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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

October 22, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Columbia City Cinema to re-open

The former Columbia City Cinema, which closed its doors in May 2011 due to longstanding issues regarding the building’s fire safety, is rising again. David McRae, who grew up in the movie business here (his parents owned the Cine-Mond theater in Redmond in the ’70s) and has recently been specializing in transitioning 35mm moviehouses to digital equipment, has taken over the theater’s lease and will be its new operator. (An attempt to open the theater as a nonprofit, announced late last year by SEED Arts, didn’t work out.) McRae says the for-profit three-screen theater, which will be called Ark Lodge Cinemas in honor of the historic building’s original name, will feature first-run mainstream and arthouse programming, and will also be available for community events. Asked this morning when the theater might open, he said the date is contingent on getting appropriate permits from the city. Currently he’s working on getting a new sprinkler system and fire alarm installed, as well as updating the current projection equipment to “the latest [digital] technology available.” Though McRae said he’d love to be open in time for the holiday movie season, his official opening date is currently January 1. Stay tuned for updates!

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