As a new experiment here at RowThree, I thought it might be fun to every once in a while put a spotlight on a local theater in some part of the world that for one reason or another stands out above the rest in its area. Maybe this theater has really great seating. Maybe they sell popcorn on a stick. Maybe they feature only NC-17 rated films. Or maybe it’s as simple as great ambiance that is simply unparalleled. If you have a theater in your area you’d like to mention here at RowThree, feel free to contact me for more details.
For this inaugural posting, I’d like to point you in the direction of The Parkway Theater in southeast Minnepolis. Once a real hole in the wall that was hard to sit in for the mildew odor and the burned out seats that had your back stiff in about ten minutes, The Parkway has really come around in the last three or four months.
Attached to a Mexican restaurant (same owner), this theater allows its patrons to move from the noisy crowd of the bar, after a hearty meal, into the comfort of the theater without ever trampling through the cold wind and snow of a Minnesota winter. Better still, drinks and food from the restaurant are allowed into the screenings since all the money goes to the same place anyway. If you’d prefer not to enter the restaurant, soda, beer, margaritas and extremely tasty popcorn are all available at the concession stand (mmmm tequila).
While still in renovation, the theater is really coming along nicely and it’s apparent that when fully functional will look fabulous. The smelly curtains adorning the walls have been removed and local artists have painted huge murals featuring interpretations of the performing arts circa 1930-1940.
The front few rows of regular theater chairs have been recently removed and in their stead are large, leather love seats with tables big enough for drinks and food to comfortably rest upon. Mighty comfortable!
But the best thing about The Parkway is its new program director who has really taken the reins and given Minneapolis exactly what it needs: more truly independent film! While still showing some of the high profile Hollywood hits on the weekends, The Parkway shows late night cult films, an early morning kids movie series and during the summer, a “Home Grown Cinema Series” which shows only locally produced films from Minnesota. All of this plus student film seminars and even harder to find, rare screenings such as the Raiders of the Lost Ark remake (our review).
All of these things help make this little known gem of cinematic greatness in Minneapolis a new found joy where I’m sure more than a good chunk of my pay checks will be going in the foreseeable future.
For more details, quite an interesting history (used to be a skin flick theater and gorgeous architecture was discovered after removing the ceiling) and showtimes, check out their also recently renovated web site at www.theparkwaytheater.com.
Again, if there’s a theater in your area you’d like to spotlight, contact email@example.com for more details.