We've been going to Central Cinema for months now and the more we go the more we like it. So far we have attended screenings of the original Willy Wonka, Auntie Mame and Mostly Martha among many other films and because Central Cinema is "Seattle's only movie-dinner-theater" when we go, we make it a point to nosh there.
This is a place for film and food lovers alike. Here you can see a $5 show accompanied by a sandwich, salad or a stone oven pizza (Quattro Formaggi and Firenza are my favorites), a bowl of steaming, salted edamame or popcorn (with choice of toppings), some of the best coffee in Seattle (Victrola), a nice micro-brew, Victrola tea, wine, a Cherry Italian Soda or an Orange Fizz.
The space is lovely (comfy diner-style booths and lovely exposed brick walls) and the films run the gamut from documentary, independent and cult films to musicals, classics, horror, foreign and child friendly flicks.
In here the mood is festive and fun and its always busy with locals in search of cinematic relief from the big box, blockbuster multiplexes while doing a little grazing above and beyond the usual, overpriced candy, pop and popcorn.
The menu offers something for everyone. The food can be good (pizza), sometimes even great (rhubarb pie). Tonight The Black Cat was playing, preceded by a funky pseudo-scientific documentary short and the hilarious music of the The Tiger Lillies playing prior to the show.
This evening the three of us laughed out loud at the silliness and dramatic excesses of Karloff and Lugosi while enjoying our popcorn, edamame, roasted corn soup, chocolate cake and apple pie.
This time around the soup was less than stellar and the chocolate cake was dry--we left most of it-- but we had so much fun!
The fact that one can come in here at the end of the day, enjoy an inexpensive show and grab a bite while watching the movie is a definite plus. Not to mention that the theater is owned by a lovely couple (plus über cute kid) with a passion for movies and warm hospitality.
They even rent the space for private events and run mini-film festivals from time to time. And because this is a business with a social conscience, next week they'll be hosting Tasveer's Pakistan Earthquake Relief Benefit.
I'm looking forward to the screening of Khamosh Pani. Perhaps this time around I'll try the popcorn with a little curry.
1411 21st Avenue
(21st & E. Union)
Wed–Fri 6–11 p.m.
Sat–Sun 12–11 p.m.
Late showings 21 and older.
"Central Cinema is Seattle's only Dinner-Cinema with sofa style seating and a super waitstaff to bring it all to you. We have a full menu of stone oven pizzas, panini sandwiches, fresh dinner salads and homemade soup plus wine and beer. We also feature desserts made by Wisteria Baking and coffee roasted by Victrola for after the show. Central Cinema is Air Conditioned so you can stay cool.Our Bistro space is open the same hours as the theater for dinner and drinks. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 6:00pm to 11:00pm. Saturday & Sunday 12:00 noon to 11:00pm."