Monday, August 9, 2010

Pictures That Move

I absolutely love watching movies. New, old, blockbuster, independent, classic, horror, cheesy, romantic. I love some and hate others but love the movie-watching experience regardless.

Traditionally, we shell out the big bucks to enjoy a film inside an air-conditioned theater full of comfy, upholstered seats complete with cup holders in arm rests. A good example of this would be a matinee or evening show at the Westhampton Cinema on Grove Ave. Currently showing: The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Kids Are Alright. Of course, there are a number of other popular theaters around RVA showing the latest releases, but the Westhampton is one of my favorites for its screening selectivity and ambiance.

Then there's the slightly more unique experience of visiting a non-theater venue turned theater via projection of a film onto a wall or screen. Check out the VMFA Friday Film Series, First Baptist Church's Classics in the Courtyard and Quirk Gallery's Movie Night. The upcoming lineup? Some Like It Hot ($7, August 13, 6:30 pm), Star Wars (FREE, August 12, 8 pm) and E.T. (FREE, August 25, 8:30 pm), respectively.

Lastly, there's the classic outdoor movie-viewing experience of pulling your car right up to the big screen. Believe it or not, we actually have a drive-in theater within 40 miles of downtown: The Goochland Drive-In. Movies are $7 for adults, $3 for kids and the snack bar offers all snacks and beverages for less than $3.50. Upcoming attractions include Salt and Ramona and Beezus. Keep an eye out for Pet Night where pets are welcome and even get to watch for free!

Of course, there's also the beloved Byrd Theatre which is in the midst of a major fundraising effort. It takes a lot of money and hard work to maintain a beautiful older building like the Byrd Theatre! I'm guessing that most Richmonders have at some point enjoyed a movie at the Byrd and appreciated the $2 tickets and stunning architecture. Just imagine if everyone was able to donate $5 the next time they visited. With a seating capacity of 800 to 1300 (depending on the balcony seating) the amount of money that could be raised within a year is staggering. The current movie selections are Shrek Forever After and The A-Team.

Get lost in a good film!

Emily Smith

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