Friday, April 29, 2005

Agent Cooper on SIFF venue changes

SIFF aficionado and long-time LiveJournaler Agent Cooper is not pleased.

"Pacific Place and the Cinerama aren't participating in SIFF this year! Instead SIFF is expanding to the Neptune (in the U District) and the Uptown (lower Queen Anne). ARGH!"


  1. The Pike Place Cinemas are fine venues (for big-o-plexes), and the loss is kinda too bad given there's a genuine pleasure to being able to walk squinky-eyed from one SIFF venue to the next.
    But personally I think the addition of a U District cinema is long overdue (and not just because I live there) and, regardless, the Neptune is an excellent and obvious choice. (Besides being a great house, it dates to the '20s.) Dig it: the U District/Wallingford area has prolly the highest and most programatically diverse density of screens in town. There's the Grand Illusion (all hail!), 3 at the Varsity, the 8 or whatever at the Metro, 2 at the Guild 45th, and that gloriously wonderful oddball the Seven Gables (one of the city's treasures if you ask me). Even the Movie Greats shop has regular screenings of excellent picks (albeit on video). And nevermind the screenings that occur on the UW campus. That's pert-near 20 screens all in walking distance...and all of them doing good business, often with arty offerings. Combined with the ever-thronging confines of Scarecrow Video, that pretty much makes the U/Wallingford zone the medulla oblongata of the Seattle movie-going cortex. (With the obligatory exceptions of the NW Film Forum and Cinerama, naturally.)
    The only bummer (to me) about Queen Anne is it is so inaccessible for those of us relying on public transit (or parking, for that matter), but it does make some sense as a locale...and it's certainly worth trying from SIFF's perspective.
    More generally, I say that decentralizing the SIFF screens is a very worthwhile experiment, one I hope succeeeds. It will make it that much easier for more locals to experience the Fest, and that can only be good.

  2. The Neptune is the theater SIFF has always needed. It should be the showcase. Maybe next year they can screen some of the revivals at The Paramount. What about The Bay? Imax? The Cinerama.? SAM? A return to The Valley Drive-in.