.
*Pretzels from Tom Douglass' Brave Horse Tavern. Brave Horse also offers some of the best hand dipped corn dogs in Seattle, ranked just below the corn dogs at the Unicorn.
*Uli's Sausages, which are some of the most delicious you'll find. Also find them in Pike Place Market.
*Cupcake Royale cupcakes, up there with Trophy cupcakes as some of the highest priced cupcakes in Seattle, they're still great.
*Skydottir cookies. Not sure how they're vegan and so delicious.
*Full Tilt ice cream. Apologies to Molly Moon and Tillamook's ice cream, Full Tilt offers ice cream with pinball, AND its available in grocery stores.
*Theo chocolates, which is the Seattle chocolate I send home to my parents the most. It's relatively affordable, great tasting local chocolate, and bean to bar friendly.
Caffe Vita coffee, quite possibly the best coffee in Seattle never to make it big, nationally.
The many local brews and ciders are too many to list.
Here is a glowing CInerama review from Geekwire.
You may wanna buy a ticket for a specific seat ahead of time.